Instagram is kind of taking over the social media world. Different from other social media platforms, Instagram is simple, authentic and visually stunning. It enables companies to communicate with their clients in a more creative way by using visual marketing. According to Forrester research in 2015, Instagram is also the king of social engagement.
For the reasons above, every marketer should consider how they can catch up with this trend to help build more online presence and engagement with clients on Instagram for their business.
Before we introduce 3 killer strategies that have been used by some successful players on this platform, let’s get started by defining your Instagram presence. Important elements to keep in mind:
Brand Identity: You should understand deeply your brand Identity and let everything on your Instagram tell a story of your brand. It’s absolutely critical that your Instagram presence reflect your brand’s signature style in order to make an impact and attract your ideal customer.
Instagram Performance: Set benchmarks when it comes to measure the number of followers, frequency of posting and engagement rate. These are all important indicators to help figure out the ongoing performance of your Instagram. Consistently monitor the changes of these indicators.
Now, let’s go straight to the point!!
Less is more. When it comes to Instagram, quality of your image should always be your priority. Post only when you have a great, on-brand image to share. Deliver content that is inspiring and relevant enough with the value that are perceived by your target audience. Check out a fantastic example for this : Red Bull (@redbull). Red Bull has achieved 4.2 m followers on Instagram so far. As a leading brand in energy drink industry, Red Bull has set a clear signature style of its Instagram presence as Energetic, Brave, Outgoing, Collector of interesting experiences. Red bull really catches people’s eyes by consistently posting high-quality images and videos featuring wonderful moments of people doing all kinds of sports. More than that, Red Bull uses image description to give out inspirational quotes. What a smart tactic to boost likes and engagement!
Hashtags are key to reaching prospects and customers on Instagram. With proper hashtags, companies can drive traffic to their Instagram profile, where the profile link can drive traffic further to their official websites or any other ideal websites. While making hashtags that could speak for your images of videos, you might want to use trending ones so as to increase the chances of being seen and reached by more people. The suggestions here are to take a look at the “Trending Tags” and “Explore Posts” using Instagram’s Explorer Feature. Find out the ones of these Trending Tags that are relevant to your brand and include them in your posts. You can also use tools such as “Tagboard” to give yourself some ideas on making relevant hashtags.
As Instagram introduced this new paid feature, consumers can now regularly see sponsored ads in their timelines. An exciting thing is that Instagram even puts a series of call-to-action buttons in the advertisements. With a larger user base, Instagram is able to help businesses to reach out to their ideal targets. So if you have enough budget, it is a good try to promote your products or service using Instagram sponsored ads.
As Director of Interactive Branding at Brandemix, I constantly research trends in social media. Recently, I’ve come across some interesting facts and statistics across the biggest social networks. Here are some of my most surprising social media findings.
The most geo-tagged location on Instagram is Disneyland, pushing last year’s winner, the Siam Paragon Mall in Thailand, to fourth place. The Magic Kingdom also beat three New York attractions — Times Square, Yankee Stadium, and Madison Square Garden — for the crown. (Source: Time)
Disney’s US “properties” (no distinction is made) are also the most checked-in American locations on Facebook. Rival park Universal Studios Hollywood is second. (Facebook)
The most viewed video on YouTube is still Psy’s “Gangnam Style,” which has reached 2.3 billion views. Next is the music video for “Baby” by Justin Bieber and “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry. All of the most popular uploads on YouTube are from musical artists. The most popular non-music video is the “reality” classic “Charlie Bit My Finger,” now at 825 million views. (Wikipedia)
The most popular pinner on Pinterest is Joy Cho, whose account has 88 boards, almost 13,000 pins, and more than 13 million followers. Unlike the other major social platforms, the top Pinterest profiles are not affiliated with brands or celebrities. (Top Pinterest Users)
Over on Twitter, the most popular account in the world still belongs to Katy Perry (#3 on YouTube, you’ll recall), with more than 72 million followers. Behind her is Justin Bieber (#2 on YouTube) with 65.6 million and Barack Obama with 62 million. Interestingly, YouTube’s Twitter (#5) is more popular than Twitter’s (#10). (Twitter Counter)
The most retweeted tweet is also unchanged from last year: Ellen DeGeneres’ famous group selfie at the Oscars has 3.3 million retweets. After that is a show of love and support from One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson to bandmate Harry Styles, which has passed 1.3 million retweets. In third place is Obama’s “Four More Years” photo from the night of his re-election, with about 744,000 retweets. (Adweek)
The most popular recruiting Twitter is Twitter itself (@JoinTheFlock), with 451, 428 followers. It finally overtook last year’s champion, Park Place Careers, which recruits for a chain of car dealerships across Dallas. (Social Recruitment Monitor)
On the same subject, the most popular Facebook page for recruiting is the US Air Force, with 652,729 page likes. On YouTube, the title goes to Disney’s College Program, a channel with more than two hours of videos and more than 1.4 million views. (Social Recruitment Monitor)
LinkedIn recently analyzed the employment history and profiles of its 330 million users, and discovered that the most “in-demand” skill that got people hired in 2014 was statistical analysis and data mining. Network and information security was #4, SEO/SEM marketing was #5, and mobile development was #7. (LinkedIn)
The brands with the most Facebook likes in America are Amazon (#3), Subway (#2), and Walmart (#1 like last year). The most popular person on Facebook in America is Vin Deisel, with about 94 million likes (compared to Walmart’s 32.7 million). Next come Eminem and Michael Jackson. (Socialbakers)
Want to learn more about these and other social media sites, and how Brandemix can use them to help your consumer branding or employer branding campaigns? Contact us!
