Should Brands Play on Instagram?

  • Categories:

    Social Media

  • Date:

    September 01, 2014

Should Brands Play on Instagram?

Social Media

The most important piece of advice I can offer to brands when they engage with their target audience on any social platform is to BE RELEVANT. But, how do you know when it’s time for your brand to join a particular social network, and what can you do to remain relevant once you enter that space?

Social Networks' User Bases Are Evolving

The path to success on social media networks is constantly evolving, just like a social network’s user-base. Consider Facebook, for which the fastest growing age group is the baby boomer generation. While parents and grandparents join Facebook to reconnect with long-lost friends and share pictures of their grand-babies, the youngest age groups are flocking to the social networks that their parents and grandparents haven’t yet discovered, like Instagram.

Instagram for your brand?

Instagram, while cautiously rolling out advertising for a handful of brands, is still in its early period during which building a brand presence through visual storytelling is the most effective tactic for gaining followers and turning them into brand loyalists. Thankfully, with years of experience building Facebook communities, brands can take what they've learned – most specifically, that compelling visual content and relevant messaging is still the most important secret sauce for inspiring engagement – and apply it to Instagram.

However, it’s not enough to just post pretty pictures on Instagram, or Facebook, or in a magazine or on a banner ad. We have entered into an age of omni-channel marketing where the visual imprint of and the content surrounding your brand should tell a similar inspirational and aspirational story wherever it’s consumed. A good campaign can be sliced and diced, spun-off and reborn into a myriad of different tactics to be used across channels and networks.

So, the question to ask is probably not, “Should your brand be on Instagram?” but “When should your brand be on Instagram?” 

Deciding the exact moment for your brand to join a social network is difficult to pinpoint, but consider this: nearly 70% of the world’s top brands are on Instagram, and there are more than 200 million users posting images and joining conversations. So, as you enter into creative strategy development for 2015, be sure to consider all of the marketing channels available to you and plan accordingly. The “if you build it, they will come” mentality isn't going to make your Instagram page the hottest destination overnight, but smart hashtags that encourage conversation across online and offline platforms, plus photography that effectively tells your brand’s story, just might.

Integrating Instagram

Before you start using Instagram as an arm of your creative campaign, be sure you have a diverse team in place to handle the strategic development and tactical execution of the brand on Instagram. Combining talents from copywriting, content marketing, social media management, art direction and design might be the first step in creating a successful brand presence on Instagram.

Is your brand on Instagram? What factors made you decide to join? Let us know in the comments below.

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