#NoFilter: Leveraging Instagram to Increase Brand Recognition

With more than 200 million monthly active users and 55 million photos shared daily, Instagram has become one of the most popular social media apps today. Capitalizing on the popular trend of sharing visuals through social media, the completely photo/video based app has made the average smartphone user a skilled photographer with various editing features, including its famous filters.

Just like Facebook, Twitter, Vine and Snapchat, brands can join the Instagram community, too, and connect to their existing and potential audiences if they leverage the opportunities Instagram presents. Below are four high points from an article about Instagram in the Public Relations TACTICS October issue.

#Hashtags – Similar to Twitter, hashtags are used frequently on Instagram and are a great way to tag your content and enter it into multiple conversations. Research hashtag subjects your targeted audiences are using and incorporate those into your posts appropriately, while also branding your content with one or two unique hashtags of your own. Promote those unique hashtags across multiple platforms to bring various audiences into the conversation.

Quality over quantity – This shouldn’t be the first time you’ve heard this rule in regards to social media. If you are constantly posting irrelevant or poor content, you’re likely to be ignored or unfollowed. The same idea applies to posting on Instagram. Post images that are unique, clear and bright to start conversation and build engagement. Find your inner artistic photography skills with the app’s filters and editing options. Also, in an effort to stay relevant, but not annoying, a good rule to follow is to post once a day.

Captions are key – Take advantage of the ability to attach a caption with your photo, but make it easily digestible and conversational. Nobody wants to read your marketing material copied and pasted below every picture you post. Take this chance to show there are humans behind your Instagram account, and use a little humor when appropriate.

Identify influencers – As with other platforms, identify the people or other brands that are first adopters in your industry and engage with them. Follow them, like them, comment and share their images, as appropriate. Showing that you can play nice in the Instagram community sandbox will help spread your brand awareness.

In conclusion, post content that is visually engaging often enough to stay top of mind, but not so often that you clog people’s feeds with your brand. Stay relevant in industry conversations and differentiate yourself with hashtags. Most of all, share the love! Comment on and like your followers’ posts. Give your brand a human element by staying timely, relevant and engaging with your exiting and potential audiences.