By: Maha Chaudhry, Social Media Explorer
May 3, 2017
Instagram now has over 400 million daily active users, making it the fastest growing social media platform of the moment.
Given that swelling volume of activity, the marketing opportunities on Instagram abound, so your brand needs to put its best foot forward. Making the most of your brand’s presence on the platform all starts with elevating your feed through such best practices as visual consistency, user-generated content and on-point messaging. Here are three tips to keep in mind:
1. Establish Your Aesthetic
It’s vital to have a uniform look and feel to your Instagram feed to strengthen your brand identity. That can be difficult, unless you’re posting the same type of images over and over again (which isn’t recommended). You can easily overcome this issue by establishing a visual theme to your profile. Make sure to incorporate your brand color often, like cosmetics brand Glossier does with its signature pink shade. For images that don’t feature your go-to hue, establish a few filters to rely on—they’ll add some consistency to the coloring of your feed.
2. Make the Most of User-Generated Content
Let’s face it, content creation at scale is no easy task, especially for visual content. One way to lessen the load is by crowdsourcing from your audience. Incorporating user-generated content into your Instagram strategy not only saves time but also boosts engagement.
Target has done an incredible job at streamlining the process of utilizing their customers’ content, such as in the above post, which originated with Target shopper @GirlAboutColumbus. Most notably, Target regularly encourages customers to tag images of their Target purchases with #TargetFinds and #TargetStyle. This creates a sense of community and also streamlines the pool of potential reposting content for Target’s social media team. If your brand is interested in this approach, be sure to get reposting permission from the original Instagrammer and give credit where credit is due (the last thing your brand needs is legal trouble).
Learn more about Instagram at The Social Shake-Up, which will be held May 22-24, 2017, in Atlanta. Brand communicators from Coca-Cola, Dunkin’ Donuts, Nissan, Microsoft, Arby’s and many more will speak on a breadth of topics from content marketing to measurement to Snapchat strategy.
3. Don’t Throw Away Your Caption
While Instagram is a visually-driven platform, that doesn’t mean you should neglect the text that accompanies your images. The caption, though not the star of the show, is another opportunity to reinforce your brand’s messaging. Diner chain Denny’s does not disappoint in this department. It pairs appetizing photos of its food with fun and quirky captions in line with the diner’s unique brand voice.
Adding hashtags to your caption can also raise the visibility of your Instagram posts. A study by marketing analytics company TrackMaven found that Instagram posts with nine hashtags perform best in terms of engagement. To avoid cluttering your caption with all those hashtags, prep your caption in a text-based document before you post so you can add some line spaces in between the text and hashtags.