Tips to Make Instagram Your Most Effective Social Channel
Instagram really become your associationís most popular social site?
continues to grow with more than 300 million
monthly active users, and those users spend more time on that social
network than almost anywhere else.
to a fall 2014 poll from Cowen and Company, people spend an average of 20 minutes
per day on Instagram. Only Facebook and Tumblr rank higher (42.1 and 21.2
the network has larger ambitions: Taking over Twitterís position as the go-to
source for information. Kevin Systrom, co-founder and CEO of Instagram, says, "Itís
a 100 percent visual experience that is more efficient than TV.Ē
goal could quickly become reality. Recent updates to the social networkís real-time Search and Explore
functions have made searching and, more importantly, finding visual content
effortless and immediate.
can you leverage the changes to make Instagram your associationís most
effective social channel? Consider these 10 tips from Cision, which make it
easier to be found, followed, and talked about.
1. Know your objectives. Why does your association want to be on Instagram? Is it
to attract a new audience through visual storytelling? Monitor breaking news?
To engage more with existing members?
sure Instagram efforts fit into the larger strategy by answering those
questions before installing the app and setting up a brand profile. Objectives
keep the brand on target and meet bottom-line expectations.
2. The profile is a call to action. Think of the profile as free advertising space. Fill it with an easily identifiable
avatar, like the associationís logo or flagship publicationís logo. Use keywords
and hashtags in the bio.
the website link to your advantage, too. This is your only chance to use a URL
on Instagram as posts donít allow for live links. You can change it whenever
you want, making it a great place to post a link to a new association-sponsored
event or content.
3. Target engagement efforts. To grow followers fast, search locations, people,
and hashtags important to your association. "LikeĒ photos and leave personalized comments ó it pays off. According to Iconosquareís 2015 Instagram Study, 65 percent of
respondents would feel flattered or honored if a brand were to like one of
their posts, and flattered Instagrammers respond in with brand love.
4. Engage in current trends and breaking news. Monitoring has gotten infinitely
easier with Instagramís improved search. Now you can search across people,
places, and hashtags all at the same time. Look for the trends and news
relevant to your association and its industry, and leverage them.
5. Partner with an event or influencer. How did Louis Vuitton generate 286,000 engagements and gain 265,000
followers with only six photos in the first two weeks of June? The answer is
found in partnering well and capitalizing on Instagramís updated search engine.
first photo the brand shared was of celebrity Nick Jonas wearing a Louis
Vuitton suit at the Tony Awards. It was a triple-hitter effort. The brand
employed location, hashtags (#TonyAwards), and people. In turn, Jonas reposted
the photo to his own feed and tagged Louis Vuitton. The combination of factors
caused traffic and interactions to spike. The same strategy can work for your
6. Get employees to engage socially. This tactic works regardless of whether your
brand is B2B, B2C, or a nonprofit. Employees often are your best advocates. Find out which
employees are already active on Instagram. Give them official hashtags and any
other resources they need ó for example, best practices for tagging,
geolocation, and social media policies. Then step back and let them do what
they do best: Tell your story.
7. Use only the best photos. You can share almost any visual or 15-second video to
Instagram and see a small lift in traction. But if you want a larger following
and higher engagement, focus on high-quality imagery. Invest in a tripod to get rid of the
"shakyĒ syndrome, take your time capturing the just-right photo, and use apps
like VSCO and Instagramís
Layout to easily edit and arrange your images
8. Hashtag your heart out. Hashtags remain the most common way to tag and search for
subjects on social networks, but itís easy to go a little overboard. Categorize
hashtags by "essentialĒ and "complementary.Ē Make sure essential ones, such as
those tied to a specific PR campaign, are always used, and then supplement with
others as needed. Iconosquare finds that 53 percent of posts have at least
one hashtag; only 20 percent have more than six. Fall within that range, and
you should be good to go.
9. Itís all about location. Instagramís updates emphasize location, so itís a best practice to geotag photos. Like
your profile, the location tag is free real estate. Use it to your associationís
10. Ask people to follow you. Beyond leveraging your membership as an existing
audience, one way to grow it is through a cross-channel promotion. Ask email
subscribers and fans on other social networks to follow the Instagram account.
Itís a simple thing to do, but it works.
is growing fast, but you wonít be left in the dust with these 10 tips. Use them
to grow your presence and turn the network into your associationís most effective
social channel yet.
with permission from Cision