4imprint, LLC

Corporate social innovation

Launched in 2011 and purchased by Facebook® in 2012, Instagram® is no longer just another photo-sharing platform. This social media site allows users to upload photos and videos, apply filters for cool effects, explore and comment on content, and share and connect with countless favourite brands.Today, Instagram has an estimated 200 million active users and according to the online magazine Digital Trends®, it is growing faster than Twitter®, Facebook® and Pinterest® combined. Consumer-facing businesses are taking note and are using Instagram to share content, interact with and engage followers.

If your organization is looking to add Instagram to its social media lineup, you may want to read this e-newsletter. It offers success tips and best practices on using this platform for business. Keep reading to find out more.

You’ve got an Instagram account … now what?

  • Be fresh: When posting content to Instagram, be sure it is fresh, meaningful and unique. Avoid reposting images or videos that you’ve already shared or that can be found elsewhere. Rather, opt for original content that’s both new and relevant.
  • Post consistently: Posts should be shared consistently and in real-time. Avoid scheduling canned content. Although Forbes® magazine tells us there is really no known downside to high-frequency posting, the average brand posts 1.5 times per day. Also, focus on sharing spontaneous moments riddled with emotion such as real laughter, kindness, care … you get the picture.
  • Use hashtags: The use of hashtags (words or phrases with the “#” symbol at the start) is very popular among Instagram users. You can hashtag your content by subject matter, geolocation or event to help users find your business and its content. Some of the top hashtags used on Instagram include “#love,” “#me” and “#follow.” A word to the wise: there can be too much of a good thing—limit hashtags to no more than five, please. Any more than that and you risk annoying your audience.
  • Be engaging: Posting content that’s engaging helps your business keep and attract more followers. Accomplish this by following complementary accounts, liking content, commenting on pictures and responding to comments posted about your content. You can further engage followers with photo contests. For instance, post a picture and ask followers to caption it for a chance to win a prize, such as a digital photo frame or or multi-function frame/clock. Or crowd source pictures of your followers engaged with your product or service. Reward the best pictures with a set of photo coasters, a photo frame/desk organizer or a neoprene camera case.

Using Instagram for business can be just what it takes to boost your brand presence. To get the most out of it, just remember to follow these best practices. Be fresh, consistent and engaging—and don’t forget to hashtag it. Ready, set, shoot! For more information on Instagram, check out our Blue Papers®.

Jackson, Eric. “What Would Instagram Be Worth Today If It IPO’ed?Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 30 Sept. 2013. Web. Retrieved 30 June 2014.

Knibbs, Kate. “Instagram Is Growing Faster than Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest Combined.Digital Trends. N.p., 21 Jan. 2014. Web. Retrieved 26 June 2014.

Taylor, Chris. “Instagram Hits 200 Million Users.Mashable.com. Mashable, 25 Mar. 2014. Web. Retrieved 20 Aug. 2014.

Instagram.” 4imprint.com. N.p., 08 Sept. 2014. Web. Retrieved 29 Sept. 2014.

Bercovici, Jeff. “The Surprising Data Behind How Often Brands Should Post On Instagram.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 02 May 2014. Web. Retrieved 29 Aug. 2014.

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