Entrepreneurial Q&A: What is one really cool way to use Instagram for your brand?
A: Introduce your team. “Share a candid shot of one of the members of your team with some information about his or her role at your company. How long has this person been there? What do he or she do? Include a fun, relatable fact. People like doing business with people, and it’s a great way to promote the incredible team behind your brand.” Sydney Williams, Planet Green Socks
Introduce a “takeover” from other popular Instagram users. “Alison Hotchkiss (@alisonevents) of Alison Events, a well-known event design and planning company, is having others fill in on her Instagram feed while she’s out on maternity leave. The ‘Instagram takeover’ is creating buzz, letting others shine and giving her brand a lot of credibility by propping up others.” Jennifer Benz, Benz Communications
Drop hints. “Feel free to drop hints to your fan base by posting riddles or blurred photos to create excitement around a launch or announcement. Only one post about the actual announcement won’t get near the reach that three posts will. Make them interesting.” Brian Barnett, The Ekho Group
Use a certain hashtag. “Because we have staff in four (soon to be six) cities, we ask them to post pictures not of our products or brand, but of what cool stuff they’re seeing and doing in their city. They tag these pictures (at coffee shops, concerts or festivals) with #aroundtown which lets our followers see how we embrace our cities and the local flavor and culture.” Sam Davidson, Batch
Mix business with pleasure. “My personal Instagram account is a snapshot of both my personal and professional life. Instead of introducing the team on your brand page, have the team, particularly stakeholders, introduce and curate the brand on their pages. This not only makes the brand more approachable, but it allows prospects and customers to connect with both the voice of the brand and their individual of choice.” Derek Hunter, Long Live Luxury
Reward customer participation. “This involves taking the step of ‘owning a hashtag’ further. By encouraging your customers to tag pictures of your products in their daily lives, and then rewarding that action by featuring their images (and crediting them) on your own feed, other users will see that your movement is alive and well. This rewarded participation will get your customers to start thinking as a tribe.” Cody Mclain, SupportNinja
Post unique videos. “Users scroll through their Instagram feed so quickly that it’s difficult to get a substantial impression period on the platform. We’ve found that by posting unique videos users will pause, play and spend at least 15 seconds with your brand rather than the one second you’d typically get with a static image. If the video is really good, they’ll replay.” Faithe Parker, Marbaloo Marketing
Quote your customers in visual form. “We created one or two templates where we can easily pop in a quote from a customer or someone inspirational. It’s a quick Instagram win, and people love seeing their name and picture up on our brand Instagram. Posts like this get a ton of shares and quickly build up our brand by associating it with a certain idea or person.” Mattan Griffel, One Month
Post pictures of your brand’s end result. “It is interesting for viewers to visualize your brand’s end result in the many ways it can be done. For instance, with EVENTup’s Instagram we like to post pictures of the events once everything is pulled together. We also have a ‘Feature Friday’ where we post one of the new venues that has signed up to be listed on our site. Promoting and engaging your current clients is the key to ongoing success.” Jayna Cooke, EVENTup
Offer free samples. “Our fashion brand sends free gifts to Instagram users with a high number of followers and lets them advertise for us on their site. It has proven to be a great tool and a way to reach a wide variety of audiences that we may have missed otherwise.” Kumar Arora, Aroridex, Ltd.
Start a hashtag trend. “A way that we have been interacting with our consumers and advocates of our product is by starting a hashtag trend. We have used the hashtag #WeAreCoconuts as a fun way to incorporate a slogan of ours into the brand name. We want consumers to feel as if they are a part of the company and have fun while using social media!” Erin Meagher, Kelapo
Take it along to company events. “People like to work with people. Give your brand some personality by taking your Instagram account along on your company events or even highlighting some of the day-to-day operations of the office. Done correctly, this can give your brand a human element and show your clients that your company transcends the logo and that it actually has a personality as well.” Phil Laboon, Eyeflow Internet Marketing