5 Instagram Tips to Boost Your Brand

Instagram is the perfect tool to bring out your brand’s personality and connect with customers. By using creative photo and video content, you can effectively inspire customers to use your product or service by providing tangible examples of it in use. Here are 5 quick tips for enhancing your posts!

1) Showcase your products in aspirational ways.

MEC, a Vancouver-based provider of outdoor clothing and equipment, is a prime example of how to use Instagram to inspire users to seek out your products. I mean, just look at the image below:

Here’s a little Monday morning motivation to help inspire your upcoming long weekend plans! 📷: @brookewillson

A photo posted by Get expert advice at mec.ca (@mec) on

 

You want to go camping now, am I right? Showcase your products or services in action – in the ideal way that they could be used. The above image works, because it evokes a strong, positive emotional response that fuels the desire to camp/explore. While there is no clear linkage to a particular MEC product, this Instagram post effectively demonstrates MEC’s leadership in providing products that inspire and enable customers to lead active outdoor lifestyles. Seek to catalyze the action you want, by demonstrating how rewarding an experience with your product or service can be. (For another best practice example, see Starbucks’ Instagram feed – warning, you’ll probably want an iced Americano – or four – afterwards.)

2) Use “Locations” to create a call-to-action

Want to encourage users to visit a landing page or website? Until Instagram rolls out their call-to-action buttons – which are currently being tested – you’ll need to be a bit creative to highlight calls-to-action (outside of text overlay on your graphic or using image description space). Social Media Examiner provides this helpful tip for using the “Location” space to create a call-to-action:

Tap Add Location and a pop-up asking you to turn on location services will appear. Press Cancel, and then tap the Find or Create a Location search bar. Then, type in your CTA. Instead of a CTA, you can also just input your company’s URL. Click Create a Custom Location.

instagram tip

3) Hash(tag) it out.

Want to make sure your Instagram post is seen? Hashtag it out. While I would caution against creating a hashtag habitat (30 or more) at the bottom of your post, Instagram is a unique platform where upwards of 10 hashtags is A-OK.  Just make sure the ones you use are, in fact, relevant to your product and the audience you are trying to reach. Need help coming up with some highly-searched hashtags? Check out this TagForLikes tool (just be sure you remove the #TagsforLikes hashtag that is auto-generated for each suggestion).  

4) Give exclusive behind-the-scenes content.

Ever watched four back-to-back episodes of “How It’s Made” on Discovery Channel (No judging!)? Mesmerizing, right? 22 mins spent watching something you never thought to question. (Seriously – do yourself a favour and watch the Youtube video on how contact lenses are created, and you’ll get what I mean.) People love behind-the-scenes content, and Instagram is the perfect channel through which to give customers an idea of how your company operates. Put a face on your brand by showcasing your employees at work or how your product is made. One company that successfully puts this into practice is Lululemon, which regularly features employees at work or doing team building exercises, such as in the post below:


5) Re-post user-generated content

Are users already posting about your products/services on Instagram? Maybe you’ve incentivized users to submit photos using a hashtag with an Instagram contest, or they’ve simply tagged your handle or used a product-related hashtag. Utilize this content by re-posting it on your Instagram feed! To do this, you can either use an app, such as Repost, or simply right-click and save the image through Iconosquare and tag the user who took it in the image description (just be sure to also be sure to contact the uploader for permission). There’s nothing better than a happy customer advocating for your product or service, so be sure to extend the reach of their message by highlighting it on your brand’s channel. As an added bonus, highlighting customer content will often catalyze other users to contribute.

Bonus: Remember the basics.

As with all platforms, remember the basics:

  • Fully complete your handle profile
  • Respond to and thank commenters (try for 5/day)
  • Cross-promote your posts on other platforms (feature on Twitter & Facebook)
  • Vary posting times to gauge hours of highest interactions (be sure to aim for non-working hours, such as weekends, after-work, lunch break, or when your product/service would be used)
  • Experiment with different post types (graphics, images with text, long descriptions, short descriptions etc.)

What Instagram tricks do you use to make your posts stand-out? Post in the comments below!

  • Great post Kathryn – Thanks for including our post from SM Examiner! I love your tip about reposting user generated content. Awesome insight.