Learn the ins and outs of Instagram, and see examples of brands successfully engaging users on this image-driven platform.
Price Thomas: It's your lucky day, Internet. I'm back, this time to talk about Instagram, one of the fastest growing social channels with 200 million active users and 60 million photos uploaded daily. Now, to present, there's no best practice for the timing or daily number of posts. But with 75 million users visiting the platform at least once a day, it's vital for brands to establish a posting rhythm and stick to it.
Instagram gives users the opportunity to express themselves visually, to instantly share experiences with their followers. The nearly fully mobile functionality is important for brands because it allows them to be everywhere their fans and followers are via mobile devices and engage these audiences in real time. Instagram offers active brands different ways to appeal to these audiences. For example, Red Bull posts visually stunning images of people participating in extreme sports, eliciting the feelings of adventure and excitement that accompany the Red Bull attitude.
For other brands, Instagram creates an avenue for them to encourage users to share their authentic experiences with products. Some studies indicate that Instagram users crave off authenticity, trusting customer photos more than retail photos, with Instagram-style images garnering more engagement and conversion than glossy product shots. Some of the most successful brands achieve this authenticity by taking photos that appear unbranded, while others curate images from users.
Brands source these user-generated images in two ways, either ask users directly in the comments if the content can be re-purposed or they create specific hashtags for users to include with their photos. This content can extend even further than Instagram with some brands choosing to integrate these photos on their website as shoppable product images. Urban Outfitters provides a great example of this with their hashtag #UOONYOU campaign, posting user photos on their Instagram page and creating a reel of images on their site.
Brands use hashtags for more than simply these user-generated content campaigns. They also give brands the ability to reach new broader communities and link branded hashtags to, and participate in, larger unbranded conversations, such as #tbt (throwback Thursday), #instafood, #ootd (outfit of the day), and #mcm (man crush Monday). Recent studies also show that posts with at least one hashtag garner about 13% more engagement when compared to those without.
That's all I've got this time. Make sure to check out RKGJobs on Instagram, and as always, subscribe to the RKG Blog and our Youtube channel, RKG Digital for more industry-leading digital marketing content. Check back with us soon. George will be in to discuss Instagram ads. A hundred likes, awesome.