By now, you no doubt will have heard of the popular photo tool Instagram. This is an app available for smartphones that allows users to add visual effects to their pictures before sharing them through social media. Recently, Instagram has also emerged as a useful business engagement tool. It has excellent digital PR potential, so here are five ways brands can use the app to increase engagement.
One great option for brands using Instagram is to hold photo competitions and encourage users to enter. The app is very easy to use and plenty of people have access to it, so there’s every chance you’ll get a good response – especially if there is an attractive prize offered for the winner. This sort of competition can also lead to greater exposure, particularly if entrants share their photos on their own social media pages.
Companies can also use Instagram pictures for their brand marketing. For example, as well as engaging a SEO agency to make sure a brand can be found in search engine results, a company could add extra appeal to their marketing with eye-catching Instagram pictures of products. These can be integrated into a social media strategy in order to encourage engagement.
Another way to encourage engagement using Instagram is to harness people power around upcoming events. By tying in with pre-defined and branded hashtags, companies can invite users to upload their own photos of the event along with the relevant hashtag thereby igniting conversation amongst your target audiences.
At the start of 2012, Instagram had 15 million users. Now it has 50 million. This rapid growth, plus the fact that many people love to share photos through social media, means that you can easily find social media users who also use Instagram. Sharing cool user photos on Facebook and Twitter can be a good way for brands to engage with new people and let them know that they’re appreciated. For instance, as well as running the more traditional photo competitions discussed above, you could get people to send in their favorite pictures on the understanding that you’ll share the best – giving your users publicity as well as helping to promote your brand.
Finally, some brands are also using Instagram to share behind-the-scenes pictures of their offices to give people more insight into what they do and to help spread a more human image of their brand.
A growing number of social media agencies are using Instagram to promote their brand, and so it’s definitely worth checking it out to see what the app could do for your company.
Author Emilie Legrand is an account executive at integrated PR, search and social media agency Punch. For further information on the online PR services that Punch has to offer, visit http://www.punchcomms.com.