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Get Noticed on Instagram – 5 Tips to Make Your Photos Pop

by Tiffany Tai
October 13, 2015

Instagram now has 400 million monthly active users, with 80 million photos posted a day. With these numbers, it’s surpassed Twitter’s active user count and continues to be the social platform of choice for millennials – making it extremely appealing to advertisers looking to reach this desirable age group.  Clearly a powerful and popular social tool for consumers and brands alike, companies are still trying to understand how to navigate this social platform. 

For B2B companies, Instagram is a way to showcase your brand, community, and culture. And with its growing user base and support of ads, it’s more important than ever to remain thoughtful and strategic when building out your company’s Instagram account.  Here are 5 things to keep in mind:

  1. Identify your objective.  Does your account serve to drive sales, or to showcase company culture? A consumer brand like Nordstrom showcases items with a direct link in their profile to buy the item, which drives sales directly from the social platform.  A digital agency or software company, however, won’t drive sales directly from Instagram. Instead, B2B companies have the opportunity to use the platform to show off their brand personality, like Huge Inc – which likes to play with its logo as a way to showcase their creative skills, and feature events and employees on their fun and popular account (with over 26k followers!)
  2. Think about your branding.  Should you incorporate color? How should your Instagram feel?  You should create a cohesive experience across your photos.  For example, you can use a filter based on your brand colors – simply select ‘highlights’ in the photo editing section. But don’t be too heavy-handed – the key is to be consistent but subtle. Done right, color can play an incredible role in the look and feel of your Instagram account, like this artist’s account here.
  3. Quality over quantity.  Yes, posting often is important, but quality is even more so.  Instagram is a highly visual platform, and struggling to post too frequently often creates pressure and potentially leads to a drop in quality.  This is even more of a requirement for advertisers, now that Instagram features ads.  Low-quality content leads to unhappy users. So keep it smart, graphic, engaging, and relevant to your followers.  Need some inspiration?  Check out how CBRE and Mail Chimp get creative.
  4. Use the grid to your advantage.  If it makes sense for your brand, you can get creative with placement and structure within Instagram’s photo grid. My favorite example of this is from Reynolds, who used the grid to create a never-ending kitchen table.
  5. Use the right hashtags.  Hashtags are important, because they immediately expand your audience beyond your followers. However, don’t use too many – the most annoying thing is to see 20+ hashtags on a post, all in an effort to get more likes and eyes on your photo.  Too many hashtags also takes away from the post and generally looks sloppy. Before you add a hashtag, do your research. Check how it’s performing and understand if it’s beneficial for your post – then you can determine which hashtags to use, and which to leave out. 

Because Instagram is still so new for B2B companies and lacks the robust analytics of Facebook and Twitter, proving ROI is tough and can be a manual process.  However, it’s still essential for B2B companies to have Instagram to showcase company brand and culture. And make it fun!  Instagram isn’t supposed to be stuffy – it’s a real way to connect to your customers, influencers, and users. If your personality doesn’t shine through, what’s the point?

So embrace the current lack of analytics, and focus on being creative.  That’s how you’ll succeed with your Instagram account.