Five Instagram Tips Part 8

It’s been over a month since the last batch of Instagram tips, and it’s been one hell of a month. Both for me personally (social media wise) as well as for Instagram.

On April 3rd Instagram released their long awaited Android app. A lot of iPhone users felt less special because of it, but after a few days the hate was traded in for mostly smiles when people saw the number of followers bump up.

In the first 24 hours more than 1 million Android users downloaded the Instagram app, and more than 5 million new Android users signed on in the first 6 days. Not too shabby.

And then on April 9th the news came out that Facebook bought Instagram. It was like a bomb dropped. But really, was it that unexpected? If you can’t beat ’em just buy ’em right? Sounds like capitalism to me haha!
My (by far) favorite social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk already predicted this in December 2011, so I wasn’t that surprised. I just thought it would have been a few months later.

So now that all the whining and complaining has died down we can all keep on going. Right? I know I will. Here are 5 more tips for the use of Instagram, both for personal and business use.

These 5 tips are mostly inspired by 2 major (core) skateboard events in the last few weeks, the Tampa Pro and the Phoenix Am. But even if you have never heard of those events, or you don’t care about skateboarding, these tips will still be helpful.

1. Create a hashtag (#) for each event
A hashtag on Instagram, and Twitter as well, creates an online photo album of all photos that have the same hashtag. The “#” sign is no longer the pound key, the hashtag is truly 2012.
I’m blown away that companies are still doing events and are not having an hashtag for the event. They really don’t care about people interacting?
For the record, a hashtag is not just for a few people in your marketing department that are attending an event. It’s for everyone involved, especially the fans/consumers attending your event. All their friends need to see what is/was going on. People trust their friends more than anything, so if your friends are at an event and they are all using the same hashtag you will click on the hashtag, and you will most likely see who set up the event. So without even being at an event, you are still seeing what’s going on. Through the eyes of your friends. No other way of marketing can beat that.

2. Add your own hashtag when you’re at a big event
If you are at a big event, you can should also create your own hashtag. Make sure to add the hashtag of the event itself too. That way people that flip through the photos of the event see your hashtag, and then the chance will be way bigger they will follow you, and everyone else that used the hashtag you and your team is using.

Example: Mickey Reyes from Deluxe at the Tampa Pro skateboard contest.
Event hashtag: #tampapro
Created hashtag: #dlxtampapro (*Deluxe Distribution)

3. Brands before employees
If you handle multiple Instagram accounts you know that you have to log out of an Instagram account and log into another one. In Twitter you can easily switch between accounts, and I can’t wait for Instagram to add that feature.
So when your brand sends a handfull of employees to an event, which Instagram account should they be updating first and foremost?
Even though I follow various industry people in skateboarding (and in a way I prefer to see their updates over the brand) I still feel the brand’s Instagram account should be updated by the people (of the brand) attending the event.

4. Always tag as many other accounts
This goes for every social media platform. If you are doing a good job interacting with your fans and followers, your account is growing weekly, or most likely, daily. So you always have to think about the new people that started to follow you (while still keeping the followers in mind that have been there longer).
So it’s really cool that you are using all your in crowd jokes, work lingo and industry jargon, but your business (growth) is really is dependent on the new, and most times young(er) consumer. So be nice to them, explain them some stuff at times and talk their language. And so tag (and hashtag) everyone with every chance you get. Don’t just assume people know. Showing that you care about them will pay off. And you current (old?) fans and followers will understand.

5. Don’t like every single photo
It’s too easy to “like” a photo on Instagram. Double tap the screen and you are liking someone’s photo.
I’ve heard some people just scroll through their feed and like every photo they see. Now when I get a like from those people it doesn’t really mean anything.
On the other hand there are people that barely like any photos. Nothing right or wrong about that, but if those people like my photo it actually means something. Less is more.
Same for the brands you follow. Liking every single thing they post is just boring.
Don’t underestimate the power you have. Like with care.

Questions or comments? Drop ‘em below!
Or shoot me an email at [email protected]

For more Instagram tips see part 7 from a few weeks ago.