Instagram is an amazing way to market your brand, especially if your product is visibly appealing. One great shot of your product being used or a behind-the-scenes of your business in action can score a mountain of likes and followers, all leading to greater brand awareness. You can’t go all willy-nilly and post images sporadically, disregarding consistency.
Images are everything on the mobile image sharing social network. Sure, social media marketing through articles and press releases are effective ways to talk about your brand, but photographs do speak a thousand words. They are simple as well. Having a well thought-out plan is vital to getting the most out of Instagram. Here are some tips to help you on your square-photo journey.
Create a Calendar
It is a great idea to get all of your ducks -- or photos -- in a row by creating a calendar or schedule to specify a time to post pictures. It is good to spread out a few photos across the day to make sure you are consistently appearing on people’s feeds.
Don’t post 100 pictures a day, though. Excessive posting is just annoying and will probably piss off followers who can’t see their friends’ photos because they have to scroll through a novella of your images. Three or four a day is pretty consistent without driving Instagrammers nuts. You can even cut it down a bit if you don’t have much content to spread around, to be on the safe side.
Don’t post all of your daily images close together. If you have a few photos that are posted all at once, they will disappear in time under countless images posted by others and decrease your visibility to non-followers. A good rule of thumb is to post an image during a normal user’s daily downtime. Try times like 8 A.M., 12 P.M., 5 P.M. and 9 P.M. You can catch people waking up, out to lunch, leaving work and settling down at home, or before going out to party. Trust me, people check their feeds a lot. Everyone loves a little eye candy.
Mix it Up
This is your time to practice your “Vogue-photo op” talents. Posting different kinds of images with different angles and effects will keep your profile fun and exciting.
Variety is always good.
Who wants to see the same shot and angle of your product every time? Use photos of your product, your business behind the scenes, events you’re visiting, and customers using your product. You can give some shout-outs as well by posting up a fan’s photo, giving that user thanks and credit.
Focus on Hashtags
Hashtags are crucial when it comes to finding and spreading images on Instagram. If you don’t use them, how in the world will people see that image of a cat on your skateboard or the flowing suds of your beer into a crystal glass? Hashtags are portals to the outside realm of non-followers. By choosing hashtags that are popular in your consumer’s community, you shed light on that pretty face of yours.
Be humble with the hashtags you choose, though. Spamming fifty hashtags in your comment area is completely unbecoming and can look like spam. Keep it classy, like Ron Burgundy.
Incorporate those select hashtags into phrases and calls-to-action. For example: “Like if #craftbeer makes you all fuzzy on the inside and makes your beard grow. #DrinkLocal.” It makes your image more appealing and shows you care about what you post. Don’t mind my beer-related examples, by the way. I like a good brew.
Engage with Community
Instagram isn’t a one-way road where everyone showers you with love, likes and follows. Showing interest in others' photos by thoughtfully commenting and liking will do wonders for your popularity. If people love your brand, they will love it even more if you reach out to them and recognize they exist. This is a social media network, after all. Be social.
A Little Extra
These are some basic ground rules to help grow your brand’s awareness, but there are countless other ways to be creative and engaging. Create a contest revolving around a hashtag you create to keep track of entries. Throwback Thursdays are huge if you have some vintage material to go around. Maybe sneak peeks of new products can cause a great stir for a new campaign.
If you follow the tips above and add some additional creativity, you will have an amazing base to work from for your brand's Instagram profile.
Eric Gruenfelder is an intern for fishbat, an online marketing firm located in Bohemia, NY. He is also homebrewing a handful of his own recipes in hopes that one day the world will love them.