From Guest Blogger & Bowe Digital Intern, Marissa Weiner:
Like ghosts, ghouls and goblins, Instagram is feared because it’s unknown to many. Though the photo sharing app launched nearly a decade ago, many businesses remain reluctant in entering the “new” platform. Additionally, with most Instagrammers using Facebook as well, some business owners see no pressing need to join the Instagram realm if they already have an online presence on Facebook. However, if you want to reach a younger demographic, particularly millennials, creating a free Instagram account is paramount, as 71% of the app’s users are under the age of 35.
Instagram shouldn’t be spooky; it doesn’t have sharp fangs or long claws. It has red eyes, but those can be easily edited and removed. Though creating an Instagram feed followed by many may seem alien to the inexperienced user, the guide below will help your business stand out above the rest.
DO: Utilize Instagram stories to tell your story
No matter what your business is selling, your brand has a story-- consumers want to flip the pages. Did Veronica, your sales representative, just have twins? Thanks to Veronica, you’ve just gained 15 new followers. By sharing the little moments that make your company unique, people want to literally follow along. Along the way, your company builds trust and credibility, associating faces and memories to what was once just a company name and cheesy slogan.
DO: Filter your photos consistently
The word “aesthetic” seems to spew out of the mouth of every Instagram user nowadays. While building an aesthetically pleasing feed worth following may seem impossible if your company sells and manufactures toilet plungers (or title insurance), it isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Consistency is the key to Instagram fame and fortune, so it’s essential that each photo is filtered using the same preset. But b filter photos judiciously , careful not to oversaturate an image.
DO: Show company culture through Instagram’s Live Stories
It’s no coincidence that The Office is Netflix’s most watched show—broadcasting the mundanities of everyday life is appealing. Did Phil just spill his coffee for the second time this week? Kevin spilled his chili in season five episode 26 of The Office, and I’m still laughing. No, I’m not saying you should use Live Stories to bully your colleagues. Instead, use Live Stories to give consumers a real-time behind-the-scenes glimpse at the characters of your company. If your office has its own Kevin-esque character, consider yourself (and your Instagram) lucky.
DON’T: Use stock photos
Stock photos have a place in your marketing plan, but it’s not on Instagram. The photos may be better utilized on a platform like Facebook, in which an older generation is targeted. Millennials, however, will take one look at the photo of your “receptionist” and know there’s no way “Miguel” is smiling that wide on a Monday morning. Rather than finding artificial photos on Shutterstock or Pixabay, take real, in-office photos. Maybe you spend one Friday evening having a photoshoot, allowing a database of photos to be locked and loaded for future use.
Marissa Weiner is a senior Butler University student pursuing degrees in Communications and Media and English Creative Writing. She interned with Bowe Digital during the summer of 2019.