Five Instagram Tips Part 10

Let’s try to keep this going (talking to myself). Weekly Instagram tips are back on the top of my list, so hope these ones are once again helpful/useful for you.

Instagram has gained a lot of traction in the past year. And even though I’m still a big fan of the platform, I also notice how hard it is to interact with your audience on Instagram. And even though that might be just what some are looking for, being social on social media is key to it’s success for most. Or ROI as you will, as most companies have to make sure they see a Return On Investment (of time/manpower). While people most of the time people hardly question the use of the telephone or email, they do with social media, as most of it see it as another marketing tool. But how priceless is it really to interact with your fans and followers? Here’s a tool that let’s you interact with your past/present/future consumers, isn’t that good for your business/brand in the long run? And a picture tells a 1000 words, so let the photo do the initial talking, and then jump in later for the interaction.

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1. Promote your name/brand hashtag & the other “branded” hashtag

Assuming people will find you and know what hashtag(s) you want them to use is not easy in a day and age where so much is going on. You can blame that on the smartphone and social media for most of it, but you can use this in your own advantage. Adapt or die right?

So promote your brand name as as hashtag in all your other marketing efforts (print ads, back of a sticker, on a sign during events, via your sponsored athletes, your employees, retailers, etc) and of course in your Instagram (and Twitter) profile. This is the gateway to your brand/name for most people. So at the first point of contact you have a change to explain who you are, and what you want your audience to use when the post something about you.

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Since you can only see the last 50 likes/tags on Instagram, it’s hard to keep track of the people that tag you. So here is where the hashtags come in handy. I totally get that you want to promote #yourbrand, but most people might now want to use that all the time. This is where your slogan or campain tagline comes into play. Make sure the 2nd hashtag does NOT contain your brand name. It looks tacky and it shows that you are trying to hard. When people really start to use this it will become synonymous with your brand name.
Best example, in skateboarding, is the Nike SB hashtag #skateeverydamnday. Other good examples are #theyturnandstuff (from Krux trucks) and #skatemore (from DVS Skateboarding).
As I’m writing this (May 2013) the hashtag #skateeverydamnday has been used more than 300,000 times on Instagram. It’s used by a lot of skateboarders around the world, even by some who are sponsored by other shoe brands. That’s when you known it’s a real success. Which die hard skateboarder wouldn’t want to tell the world he/she is skating “every damn day”?

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2. Interact with your 2 main hashtags
So now that you have people using your #notthebrandname hashtag, as well as the #brandname hashtag, you have a chance to reach out and interact with these people. And I know this might get full-time job (hint?), but people will go crazy if their favorite brand/famous person will “like” their photo. Or even better, will leave a comment on the photo. Chances are they will take a screenshot of your like or comment, so all their followers see that you actually talk back. How rad would it be if the brand of the product you just bought, and posted a photo about on Instagram, comes back to you and says thank you for buying the product? Think that will have an impact on the brand perception? Think the chances just increased that you will buy that brand again? I think so too.

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3. Don’t abuse the hashtags
One of the problems with hashtags that become popular is that people start using them to get more followers, and adding them to photos that have nothing to do with the subject. This is where the term “MySpace photo” pops back up. Lots of selfies and other bullshit now comes up in the feed when you look up certain hashtag. Best is obviously to not do anything with these photos. I guess if you have lots of time on your hand you can start to comment on them and saying the need to chill out, but you’re never gonna win that battle…. Just stay away from it yourself. 13 years olds grow up eventually and they will get it someday. But don’t bet on that.

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4. Stay away from the most used hashtags
Yeah, I know, we all want to get more followers right. Justin Bieber has 8.3 million Instagram followers (May 2013) and it’s totally reasonable for you to get at least half of that. Within the next month. Yeah right. And the trick to your followers explosion is more hashtags. Especially the ones that everyone uses.
How many friends can you really have if you’re not famous? Best trick on getting more followers? Post great photos. Good content always wins. And of course make sure other people, preferably those with a lot of followers, tag you (more then once).

The no go hashtag list for me contains of #followme #swag #lol #instagdaily #popularpage #like #picstitch #10likes #20likes #30likes…. yeah you get it…. Embarrassing.
Huffington Post made a top 100 of most used Instagram hashtags, and I’m glad to say I’ve never used most of them….. #tbt and #friends might be the only 2.

5. Tag others when you can (as they most likely will do the same)
Tagging others in an Instagram post is a way of letting your followers know who else they should follow. It’s a stamp of approval more or less. And once they see that you tag them they will most likely do the same in the future. It’s all about supporting those who support you right?

Have a question? Feedback? Drop a comment here or tag me (@fredvanschie) on Instagram or Twitter.  Or shoot me an email at fred@fredvanschie.com.

For more Instagram tips see part 9 from a while back. Until next time! Quite possibly next week….

  • shrewgy

    Thanks, so needed.
    I think worth a mention is the fact that only the poster can add their photo to a hashtag group.
    A few typos in this one made a point or two a little tricky for me to decipher.

  • Brian

    Right on Fred, hash tags updated #illassshit

  • Marqi

    These are great tips! I would love to see more as Instagram and FB has changed a lot in a year. Do you still stand behind not posting photos from Instagram to FB because seen as an outside link? It’s hard to keep up with it all! You put it in very easy to follow terms. Thanks

    • Thanks for your comment, great to read your feedback!