Strategies & Tactics

Make Your Instagram Account a Picture of Success

January 5, 2018

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As an Instagrammer, you probably expect more Likes for your posts than you end up receiving. You’re hoping for hundreds and maybe get 60. You want people to like your brand’s messages and keep coming back for more. We’ve all been there. But the trick to creating impactful posts is to be consistent and on-brand.

Contrary to popular belief, millennials aren’t the only ones using Instagram. Today, 65 of the world’s top-100 brands use the photo-sharing platform. Now is the time for your organization to look at its visual social media strategy.

Instagram helps your brand build its following, reputation and credibility. You can creatively convey brand images on your own terms. Here are three steps toward Instagram success:

Remain consistent

The first step to make your Instagram page more polished is to develop consistent content. You can give followers a more meaningful brand experience and a window into your organization’s innovations. You might show how a new product is being made or your progress in creating it. People get excited to see what’s next, so share updates frequently.

This means maintaining a certain aesthetic. For many organizations, it can be as simple as incorporating a signature element per your brand standards.

Take National Geographic’s Instagram account, @Natgeo. It shares vibrant pictures from around the world, and each post contains a short paragraph describing the image’s cultural or visual significance. When you follow this account, you know you will always learn something new.

Categorize posts

The second step is to choose the category that best fits your brand. Successful pages often combine posts that are educational, inspirational, community-oriented, marketing-oriented or that take followers behind the scenes. To determine your best fit, prioritize your goals for Instagram. Do you want to expose new people to your brand? Do you want to develop and feature brand ambassadors? Your priorities might be fluid, but you can narrow down the categories that will help you attain your goals.

Celebrities often share “behind the scenes” peeks on their Instagram pages, which seem authentic and let followers feel included in the star’s life. A celebrity might introduce a new song, movie or television show, and then share marketing-oriented posts about the project.

With more than 12.8 million followers and an average of 200,000-plus Likes per post, wearable-camera company GoPro engages with its audience by encouraging followers to travel to the ends of the earth. The @GoPro Instagram account focuses on its products, and on the company’s theme to inspire and motivate. Consistent hashtags are an important ingredient in each post, promoting interaction with followers. (#GoProTravel is the most popular.)

Be community-centric

The final step to make your account more engaging is to realize that it isn’t about you — it’s about your followers. The idea may sound backward compared to traditional marketing-output philosophy but, rest assured, community-centric content will help you solidify relationships with brand ambassadors.

Every time you post, ask yourself: “What will this mean for my audience?” “What do they want to know about xyz?” and “What does this do for my followers?”

Are you inspiring them and teaching them? What kind of content will make your followers come back for more? Are you holding a raffle or giving away a prize? What do your followers want from you, and how will you make yourself credible?

An account to watch for community-centric engagement is @Airbnb, which posts pictures of magnificent destinations while encouraging followers to share their own Airbnb stories. It engages customers by re-posting travel pictures and hosting contests. Airbnb shows that it cares about your experiences and wants you to be excited about booking your next trip.

As with many social media platforms, popularity doesn’t happen overnight. Your brand’s Instagram success will be a work in progress.

Lindsay Tatman

Lindsay Tatman is a PR coordinator with Pomme Communications in Cincinnati.

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