Instagram might be your little cousin’s favorite app to use, but that doesn’t mean that it is not critical for your budding new business as well. We have transitioned into an interactive digital age where consumers no longer want to be talked at by brands and companies. They want to interact with them and feel like they have a voice as well. Companies now need to have a persona beyond their traditional media messaging.
To accommodate this transition in media consumption, companies (especially young companies) are learning that a strong brand needs to share relevant content on social networks. According to Web Marketing Group, if you want to put a piece of content in front of someone, 40 percent of people will respond better to visual information than plain text, so Instagram is perfect for this.
Smart brands are establishing engaged communities that go beyond the office door. Showcasing engagement within the office promotes it outside the office. When your public can see that your employees enjoy doing what they do, and that what is going on inside the office is fun and worth sharing, that is intriguing to them.
Every single second, Instagram gains a new user. In that same second, existing users upload 58 photos, comment on 81 photos, and link 575 photos. The goods and services that your company provides might not cater to being shared as photographs, but all companies can share what kind of place they are- their values and culture. Take people behind the scenes. Does your startup have a stand-up meeting every morning? Or cool company swag? Instagram was designed to make your photos beautiful, so use the filters to your advantage and make mundane daily business look that much more dramatic.
Following is a list of young startups that are doing Instagram right.
Why it’s a great account: HubSpot is a marketing software company that doesn’t necessarily have an exciting product to post pictures of, but they still manage to post exciting material that encourages engagement. They do a fantastic job of showcasing company culture using hashtags like #WaffleWednesday, and regularly host photo contests to engage followers. They recently leveraged all the snow up North and hosted a flash contest for the best #HubSnowedIn picture. They received more than ten entries in two hours, and each post received upwards of 100 likes.
Why it’s a great account: As a company, Everlane is all about transparency in the creation of their clothing line, and they have expertly refined this voice on their Instagram account. Their account shows behind-the-scenes images of the design and production process, as well as snapshots from photoshoots. They also do a great job of using hashtags to curate user-generated content. Their most recent campaign is based on the #myeverlane hashtag and has been successful because it plays off the fact that users are already using Instagram to showcase their personal style.
Four Barrel Coffee
Why it’s a great account: Visually, this small coffee roasting company has Instagram curation down to a science- all of their photos are in black and white, creating a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing montage. Similarly to Everlane, this San Francisco-based company uses their account to tell the story behind their product. They meticulously document their product sourcing process by detailing trips to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Their lengthy captions tell the stories of their producers, as well as harvest processes and bean flavors, resulting in a fascinating account for any coffee aficionado.
Why it’s a great account: Bonobos uses its followers as models. Fans submit images of themselves wearing Bonobos clothing, which the company then promotes on its Instagram account. Using customers as a key element to its social media marketing campaigns encourages brand engagement and likes. Additionally, many posts that a brand is going to make on Instagram won’t necessitate a traditional location tag, but that doesn’t mean that space needs to go to waste. Bonobos creatively uses Instagram’s geo-tagging feature by utilizing the space for additional messaging and calls-to-action, as seen above.
Why it’s a great account: The two-year-old eyewear company has a small but rabid fanbase and its Instagram account shows off the glasses without looking like a catalogue. The image above perfectly demonstrates their Instagram strategy—presenting a cool image that also subtly advertises the glasses. Warby Parker’s account also offers insight into what the company and its employees are like. It showcases their interests in books, favorite places to dine and amazing scenery from the company travels.
Why it’s a great account: Though they have recently become a household name in the photography and adventure travel world, GoPro is still a relatively young company. As a photography product, it might seem like GoPro has an unfair advantage in the Instagram game. But that doesn’t mean that the company has slacked off. With a treasure trove of user-generated content at the ready, GoPro has become a digital marketing powerhouse. To competitively curate all of this content and go a step further, GoPro gamifies the submission of user-generated content through their “photo of the day” and “video of the day” contests. These posts regularly receive thousands of engagements. Most importantly, GoPro doesn’t use Instagram to sell their product; they use it to celebrate a lifestyle of adventure- their brand message.