Instagram content

5 Ways Brands Can Turn Instagram Audiences Into Content Heroes

August 10, 2016

Snapchat may be having its social media moment in the sun, but Instagram is still the go-to hub for users seeking quality photo and video posts. But how can brands generate the compelling visual stories their Instagram audiences really want to see and interact with? Some communicators have found a combination of community-generated content and strong audience listening skills to be a powerful solution.

On Aug. 10 at PR News’ Big 4 Social Media Summit, Treva Cooke, co-founder and partner at Blue Flame, and Marne Saunders, director of growth at Blue Flame, moderated our “How to Visualize Your Brand’s Stories With Instagram” session. Karen Do, senior manager of brand social media at Adobe, and Erin Flior, senior director of digital communications at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, shared ways they are currently leveraging and listening to their Instagram audiences to generate highly successful content.

Celebrate creativity. Karen Do shared several Adobe case studies in which the B2B used a blend of user generated content and influencers for highly successful campaigns on Instagram. Do advised: “Make sure your community is the hero. Use the platform to spotlight their work and celebrate all kinds of creativity.” She highlighted one Photoshop campaign that encouraged followers to redesign the company’s logo, giving users a chance to “show the wild, imaginative ways people use the product.”

Credit where credit is due. When reposting user-generated images to Adobe’s social channels, Do stressed the importance of attributing credit to each user. On top of being ethically and legally compliant, brands give those users a huge boost by putting the contributors’ Instagram handles in front of their (much larger) audience.

Bask in influencer afterglow. Once an influencer campaign has finished, Do advises brands to “extend existing relationships with influencers.” After running an influencer campaign in which the influencer was known for neon art, Adobe’s themed hashtag of the month was #ps_neon, encouraging users to post Photoshop work inspired by that influencer’s style and tone.

Give community influencers buy-in. During her presentation, Erin Flior recalled the moment she realized just how powerful the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s community was in their social strategy: “The day I started, I was handed a list of our community influencers.” Flior added that when running campaigns, her organization’s influencers (namely people diagnosed with cystic fibrosis and their families) had buy-in and were encouraged to sound off to the leadership team when a campaign worked or fell flat. This kind of feedback is invaluable for listening directly to the audience most relevant to a brand.

Keep it real. When simplicity is traded in for high production value, powerful emotional narratives can become ineffective. While many brands pour resources into polished, hi-res photos for their Instagram accounts, Flior warned nonprofits to avoid alienating audiences with overproduced content.

By: Sophie Maerowtiz, PR News

Follow Blue Flame: @blueflameevents

Follow Karen: @KarenDo

Follow Erin: @ErinFlior

Follow Sophie: @SophieMaerowitz

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