Instagram has undeniably become one of the fastest growing social networks, not just for casual interaction between friends, but also for commercial entities with a story to tell. Figures reported by Social Medianews.com.au showed that in April 2013 there were more than 1.08 million users in Australia.
The Mumbrella 360 Conference had a session yesterday hosted by Douglas Nichol from The Works where they released their latest findings based on study conducted by UTS looking at Instagram usage in Australia. Some of the core findings included:
- There are significant differences between post content based on cities. Sydney Instagrammers post the most followed by Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
- The average active Australian user posts 2.3 times a week. Average of 10 photos per month
- The most popular day of the week for Instagram use is Sunday at 5pm while during weekdays the peak usage time is 8pm.
To see the top 20 most liked and commented Instagram images per state for the past month and year, and for more detailed information on the Datafication Instagram study visit http://www.datafication.com.au.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR BRANDS?
We live in an amazingly visual world, so it’s no surprise that this very visual medium is such an effective communication tool. But like marketing via any social network, success does not happen overnight. It’s worth thinking about why you want to be on Instagram and planning the content you intend to share rather than joining because of the hype.
Here are a few tips on how to use Instagram to build your brand:
- Think about your content
What is the story behind your brand? What does your brand stand for? Once you have this sorted, you can create content that clearly tells that tale. Use behind-the-scenes images, insights into event organisation, previews that might not be available elsewhere. Give people a reason to follow and interact with your brand. General Electric does a great job of this, revealing how its products are produced through fascinating photos.
While it’s possible to share Instagram content via other social media channels, do this selectively. People who follow you on multiple platforms don’t want to see the same content across all networks. Occasionally this is ok, but it’s worth thinking about generating original content that’s tailored to each platform.
Remember, you don’t need to post to Instagram on a daily basis. If you post too often you’ll oversaturate your followers’ feed and start looking like their needy best friend.
This is also not a medium that you need to think of your content like an ad. Keep the branding subtle and you’ll find you generate more interest.
- Craft your photos
There’s a huge amount of filters and apps available on Instagram to make your photos look great. Take the time to craft your photo, play around with the features and filters to create an image that’s truly memorable and maximises its impact.
- Use relevant hashtags
Love them or hate them, hashtags are an important part of Instagram. It’s the tool people use to find content that’s relevant, as well as to build like-minded followers with similar interests.
Popular hashtags: #photooftheday #igers #instagood #instalike #bestoftheday
Food hashtags: #food #instafood #foodpic #foodie
Sydney-based hashtags: #sydney #seensw #igerssydney
Wine hashtags: #aussiewine #redwine #wine #whitewine
Australian hashtags: #seensw #seeaustralia #aussiephotos #discoveraustralia #instraliagram #australiagram #bestofaustralia
According to the Datafication research – the most popular hashtags are as follows.
A few hashtag tips – don’t overuse hashtags or those that are irrelevant to your post. When posting photos to different social media networks, the hashtags may not be meaningful and confuse users.
- Pay attention to your community
Try to see Instagram as a virtual party where you’re keen to meet new people. So reciprocation is always respected. Don’t just use Instagram as an opportunity to broadcast images of your own brand. Look at who’s following you, follow them back and comment on the posts that others create. Be personable and start to make a connection with the people who are interested in you.
- Measure and monitor your following
There’s no point being on Instagram if you can’t measure the impact of your activity and then modify activity to be more effective. There are a number of tools that allow you to do this:
Statigram http://statigr.am is a big favourite – it provides statistics, comments, allows you to track followers, as well as implement photo competitions.
Simply Measured http://simplymeasured.com also produces a free Instagram analytics report. Follow on twitter to gain access:
Nitrogram also allows users to measure their community and report on Instagram analytics http://nitrogr.am
- Let people know you’re on Instagram!
Many people may not even be aware that you have an Instagram account. Post your presence on facebook, include in your newsletters and importantly put a link on your website – then encourage them to follow you.
There’s also an Instagram badge that can be added to your website or blog linking your Instagram account, encouraging more people to follow.
Joining Instagram? Follow me @trishbarry and say hi so I can follow you back.