14 Mar 2013

The 5 most important things to remember as a brand on instagram

You don’t have to sell anything but yourself

Katie Lever

Instagram is one of the fastest growing social platforms. With 100 million monthly active users and an average 8500 likes per second, it's no wonder that brands want to play in this space. But like all other social networks, Instagram was made for people, not brands. So how do you use a visual platform to connect with your fans? You offer them something that gives them insight into your brand’s personality.

Be personal
Your audience chooses to engage with you and they love to see what’s going on behind the scenes. Think of the old adage: “People read what interests them. Sometimes, it's an ad.” Your followers don't want to see overt product placements in their stream of friends’ trips to Paris. Show them the human story behind your brand.

Be authentic
Unscripted, unrehearsed, real documentation. Show the culture of the company. Employees on their breaks playing foosball, decorated cubicles or a meeting that gives a sneak peak of the new summer line. On location for a shoot? This is the perfect time to give your fan base a window into the process. Pictures do not need to be polished - they are “snapshots” of a moment.

Tell a story
Actually, show, don’t tell. People are visual. You probably already know the most engaging posts on other platforms are images. Instagram can help support a broader brand message by showing the journey of your product or how other people interact with your brand. What is more interesting: A post that tells followers: “Our widgets are ready to ship!” or a picture of the action in the warehouse, building anticipation and showing the widget on it’s way?

Be relevant
Instagram can make the everyday beautiful- take a look at the explore function and see what pictures are most popular. You want to stay in line with the aesthetic of the platform. Take advantage of #flashbackfriday with old pictures of your most beloved products or an old school logo. If you’re a restaurant, show some #foodporn. Just stay away from the #selfies.

Be strategic
With the proper plan, you can create an amazing Instagram presence for your brand in a way that's very affordable and manageable. You need an understanding of what types of pictures resonate with your audience, create a content plan and put someone with a creative eye in charge of executing.

Need more help? Join us for Instagram for Businesses and Brands. Co-instructed by Harlan Erskine and Michael Chatfield, experts skilled in photography, Instagram, and brand strategy. This workshop will give you a one-day crash course in how to craft the ultimate Instagram presence for your company or brand. 

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