How to Achieve Brand Marketing Success with Instagram

If the brand they manage has an ounce of creativity, Instagram may be a platform for community managers to consider for their social media marketing efforts. So how should brands incorporate Instagram into their social media marketing strategies to achieve Instagram marketing success? Read on for tips and tricks, and also how Instagram could improve its functionality.

Marketing Success with Instagram

Maximize Your Hashtags

The main way of interacting on Instagram is through hashtags. The Vitamin Shoppe has created a great Instagram account featuring photos of food, exercise and healthy living tips. The account also hashtags their photos that aren’t obviously Vitamin Shoppe related in order to bring in followers who may not be aware of the page’s other features.

Brand Marketing Success with Instagram Vitamin Shoppe

But be careful. You don’t want to be the brand that looks desperate for followers. Post more than five hashtags and you start looking a little excessive. If you’re wondering how to best employ the pound sign, read our recent blog post about how brands can leverage Instagram hashtags.

Seek Out Content About Your Brand

I’m a huge fan of Dry Soda. I wasn’t totally sure of their Instagram handle (or if they were on the platform), so I simply hashtagged, “#drysoda.”

Brand Marketing Success with Instagram Dry Soda

Turns out, their community manager searches the hashtag daily and quickly responded to my post which successfully re-engaged me with the brand.  Community engagement is key to successful social media marketing.  Keeping fans engaged once? Great. Keeping fans engaged often? You’ve got a lifetime customer.

Brand Marketing Success with Instagram Dry Soda 2

Ask Users if You Can Share Their Positive Content

Got a user who is uploading photos of your product with rave reviews? Share it (WARNING: make sure you check with your legal department for guidelines on sharing user-generated content). Sharing user-generated content gives your brand’s page a sense of authenticity and builds trust with your followers. Just make sure you credit their photo!

Brand Marketing Success with Instagram - example

Create Authentic Content

Rather than posting highly-Photoshopped images of your product, keep your content authentic. Backstage or “exclusive” photos perform extremely well, as seen by Victoria’s Secret, the most followed brand on Instagram.

Brand Marketing Success with Instagram Victoria Secret

Get Creative With Simple Products

If your brand doesn’t have backstage content or fantastic scenery to leverage, work with your product in creative ways. Olay Fresh Effects took a simple bottle of face wash and made it interesting simply by adding bubbles.

Brand Marketing Success with Instagram Olay Fresh Effects

Improvements Instagram Can Make

You Can’t Link

Do not post a URL on Instagram. Users can’t click links on Instagram, so the text shows up like a normal caption. Basically, it’s a waste of your follower’s time.

No Auto-Populate for Other Handles

Unlike Twitter, you can’t type in the first few letters of an Instagram account and have them pop up if you aren’t following the account. This means you’ll either have to remember the handles of accounts you don’t follow if they warrant a tag, or make sure to follow everyone you want to mention.

Seamless Re-Post

Currently, you have to screenshot another user’s Instagram photo if you want to share their content. A “RT” style re-post would be ideal for brands.

Upload Photos Via Web

Dearest Instagram: Please allow uploading photos via web. As community managers, many of us also have personal accounts. As a result, we maintain a constant fear that we are logged in to the wrong account and are going to post photos of our dog to our brand page. #DogsOfInstagram

What are your favorite brands on Instagram and what makes their content so wonderful?

Ignite Social Media