In March, Instagram announced that they had surpassed 27 million registered users. That number is incredibly high considering the app was only available on iPhones. Instagram just recently launched on Android, and the app was downloaded over a million times in the first day.
Instagram allows users to add filters, share beautiful photos, comment, like, hashtag, @reply, see popular pictures and follow friends, celebrities and brands. Instagram feels intimate as users are now getting a glimpse into someone’s life. Brands should be ready for the shift towards Instagram. Justin Bieber was the first Instagram user to hit one million followers. He is just one of many celebs and brands that have jumped on the Instagram bandwagon. Some social media bloggers are saying that Instagram is the new Twitter.
Kevin Systrom, co-founder of Instagram says, “At the end of the day, people are really excited about Instagram and they’re not excited about it because it makes your photos look beautiful. They’re excited because it networks people across the world and it’s the single fastest growing thing in mobile, period.” Systrom said. “It’s Facebook-level of engagement that we’re seeing.” We recently heard breaking news that Facebook purchased Instagram for 1 billion.
Instagram will only be growing, so here are some tips to help your brand utilize this social media obsession.
- Show off your products. Instagram is a great platform to showcase your products. Starbucks does a really great job of posting drinks, new gift packages and photos of their customers. This makes for great photos and excitement about the product and brand.
- Company Culture. Give followers a glimpse into your company’s culture. This allows followers to get a feel for your employee’s personalities. Posting these types of photos also allows followers to connect with your brand on a deeper level.
- Add filters and frames. Instagram allows users to add filters, which can make photos more striking, artistic and interesting. Frametastic is a great app that you can download to place multiple photos in one post. The Los Angeles Lakers use this app to show off their celebrity fan base in one post.
- The same rules apply. Just like Twitter, Instagram allows users to hashtag and @reply to generate more activity on their profile. Instagram is great for user generated content competitions. National Geographic utilizes the hashtag #Natgeohub for their photo contest, and re-posts the winner’s photo. Also keep in mind the posts need to be timely and consistent. NBC News does a fantastic job of posting photos quickly and uses relevant hashtags.
- Give followers a sneak peak. Make your Instagram profile worthwhile for followers. Give them a behind-the-scenes look with photos posted exclusively on Instagram. This will make followers excited to see your photos. MTV and Topshop post exclusive photos, which translates into higher engagement.
Check back for more social media marketing tips!