Everyone knows that social media plays a key part in a business' branding strategy. The modern world has made this communication medium stand out unlike any other form developed in the last century thanks to the proliferation of internet-connected devices, accessibility and cultural significance.
While much talk about social media focuses on Facebook and Twitter, there are other mediums that are growing in popularity. Instagram is a social media network that relies on images to communicate messages to followers. Marketing managers may believe that because the social media network only uses images that it is somehow lacking in return on investment and less effective at driving branding initiatives, however, many people enjoy the tool.
According to a Fortune 500 report, 24.5 percent of the companies included on the Fortune 500 listed have Instagram accounts – 123 organizations. Of those agencies, 91 percent have made at least one post on the social media network.
Instagram has recently adopted video as other media platform for users. So far, many of the companies included in the Fortune 500 list that have accounts have not made the jump to video during the 30-day time frame examined by the report. During those 30 days, 1,792 images were posted – drastically dwarfing the only 74 videos shared on the social media network.
As companies begin to start debuting videos on Instagram and incorporating the social media platform into digital branding strategies, it will be important that a marketing manager has a modern resume that demonstrates previous experience or adaptability.
Marketers who are trying to boost branding efforts with Instagram should consider keeping these tips and tricks in mind:
1) Balance fun images with business-oriented pictures. Regardless of what industry a business is serving, it will need to attract the attention of followers with images and videos that are informative and entertaining. Instagram allows a business to create a brand identity using pictures. As the saying goes, "a picture says a thousand words," so let images communicate on behalf of the company.
Social media expert Rachel Spring told Social Media Examiner to "take advantage of the increased real estate you have with the Instagram web page to tell a story with the images. Have a healthy balance of fun images and business pictures."
2) Generate a flexible posting schedule. Some brand managers believe that creating and adhering to a strict posting schedule is the best way to get followers to visit a page consistently. However, very rarely do social media users sign on exactly the same time every day. As a result, it is beneficial to create a flexible social media plan that creates an expectation that content will be delivered, but is not so strict that when something doesn't appear, followers get agitated or wonder if something is wrong.
"You don't need to post on Instagram every day. The 'feed speed' on Instagram is still mostly laid back. If you start posting a lot, you might saturate your followers' feeds, and you don't want to force yourself into the noise too often. Decide what you have ready to post and create a schedule to help you remember what to post when and to track what is working once you get going," social media expert Carley Keenan told the news source.
3) Use hashtags. Hashtags are crucial for generating more content views in the social realm. Hashtags are organizational tools that allow people to search for keywords or phrases so that they may see what type of content shows up. This allows for images or videos to gain more views on Instagram and boosts the popularity of the brand. However, don't over use the power of the hashtag. According to research, using more than four hashtags can damage the value of the content in the eyes of search engines and make viewers believe something is spam.