How Brands Can Make Great Use of Instagram
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

(Image: Instagram)

Today there is so much content on the Internet and you only have seconds to catch someone’s eye.  In fact, brands are still trying to figure out the best ways to standout from the crowd. When devising your social media strategy, you should consider that visual images garner more than just attention, they drive engagement.

Enter Instagram, a rapidly growing social network acquired by Facebook in April of this year.  Instagram currently has over 100 million users. It provides a visually engaging way to display your brand to clients and influencers through a series of pictures. The company recently announced the roll out of web-profile pages, taking Instagram from a purely mobile application to a photo-sharing, web-based network. The move will give brands a public URL so they can promote and engage with limited restrictions.

Here, we look at the various ways brands can use Instagram to grow their business:

All-Access Pass

The best thing you can do for your business on Instagram is show people why they should get to know your brand. Instagram is more than just a social media tool; it is an opportunity. Gather your team and conduct a brainstorming session. During the conference, think of creative scenarios where photographs and images can highlight your product and/or service, employees, events or even the office.

Empower your Audience

Get the most out of Instagram by crowdsourcing content. Request customers upload and tag your brand when utilizing your product or service. This will not only initiate engagement between your company and your target audience, but also expose your brand to its tribes.

Tag It

A hashtag, a topic with a hash symbol (#) preceding it, is used to categorize messages. It adds metadata to your tweet. Just like its social media cousin Twitter, Instagrammers are avid users of hashtags and they are exceptionally important for searching on the platform.  Incorporate relevant hashtags– and relevant Twitter or Instagram handles–into your uploads as a means to market content to a wider audience.

Add Icons and Widgets

Direct customers to your corporate Instagram profile by adding a “Follow me on Instagram” link or icon to your corporate website, email signature, social media profiles or consumer outreach.

Share Insider Tips

People love when they are privy to insider information. With that being said, why not employ Instagram to highlight new, exclusive offerings associated with your product or service? Give visual systematic instructions on best practices or provide customers with a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your product.

Run a contest

Online contests allow prospects and clients to get more involved with your brand, as well as increases communication. The great thing about running a contest is you will also build up a beautiful collection of images that your brand can later use. It’s a win-win situation!

S. Lynn Cooper is a Washington, DC-based digital strategist and communications expert. Cooper is the founder and director of Socially Ahead, a strategic communications agency that specializes in the creation of social and digital strategies and campaign management. Follow her on Twitter at @sociallyahead.

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S. Lynn Cooper

S. Lynn Cooper started her very first company at 16 years old. More than 15 years later, she is the founder of two non-profit organizations and five distinct corporate entities. After studying at Howard University, she served the U.S. Departments of Defense, State, and Homeland Security, and was named special assistant to a US Ambassador. However, when it comes to Cooper, what is past is merely prologue. As founder and director of Socially Ahead, a strategic communications agency specializing in the training, coaching and creation of social/digital strategies, Cooper has dedicated herself to helping individuals and businesses navigate social media platforms to build better connections online.


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