Instagram has received a lot of attention from the marketing and PR sectors. No surprise there; Instagram use continues to rise while more stalwart social networks have more or less plateaued.
How can Instagram integrate into your brand’s PR efforts? Consider these six ideas.
1. Showcase your products.
If you’re in the business of selling a product or service, consider showing it on Instagram. Don’t use product shots; much like Etsy, images on Instagram need to be aspirational. Save the product photos for the datasheets and technical specifications – unless, of course, some of those technical pieces are fascinating. They certainly are in GE’s case.
Implement a user-generated campaign, be it part of an influencer outreach program or one targeted to your general audience. Ask people to share photos of how they’re using a product or how a service impacts their day-to-day lives. You’ll engender interest and conversation.
2. Introduce the new employee.
Your product or service may not be the easiest thing to capture visually, but have no fears. Use Instagram to share your work culture. Introduce new employees. Show them in action.
Make your visual story come alive with an anecdote or quote from the new hire. Also remember to tag the employee if he or she is on Instagram. They’ll engage with the photo and likely share it with friends and family.
3. Celebrate milestones and awards.
Don’t go overboard with sharing milestones and awards, but do consider celebrating them. A new store opening is the perfect opportunity. It allows you to both celebrate and share information about the location, thereby increasing awareness and interest.
Go outside the proverbial box when sharing milestones and awards. Show an award being hung on the CEO’s wall. Share the celebration that occurs within the workplace, especially if it involves confetti or Post-It notes.
4. Raise awareness about social causes and issues.
Humane shelters have a longstanding relationship with Instagram, but they aren’t the only organizations that can take advantage of the medium. Show how your brand benefits beneficiaries – kids playing sports, being mentored by local youth, et cetera.
Visuals are more memorable than text. If you show the impact your organization has on the local community, you’ll see awareness and support increase.
5. Focus on the culture.
Companies aren’t the only brands with a culture; educational institutions have them, too. Consider the difference between Texas A&M and the University of Florida. They each have different cultures, which means they can each use Instagram to show off their schools and attract donors and new students.
Go behind the scenes. Show or record the marching band at practice. Capture a mentoring moment between a coach and player. Share an interaction between cafeteria staff and students.
6. Make your event the must-attend event.
Events are the PR pro’s best friend. Instagram complements the traditional tactic well; the visual-social network can be used to promote the event before, during, and after it. Pre-event prep work can entice people to attend. Event photos – plus the requisite hashtag! – give people something to follow and talk about during the event. Post-event photos can build camaraderie and establish interest in attending next year.
Showcase post-event photos outside Instagram. For example, curate user-generated photos and assemble the best ones in a blog post or digital photo album. Mention the people who were included in the work to generate views and social shares.
How are you using Instagram to support your PR efforts? Let us know!
Image: Jason Howie (Creative Commons)