How to Inspire and Engage Your Audience on Instagram

Posted on May 19, 2014 
Filed Under Advertising, Brand Building, Content Marketing Strategy, General, instagram, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Social Networks, Traffic Building, Viral Marketing

Nike on Instagram

On Instagram, in addition to its primary @nike account, Nike runs other accounts including @nikebasketball, @nikefootballand @nikewomen.

nike-instagram

The question is: Why? Why the extra accounts and the extra work?

You see, the reason why @nike is so successful on Instagram lies in its understanding that being passionate about a sport means being part of a community. And Nike built communities on Instagram defined by, not country borders, but by passion; the passion of fans and athletes from around the world.

@nikerunning is, for example, perhaps one of the most successful Instagram accounts. The way it brings together everything running related and the global running community is extraordinary and gives them a reason to feel that they are part of something bigger with hashtags like #werundirty. And all of this is brought to life on Instagram, with photos and videos.

General Electric on Instagram

General Electric is an American multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut. Now if you were ask to picture what the Instagram account of General Electric looks like, first off, you would probably wonder: Does it have an Instagram account? And secondarily, you will probably visualize photos of light bulbs or videos of how a refrigerator works.

Now let’s see how wrong you are.

general-electric-instagram

The team behind @generalelectric is not here to promote appliances. Instead they are selling a bigger story; A story of powering, moving and curing the world.

Before Instagram, people didn’t know what General Electric stood for but in Instagram, the company saw the opportunity to develop an understanding for what GE does. In addition to successfully building awareness for its innovative technology, General Electric has managed to become one the most esteemed contributors to the Instagram community.

How they did it? It’s all about getting your messaging priorities to align with your business objectives and thereafter committing to a high bar for content for images posted typically once a day.

Ben & Jerry’s on Instagram

@benandjerrys is another Instagram account that deserves a special mention for the sheer way that it brings its ice cream brand to life on the social service. Focusing on things like key flavors, fun and the brand values, Ben & Jerry’s was one of the first brands to join Instagram in February 2011 and is now, one of the most successful accounts.

ben-and-jerrys-instagram

@benandjerrys is, in effect, a visual storytelling platform that connects people from all over the world.  In fact, at least half the photos that Ben & Jerry’s shares on Instagram today are from community members.

Bringing it all Together

When it comes to brands and businesses on Instagram, the key is to reach your audience through captivating imagery. To help you get started, Instagram has a very useful blog with resources and tools to inspire marketers. In addition to that, Instagram also launched The Instagram Handbook for Brands which is a good read and very helpful for businesses and brands to get a hang of what would make you successful on the online photo-sharing and video-sharing social service. In essence, The Instagram Handbook for Brands profiles 11 brands that have a lot going for them on Instagram.

But for now, let’s cover some of the things that will make your Instagram account captivating.

1. Stay True to Your Message

Your Instagram account should tell a bigger story. Instagram is not the same thing as Pinterest where you can pin anything you want. Your images should convey a clearly defined personality and voice and reflect your company’s quirky creativity.

2. Share Experiences

Like we discussed for Ben & Jerry’s, through your Instagram account, aim to offer a view into the world or lifestyle that your brand makes possible. Customer images and videos are key.

3. Find Beauty Everywhere

This is perhaps what General Electric’s Instagram account is all about. Don’t be predictable and obvious. Show how your company sees the world and make it meaningful to people.

4. Inspire Action

The best way to make it big on any social network is to build a community around your brand or business. And what better way to do that than to start a movement around your brand that will inspire people and make them feel like they are part of something big. To understand this better, check out the photos from the #runfree campaign by @nikerunning.

5. Know Your Audience

And finally, you can’t reach an audience you know nothing about. So learn what people like about your brand and understand how you can best capture the attention and imagination of your existing and potential customers.


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