How to Instagram: Use Photos to Engage Fans on Social Media
Instagram is an image-sharing (and editing) platform that can prove vital to your business depending on the nature of your brand. I currently work with my local DMO (Destination Marketing Organization), helping to improve their social media impact and engage viewers. Since tourists greatly depend on the visual aspect of their next visit, you best believe I'm instagramming 24/7!
Instagram allows you to best market your brand or organization through images and video. Creating visually-pleasing marketing to share on a platform where new people will find your company is key.
You can use hashtags to attract traffic and bring more people to your brand. For example: if I'm bragging about a latest blog post that I wish for more people to discover, I use relevant tags for that topic. #blog, #olympia, #travel, etc. This way, whenever someone searches for a blog, Olympia or travel, my post appears in a masterlist. If they're intrigued by my image, they are likely to find my product or site. I suggest using hashtags sparingly--it becomes messy when you use too many. Pick the most relevant.
Need to sell something? If you want to increase traffic to your site, a contest or product, or maybe you just want to inform your fans with more details about a particular theme or post on your profile, you can add a link in your profile by simply editing the profile. You are able to direct fans to the link by saying something to the effect of: "10 tips for home renovation. Link in bio!"
If you're taking a photo to market a place,utilize the "location," feature and add the place's address to a map that viewers can use to find exactly where it is. Anyone searching for photos on that location will also find you.
In addition to good marketing, you must have relatable content. Providing "behind-the-scenes," shots, so to speak. Showing your fans (and newcomers) your business' likeability, photos of your office space or casual days with your team cultivate a sense of realness. This is friendly to outsiders that have no background of your brand.
Edit, but don't edit too much. Apps such as Afterlight, whitagram, Rhonna Designs, VSCO, InstaCollage are great when it comes to tweaking photos--cropping and rotating, adjusting contrast, highlights, fade and other fun filter features. These apps are easily accessible, (mostly) free and always end up making your photos look 100x better. Be careful that you don't over-edit, however. You don't want an intense amount of saturation or most importantly: a false representation of reality.
Don't forget to re-post. A "re-post," is simply a shared photo from a different user. I use the app Repost, reposting fan photos about 2-3x per week. This makes your fans feel more involved like they have a say in your brand's vision and mission. If you request image submissions (especially in tourism fields), this is an easy way to share them.
Engagement is crucial. Once you provide all this content, you'll want to see what others are sharing about your business or others you work closely with. Collaborating and taking the time to respond and appreciate your social media visitors is key in fostering a positive reputation. Respond to comments, "double-tap," their photos (like their photos using the heart icon) and follow back when appropriate.
What are your tips for maximizing Instagram usage?