Your Instagram Game Plan: 3 Must-Dos

Posted by on April 15, 2014 in Social Media [ 0 Comments ]

Instagram_Icon_LargeTwo-hundred million users – who doesn’t want a piece of the Instagram pie? And accordingly, you started by posting a photo of Richard, your eager-to-please admin assistant, as he poured coffee at Monday’s all-hands-on-deck meeting. Okay, so it didn’t exactly go viral, and your first foray into Instagram might have been a tad anti-climatic.

Don’t get discouraged; that’s what we expect with a hit and miss approach. Instead, try developing a focused and achievable game plan. Keep it simple:  If you implement these 3 strategies and nothing more, you will be ahead of the curve.

Related: Is Bigger Better? Not on Social Media

1. Employee recruitment and retention

A big driver for employees is cultural fit. Is there a good balance between work and family? What are your company’s core values? Use Instagram to demonstrate your company’s humanity and authenticity (Tweet This).

  • Have your employees pose for a photo holding signs of their employment dates. One photo can speak volumes.
  • Provide behind-the-scenes insights into your company, culture, and people: photos that capture your company’s essence. Let employees snap photos for your Instagram feed, offering your followers a more intimate and personal perspective.
  • If you’re a startup or have recently launched new products, Instagram is a great way to show potential employees that your company is on the rise (Tweet This).
  • If your company has a solid track record in town, use historical photos to give your followers a sense for the company’s evolution over the years.
  • Highlight volunteerism and specific issues and causes that your team cares about. Employees want more than a paycheck. In order to be fully engaged, they need to achieve a sense of higher fulfillment.

2. Brand Storytelling

Stories are an important part of marketing. They communicate emotion, catalyze engagement, and move customers to action. Storytelling has been around for ages, but Instagram has made brand storytelling much more accessible and immediate. Telling your story through visuals on Instagram will entice fans to follow along.

Related: Social Media Platforms to Transform Your Marketing Efforts

Businesses can use Instagram to escort their followers through a visual brand journey. One photo may not be enough – use a collage of photos to tell your story (Tweet This). At the heart of your story are your customers. On Instagram, your brand is not the leading man. It’s not? The hero is your customer. And your brand, as far as storytelling is concerned, is the wise sage who understands the hero’s needs and helps him on his journey. As they say, it’s not about you – well it is, but it’s really about your customers, which is another reason not to overdo it with product-centered photos.

3. Contests

Instagram photo contests are easy to implement. The benefits include increasing your followers and their engagement with your brand.  Adding a voting element to your contest encourages contestants to share their entries with everyone they know, creating a multiplier effect.

Content Implementation Tips:

  • Make it fast and easy for the contestants.
  • Make your products the prize (Tweet This).
  • Weekly contests build anticipation and expectation. A short contest time-frame creates a sense of urgency.
  • Use a contest specific hashtag.
  • Don’t forget your call-to-action
  • Promote the winners on their Instagram feeds.

Periodically check your contest data and analyze it for trends and insights. Third-party apps provide reports on how people are interacting with your brand on Instagram. As you move forward, use this data to adjust and optimize your Instagram game plan.

Related: Social Customer Service on the Rise: Are You Taking Advantage?

For more guidance on Instagram, I refer you to the official Instagram for Business blog. And remember, adjust your expectations; building a sustainable brand requires persistence. It might be called Instagram, but true engagement takes time and effort, and, at least initially, is anything but instant.

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