Monday, March 18, 2013

Using Instagram to Enhance Your Brand

With the vast amount of social media tools that are available to brands today, it is common for some to get left behind the curve and collapse to their demise.  To prevent this catastrophic event from happening, there is a very popular up-and-coming social media tool that brands should start using to their advantage.  This tool is Instagram and with over 100 million users and counting, this free photo sharing app can take brands to where they want to be.

There are many fun and creative ways that brands can use Instagram to reach their audience.  The first way that brands can use Instagram is to create two-way engagement with their audience through contests.  Brands can easily develop a contest on Instagram by asking their followers to use a particular hashtag when posting a picture.  For example, in 2012 Dunkin Donuts encouraged their customers to celebrate Halloween on Instagram by using the hashtag #DresseDD,  which gave an incentive to their followers to dress their Dunkin Donuts cup up and snap a photo.  Dunkin Donuts selected their favorite photos and showcased these photos on their social media platforms.  This contest was a great way to engage with their customers and create a strong presence on Instagram.

Another way that brands can use Instagram to reach their audience is to show their products.  For example, clothing companies can use Instagram to broadcast their new apparel and give their followers a first look at their new collection.  Other companies such as food restaurants can use Instagram to show their new menu items and can give their followers a behind the scenes look as to how they create their menu items.  Instagram is an innovative tool for brands to show their products in a new and creative light.

The last way that brands can use Instagram in a creative way is to go behind the scenes.  Brands such as Nordstrom use Instagram to provide behind the scenes shots from photo shoots and commercials.  In addition to providing shots from photo shoots, brands can take pictures at events so that all of their followers can feel that they are at the event with them.

All and all, there are many opportunities for brands to thrive on Instagram.  With over 100 million users, Instagram proves to be an innovative tool for a wide variety of users ranging from celebrities such as Justin Bieber to popular companies such as Kohl’s. 
-Alexis Mortenson

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