Despite having the highest engagement among all social media platforms, few companies have truly tried to tap into Instagram's potential to create campaigns to engage with their audiences.
There are a few possible reasons that attributed to this: The disabling of URL on Instagram user’s post heavily crippled its ability to drive direct traffic from Instagram. There isn’t an advertising option that’s similar to Facebook for brands to promote a campaign or product offering. Lastly, there is no default way for a user to re-share post, which leaves brands with only hashtags to reach their audiences.
But all these little problems can be easily overcome with some simple tips and tricks that we can learn from other brands.
Let’s start with the most important one.
People visit different social networks for different reasons, and you need to know what type of post your audiences love the most on Instagram.
Starbucks love curating users’ photos on Instagram and re-posting them on their account. These little actions let their customers know how much they care about their creativities and opinions.
Especially in the past one year, fans were showing their creativity and love for Starbucks by drawing beautiful artwork on their cup and posting them. And in order to reward these fans, Starbucks constantly goes through these fans' account in search of the best artworks and re-posting them on their own.
Once the fans realized that Starbucks appreciates what they are doing, more of them participated and more designs started popping up every day.
All these traffics and excitement from fans then finally led to the White Cup Contest.
Here is an excerpt from Starbucks Newsroom on the contest.
“Waterman said he’s inspired by the creativity he sees throughout the Starbucks social community with cup art that’s been posted on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. People are already experimenting with different mediums, and he suggests they should “turn up the volume” on their creativity with this contest.” -
This is my favourite cup!
Most of the artworks are really amazing; see them for yourself over here. Starbucks White Cup Contest
That’s to say, don’t simply hold a photo contest on Facebook and ask your Instagram audiences to participate. Understand what your audiences love about your Instagram account and create a unique campaign for them.
Now it's time to move on to the minor details on how to make an Instagram campaign successful.
Directing traffic from Instagram has always been a problem for marketers as URL are turned into 'unclickable' link text in user's posts. By and large, this will usually result in a dip in conversation rates due to the additional steps that users have to go through.
Well if you can’t beat the game… try making it easier.
To overcome this restriction, use easy-to-remember url and this can be seen from the Starbucks White Cup Contest.
“mystarbucksidea.com" - Although this isn't an URL that Starbucks creates specifically for the campaign, it is still very relevant.
I mean how easy to remember is that? It has the word “Starbucks” that every one is familiar with. And the word “my” and “idea” that relates to the contest theme of creating our own design for the white cup.
This helps to lower the pain of going through that additional step of opening a browser to type the URL, as users can easily remember it.
Instagram is a social discovery platform where users love searching for others who are similar to them.
Which is why, it is particularly important that you create a unique hashtag for your campaign. By doing so, it not only helps to spread awareness for your campaign when users talk about it but also to provide social proof when users search that hashtag on Instagram.
Here is an excellent example by Bloesem Living.
See how the hashtag #WINBLOESEMCLASS describes both the contest as well as a mention of their brand.
Another way to spread the word using hashtag is to make use of more generic ones such as #contest #giveaway or something more geo-specific such as #contestsg or #giveawaysg.
If you are unfamiliar with the word re-gram, it simply means to re-post what a user have posted on Instagram. Unfortunately, Instagram has yet to make this function a part of the default app.
So users generally turn to apps from either Android or iOS to do the job for them. Or this can also be done via screenshot, editing and posting.
Now, there are several important factors to take note of when creating an image that's perfect for re-posting
Here is a great example from Arnhem Clothing.
By using one of their product photo shoot for the background, they are doing a brief introduction of themselves to consumers who might not know about them yet.
They also clearly display the prize within the photo to catch the attention of users. Followed by 3 simple instructions on how to win.
How did they fare in the end? The photo was reposted 5402 times with the hashtag #Arnhem1000. I say that’s a lot of brand awareness generated!
What are the 2 things that users can click on in an Instagram post?
Hashtags and Profile Handle of course!
Take a look at this user’s repost of Bloesem Living’s contest.
What do you think her friends will click on after clicking on the hashtags and realized it doesn’t contain any information? Yes. The profile!
Which is why it’s absolutely necessary to update your Instagram profile according to the campaign that you are holding. Here are 2 things you can take advantage of in your profile.
This way users who didn’t see your original campaign photos and are too lazy to search for it can simply click on the URL to learn more.
That is it. These are the ingredients I have gathered to help you create a successful Instagram campaigns. Social media has always been about experimenting and being creative.
So go ahead, be creative and experiment!
Let me know in the comments if you think there are other ingredients that will help spice up this dish!
This post first appeared on Hashmeta