How to Incorporate Instagram Into Your Social Media Marketing Plan – Part 2

On nearly every social media platform, photos are the most popular kind of content. This is why platforms, such as the Instagram app, that are centered on photos are becoming an important part of marketing plans.

There are millions of users on Instagram and more companies are starting Instagram campaigns to take advantage of this huge customer pool. Brands can get quick messages and photos to their audience in creative and engaging ways. In my previous post, I began advice about incorporating Instagram into your marketing plan. In this post I will finish up, covering hashtags, geo-tagging, profiles, and expanding your brand.

Via Flickr VisitElPaso

Via Flickr VisitElPaso

Use hashtags specific to your brand

Popular hashtags on Instagram are not the same as they are on Twitter. On Instagram, they change so often that they do not do much good. Instead, it is better to make your hashtags specific to your brand, photo, and promotion instead of clutter-y looking popular hashtags. There are many benefits to creating, using, promoting, and monitoring your own hashtags:

  • It is easier for people to find photos related to the brand
  • It makes it easier to figure out who is devoted to the brand beyond likes and comments
  • Encouraging followers to use your own hashtags makes it easier for them to share photos and spread awareness across multiple platforms, like Facebook
  • Hashtags can give you ROI relative to the users engaged in a certain campaign

You can also use group and contest hashtags to get more recognition.

See-ming Lee

See-ming Lee

Geo-tag photos

The geo-tag feature on Instagram is amazing, especially now that users can transfer location information to other platforms including Facebook, FourSquare, Twitter, and Flickr. Since it incorporates multiple platforms, it gets all of your communities involved on a bigger level.

  • Geo-tag helps you promote your participation at events
  • Restaurants and retailers can use geo-tag to promote their location and products
  • Customers can take pictures in your store or of your products and geo-tag them

A photo map of all your Instagram snapshots appears on your profile as well.

Via Flickr Tatiana12

Via Flickr Tatiana12

Use profiles

Use the newer profiles, established in 2012, to tell the story of your company. Instagram photos look great in a collage and give great insight into your brand. Your profile is another great way to give your followers a behind the scenes look at your business. Make sure to balance fun images with business images. Have a call to action on your pictures directing people to your website and other platforms as appropriate with the photo.

Via Flickr Jason Howie

Via Flickr Jason Howie

Don’t only use Instagram

Instagram is great for your social media marketing plan, but it should not be the only platform you use. Instagram works best for marketing when used with other social media sites, especially visual-based sites such as Pinterest, Tumblr, and Facebook. Your Instagram posts can be shared on these sites to spur more discussion, comments, shares, and brand awareness.

Which brands do you feel use Instagram effectively with their other social media profiles? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing!

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How to Incorporate Instagram into Your Social Media Marketing Plan – Part 1

On nearly every social media platform, photos are the most popular kind of content. This is why platforms, such as the Instagram app, that are centered on photos are becoming an important part of marketing plans.

There are millions of users on Instagram and more companies are starting Instagram campaigns to take advantage of this huge customer pool. Brands can get quick messages and photos to their audience in creative and engaging ways. There are a few things you can do to incorporate Instagram into your marketing plan.

Via Flickr Play Among Friends

Via Flickr Play Among Friends

Involve the Community

Start getting involved in the Instagram community by liking and commenting on other people’s photos, especially if they mention your brand in some way. You can also involve the community by creating contests where they take pictures with your product or brand, host scavenger hunts, or offer Instagram-exclusive promotions to get your brand more awareness.

Via Flickr by Robert Scoble

Via Flickr by Robert Scoble

Give a Behind the Scenes Look

This is a great way to give your brand authenticity. People love behind the scenes looks at what is going on. It makes your brand seem more human and involved in providing an excellent customer experience.

Employees should be following the brand and commenting on photos. You should also encourage them to submit their own photos at work and tag them on Instagram. This will help spread brand awareness and give your business a positive image since your employees like work and support the brand. Make sure there are certain rules about posting, but don’t be so restrictive that employees can’t be creative.

Via Flickr by ragesoss

Via Flickr by ragesoss

Get Creative with Your Photos

  • Use editing and enhancement tools, such as Picstitch, Photoshop Express, Picfx, Diptic, Lenslight, and Slow Shutter
  • Experiment with your photos to foster creativity
  • You don’t have to fill the whole box; 4:3 photos with white on the empty spaces will stand out in a feed while still looking good on Instagram’s layout
  • Text only photos can stand out, but should be used sparingly

Look for Part 2 released next Saturday! In the meantime, like this post and let me know what you think in the comments.