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Cheat Sheet: Instagram for Marketing and PR

Instagram offers a wholly mobile platform that has demographics distinct from its parent company Facebook, which bought the social network in 2012. The photo and video social network allows users – both people and brands – to share photos and 15-second videos called “Instavids.”

The People

Instagram boasts 150 million users. According to Pew Research Center, 53 percent of Internet-using young adults (18-29 year olds) use Instagram. An odd twist to the story, substantial overlap occurs between Instagram and Twitter user bases, a phenomenon that may be explained by both networks’ predominance on mobile devices.

Want to increase your Instagram account’s effectiveness? Get our free tip sheet today!

The Challenges

Instagram is for shared visual experiences. Brands will need to give some control to their followers in order to increase awareness, engagement and other activity.

The Tips

Instagram-Hashtags
1. Think quality over quantity.

2. Think device diversity, not exclusivity. Instagram may be wholly mobile, but use that factor to complement and broaden the reach of your other content to smartphones and tablets.

3. If you don’t have a strong visual product, you can still use Instagram. Follow the example of American Express. An Instagram of a credit card isn’t attractive, but one featuring the latest exploits of the mysterious CF Frost? In the words of Mastercard, “priceless.” Other ideas include showing outtakes at your business or ways you’re giving back to the community.

4. Don’t forget the hashtag. Clever captions may earn you comments and fan love, but hashtags will help your content get found. In addition, hashtags are paramount if implementing a user-generated content campaign as Starbucks, Chobani, and other brands do.

5. Instagram isn’t just for photos. Instagram has added videos and, more notably, some decent video editing capabilities. If you want to share more polished videos than you can with Twitter competitor Vine, Instagram deserves a look.

6. Instagram is participatory. Encourage customers to share photos of your products and to use your company’s hashtag in the photo’s description. Then reward customers by “regramming” the best ones.

7. Instagram does a fantastic job of providing guidance to businesses, so make sure to check out the company’s blog.

Want more Instagram advice? Get “10 Tips to Make Instagram Your Most Effective Social Channel” today!

Images: Ken WaltonMichael Coghlan (Creative Commons)

About Brian Conlin

Brian Conlin is a content marketing manager for Cision. A former journalist, he enjoys researching and developing accessible content. When not writing, you will find him watching baseball and college basketball, sampling craft beer and enjoying Baltimore. Find him on Twitter @BrianConlin13.

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