How to market your brand on Instagram



Social Media

I love Instagram – I put pictures of my pets, I follow bloggers and Youtubers I like and more importantly I follow brands I love.

Instagram is THE image social media to have. It’s a mobile app mainly, but now has a computer version. My favourite thing? To like a picture – a double tap on it will highlight the heart underneath the pic. Easy peasy!

Why as a brand must you have Instagram?

People don’t have time to read, they want quick information. Pictures are always a hit. Instagram offers brands the opportunity to share things that you wouldn’t show on your website such as a company event, an employee birthday, a sneak peak of the new collection or just a silly thing.

You want to share a picture on Instagram? Don’t forget to link this picture to your other social media channels (Facebook and twitter). Saves so much time!

Express yourself as a brand

Sharpie for example is one of the brands that embraces Instagram with a very creative marketing tactic, sharing pictures of its followers and interacting with them on a regular basis. In Sharpies bio is a quick description and a link to its website (you don’t need more than that). Sharpie also understood a crucial point of Instagram: you shouldn’t be too promotional. Promote your brand, not your products.

Instagram is a great platform to host contests and campaigns in an imaginative way. Some tips:

  • Make full use of the 15-second video (available since June 2013).
  • Post some of your followers pictures or organise a contest around a specific theme (most imaginative, funniest, etc.) Followers appreciate being noticed by the brand they love.
  • Create your own hashtag and invite people to use it.
  • Everyone loves to hashtag their pics to feel connected to the brand. Check out American clothing company, Forever21, doing just that below:

Express yourself as a brand

Think outside the box when posting pictures

A good example of this is Starbucks, who uses its logo on most of its pictures – yet the focus is elsewhere: What do people do when enjoying their coffee, where do they drink it, etc. Starbucks has 1.8 million followers and rarely promotes it’s products, just the brand.

Think outside the box when posting pictures

Think fun, creative, unusual and even controversial (beware of the latter though). What do you want your brand to represent? Who do you want to connect with?

The importance of a descriptions

Each picture must have a relevant description:

  • A quick sentence is always welcome and shows that you are connected (ask questions to your followers: Have you had a good weekend? Who’s looking forward to a holiday? Etc.)
  • Put a link to your website when relevant (don’t overdo it). Links aren’t clickable on Instagram but can easily be copied and pasted. (From an SEO perspective, these links pass no authority to search engines. However, adding links will encourage followers to visit your website.)
  • Use hashtags to make the picture easily searchable.

Improve your picture

Choose between all the filters or be a #nofilter user, it’s up to you. Instagram, contrary to a lot of social media, offers a wide range of filters to alter the photos and make them all pretty, as Disney has below. Play with the filters and if you aren’t using one, use the famous hashtag #nofilter.

Improve your picture

Instagram in stats

  • Created in 2010
  • April 2013: 100 million active Instagrammers. Sept 2013: 150 million active Instagrammers.
  • 60% of Instagrammers are outside the US
  • 16 billion photos shared
  • 1.2 billion likes
  • 5.5 million Photo shared on average a day
  • As per Oct 2013, only 23 brands in the world have reached 1 million followers.

If a cat can reach almost 1 million followers in 18 months, why cant you?