Instagram… What?

Written by Alexa Frank, Marketing Intern

So what’s all the hype about? In 2010, Instagram was the runner-up for “Best Mobile App”. In 2011 Apple Inc. named Instagram the “App of the Year”, and from then on it has continued to grow in popularity. If you aren’t already familiar, Instagram is an online photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, apply digital filters to them, and share them on a variety of social networking services, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr.

Many people take different approaches when using this application. Some use it as an informational tool to communicate different promotions or rewards, some use it with an artsy image to display their work or where they are, many use it as a social tool to update their followers of where they are and who they’re with, and others use it for marketing purposes!

Specifically, 25% of Fortune 500 companies have an Instagram account. Together, they’ve posted over 19,009 photos and 243 videos through September 17, 2013. To put these figures in perspective, Instagram reaches over 150 million monthly active users and it has achieved this in less than 3 years. On average, these users together share about 55,000 photos per day. Think about how powerful this visual content could be considering about 83% of learning is visual. So how can your company take advantage of this social media platform?

Our TWO Sense: Instagram... What?

There are many trends we’ve seen take place among Fortune 500 companies interaction with Instagram. One tip we can learn from them is to stay active. Like any other social media platform, you need to actively use Instagram to gain the benefits of being present there. Furthermore, you can boost your Instagram presence with a focused effort including a regular schedule of posting and promotion process.

Instagram’s recent video ability has proven to be an even bigger opportunity than photos may be. Why? Because it’s new, so it is relatively easier to gain traction in this category since there aren’t true leaders yet.

Try brainstorming an interesting way in which you can use a short video to build your offering… get creative! It has also proven effective to use Instagram for follower engagement. This could be a great opportunity to get potential customers interested in your offering. But make sure you make it easy for followers to act. Provide content they want to share and talk about.

With all of these new tips on Instagram, you’re almost ready for action. But there’s one last thing you need to learn about… hashtags. A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) and used to identify messages on a specific topic. This is a way for people to search for certain topics. By using trending hashtags you can bring more attention to your Instagram. But, hashtags are to be used with caution. Too many can have a negative impact so try to keep it between 4-5 to maximize your Instagram interactions.

Now… Ready… Set… Go!

Happy Marketing!