How many selfies have you posted on social media during the past week? Or maybe the better question is, how many selfies have you seen posted on social media during the past week?
Photos are a great way to engage your audience and provide feeling in a way that written content can’t. Photo-sharing sites like Instagram provide a way to tell the story of your brand through pictures. If you’re trying to use more pictures in your marketing efforts, check out these ideas for adding Instagram to the mix.
8 ways to use Instagram for your brand
1. Take a handful of pictures at one time
It’s not always easy to remember to post a picture a day, but if you’re committed to boosting your photo content, think about snapping those pictures in bulk. Photos can be of the same event or of a series events that you have in one day. Use these photos to post throughout the week or month on your Instagram account and other social media sites (this strategy works well for Facebook photo albums, too).
2. Ask your team to pitch in
Two heads are better than one, so get your team involved! Ask others in your office, on your board or event clients to submit pictures of the work they’re doing that supports your company’s mission. Even better: If they are on Instagram, grab their handle so that you can tag them in posts and/or thank them for their photo contributions.
3. Integrate hashtags
Hashtags have come a long way since Twitter. Use them on Instagram as a way to spread a message, influence others and be a part of other like-minded conversations. For example, our client HEARTS for Families uses Instagram pictures with the hashtag #BeTheWall to encourage adults and others to “be the wall between youth and alcohol.” The organization encourages others to post their pictures on the app using the hashtag as a way to show camaraderie and community support.
4. Use inspirational quotes
Are you one with words? Does your CEO have clever, witty phrases that are fun to share? Is there a quote that fits with your brand’s message? Turn those quotes into inspirational photos. If you have access to graphic design software, it’s easy to use Photoshop or Illustrator for such creations. Or, check out a free tool such as InstaQuote to help you out and post directly to Instagram.
5. Share your surroundings
See something that inspires you? I nice sunrise? A beautiful sunset? Flowers in bloom? Take a quick snapshot of something that makes you feel grateful or puts an extra spring in your step that day. This can be inspiration for your audience, too. Combine your post with a hashtag such as #Grateful #Thankful or #Inspiration for an added touch.
6. Promote good deeds
See someone helping others? Snap a picture! Get your artistic side involved by snapping these pictures in a way that doesn’t identify the people you’re taking a picture of (unless you know them and they’re cool with it, then by all means, include their faces!) For example, snap a picture of the back of heads or from a bottom-up angle such as all the feet…running…etc.
7. Give a sneak peek
Who doesn’t love a good behind-the-scenes snapshot? Post pictures as teasers of products or projects you’re working on. Selfies could come in to play here, too! Be creative and think outside the box–what might seem like an ordinary day to you in the office might be a fun “sneak” to give your audience.
8. Showcase products
Think about clothing lines, R&D departments, a messy desk…anything that showcases your actual products and how they’re used on a daily basis. Retailers do this well by snapping pics of their employees wearing the clothing lines. Sports companies do this well by showcasing their products in use. Sometimes a little show-and-tell is what your customers are looking for.
Don’t forget video
There are two great features on Instagram that brands shouldn’t forget: The 15-second video post and Hyperlapse. Both video options are great ways to showcase fun features about your brand. Share a recipe, create a Top 10 list, showcase your staff. Video is a great way to add more personality into your posts.
As with many social media channels, there are a handful of tools you can use to help schedule your Instagram posts as well. Check out some of the Instagram scheduling tools to lighten your content load.
What are some ways that you’ve used Instagram to showcase your company or brand? Share in the comments below!