All the hip kids are doing it. And a lot of other people are, too. Photo-centric social network Instagram is becoming a huge part of many people’s daily routines, and there’s huge potential for you to get in on the action. But because of the image-heavy nature of the platform, it’s not enough to just carry over the same tactics you might already be using on Twitter or Facebook.
Here are three big tips to caffeinate your Instagram marketing strategy:
1. Create Lifestyle Content
Folks who are connecting with you on Instagram are usually looking for a “whole cloth” experience — getting their daily dose of not only what their friends are up to, but also informing their lifestyle through what they see. Instead of posting calls-to-action or blatant branding, work your products into photos that emphasize a whole lifestyle or aesthetic. Take examples like from national craft coffee chain La Colombe Coffee Roasters, which illustrate that a brand is more than a product — but rather a lifestyle.
2. Use a Semi-branded Hashtag
While some have seen mild success adding a hashtag of their own product name or company title, Instagram users respond much better when they’re invited to be a part of something that they choose. So cater to that by not overburdening your posts with tons of hashtags — or kitschy corporate ones. Instead, play to the lifestyle angle again, and create a unique experience that tangentially involves your brand.
For example, Lancaster PA-based Square One Coffee started the #AlwaysBeCoffeeing tag, and uses it on many of their posts. While their coffee is a part of the picture, the posts are usually highlighting different brewing methods or customer photos of how everyone is constantly consuming coffee.
3. Don’t Over Caffeinate We’ve all got that one friend on social media — posting eighty times a day isn’t cool, no matter whether you’re an individual or a lifestyle brand. Once a day is even pushing the limits. Remember to keep it #chill, and just like coffee: don’t overdo it. Your followers will respond better if they’re not seeing a post from you every five minutes. Make them hopeful to see what you post every few days, and reward them with choice high-quality content, rather than a flood of low-quality posts.
In moderation, you can use Instagram to tap into your audience’s sense of adventure, passion and creativity. Tread lightly, but go boldly — and you might find this new frontier to be full of rich engagement, yet to be plugged into.