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The Growing Appeal of Instagram

We all know Instagram is a free social platform that allows you to share pictures with your friends and followers and interact with other members of the online community–but how can it be used it to increase exposure for our clients?

Many businesses are now using Instagram as part of their PR strategy. Earlier this year, PR Daily has reported that many big brands have started using Instragram, increasing their numbers of followers exponentially.

It makes perfect sense for consumer brands to use Instagram.  It allows companies to engage with their peers and customers by sharing snapshots of their products, culture and people in an intimate and informal way. Various types of announcements that were deemed “traditional” can now be made through Instagram with maximum impact: a recent company award, launching a new product, announcing a new hire or an upcoming event can now be done in a cool and creative way through one picture. Be sure to make the photo simple. It should give off a vibe and not jam in technical details. Instagram asks for a more relaxed and visually interesting approach, or an action shot that containing more creativity than promoting things literally. Make it interesting enough to share and create a conversation. You should choose hashtags that are unique, simple and relevant to your brand. Avoid blending too many words into one hashtag  and add captions that lend humor, wit and context to your photos.

As a PR professional, I now encourage my clients to have a deeper understanding of what Instragram can do for them. I recommend pictures  that will bring out the “feel and lifestyle” of their brand, photos that will wow consumers, encourage a conversation and build a strong, loyal relationship with their community of fans and customers.

One of my hospitality clients recently launched a photo contest to get their audience excited about sharing brand-relevant photos which we put on display on their social media pages.  The context was very well received and almost doubled their database of followers.

So what do you need to do to kick-start and grow your Instagram follower base?

Here are is a list to get you started:

  • Fill out your Instagram profile completely, completing all fields
  • Tag your pictures with relevant hashtags in the comments section
  • Tag other users who are relevant to the post by typing their user name in the comments section
  • The point of a social network is to engage with others, so always like and comment on other pictures you find interesting
    • Remember to link usernames of those you are commenting to so they receive the personal notification
  • Share your Instagram activity on Facebook and Twitter

Social media experts has reported that Instagram has incredibly high user engagement rates,. More than half (57%) of Instagram users use the app on a daily basis while 35% do so multiple times a day. Instagram users are extremely loyal.

Time to jump on the Instagram wagon and give your brand another piece of that social media love!

Sandrine Sebag, Senior Vice President, Regan Communications, Hartford

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