Jason Ginsburg is Director of Interactive Branding at Brandemix.
Bailiff: The District Court of ERE will now hear the case of Marketing v. Recruiting.
Marketing: May it please the court, we believe that an organization’s Marketing department should own its social media recruiting channels. Marketing professionals have experience in social media from their consumer-facing efforts. They know how to create content, how to engage audiences, and how to track success with analytics. Recruiters have little experience in this type of interaction. They should stick to careers sites and job fair brochures, where they can best use their strengths – evaluating résumés and holding one-on-one conversations with candidates. A company should have one brand and speak to all its audiences with the same voice: the voice of Marketing. Thank you.
Judge: Very well. Recruiting?
Recruiting: With all due respect to my colleague, Marketing has no experience in connecting with job-seekers. Marketing messages don’t speak to the talent that most organizations want to attract. Job-seekers can’t interact with a careers site or a Taleo form; they want to ask questions, make comments, and share their experiences with a hiring manager. In addition, Marketing is known for, shall we say, embellishing the truth when it comes to describing products and services. But we’re talking about a job that someone will have for years or decades. Recruiting communications must be honest and transparent and should be in the hands of those who understand what today’s workers are looking for. This is our position.
Judge: Marketing, do you wish to present evidence?
Marketing: Your honor, I present Exhibit A: the US Coast Guard. Its Twitter and Flickr accounts are for marketing purposes only. But their content includes photos, historical fun facts, and news of the Guard’s latest operations. Its Flickr albums include “Women in Command” and “A Week in the Life of the Coast Guard Academy.” These do a perfect job of enticing candidates. And they’re run by the Marketing department.
Recruiting: Objection, your honor! The Coast Guard does specifically recruit on YouTube and Facebook, with great success — a quarter-million likes on Facebook and almost half a million views on YouTube. And these are run by recruiters; the Coast Guard posts their names and photos.
Judge: Sustained. Does Recruiting have evidence to show the court?
Recruiting: We present Exhibit B: Taco Bell Careers. 145,000 likes on Facebook. 2,077 followers on Twitter. 571 followers on Pinterest. And well over 100,000 views on YouTube. All run by a social media recruiting team. These experts maintain Taco Bell’s casual brand voice while providing entertaining content that job-seekers want to see. They present the job of preparing food honestly. They show employees having fun, attending company events, and advancing their careers. These aren’t marketing messages and have nothing to do with how good their burritos taste.
Marketing: Your honor, Recruiting admits that Taco Bell Careers has only 2,077 followers on Twitter. While its main Twitter account has more than 1.5 million. Why are these “experts” reaching less than half a percent of what their marketing colleagues reach?
Recruiting: It’s called “audience segmentation,” which should be an obvious concept to anyone with a marketing degree.
Marketing: A brand’s customers become its employees, and vice-versa. That means a single voice is more important than personalized messaging.
Recruiting: Job-seekers are looking for information that’s completely different from what a customer needs. Their goal is to actually make the company part of their lives.
Marketing: That’s Marketing’s goal as well! Branding that creates a personal connection.
Recruiting: Who has a connection to a lightbulb? And yet employees love working for GE.
Marketing: Small businesses don’t have the luxury of hiring a separate social media recruitment team. They may not have a recruiter at all! They do their own recruiting and marketing, and they do them both very well.
Recruiting: Slick salesman.
Marketing: Silly softy.
Judge: Enough, both of you! Counsels, I’m ready to render a verdict.
Recruiting: Yes, your honor.
Marketing: We’re listening.
Judge: After listening to both sides, I think organizations can find the most success in attracting top talent by having this department run its social media channels.
Marketing: Which one?
You be the Judge. Which department do YOU think should run an organization’s social media recruiting channels – Marketing or Recruiting?
It may not seem like social media marketing has much in common with the world of Game of Thrones. Instead of tweeting, characters send actual ravens into the sky. Instead of Facebook, they have Faceless Men. And the closest they come to Snapchat are the ephemeral visions in Melisandre’s flames. But the people and events of Westeros can teach us important lessons about social media strategy. See what I mean below. (Examples are from the HBO series — no book spoilers here).
Stannis faced a recruiting problem: While he had the most legitimate claim to the throne (that we know of) after Robert’s death, he had few resources: an outnumbered army, an isolated castle, and better-funded competition — including his own brother, Renly. So what did he do? He re-branded! He updated his corporate culture (from the Seven to the Lord of Light), brought in a consultant (the mysterious Melisandre), and changed his sigil to differentiate himself from his brothers. Besides attracting top talent with these tactics, Stannis also promoted from within, elevating Davos Seaworth, a former smuggler, to be his right-“Hand” man. And Davos has proved his worth time and again.
Learn from Stannis: Sometimes your social media platforms need a complete refresh, from strategy to design to content. Look at your channels and your posts and make hard choices. What needs to change? What new tools and platforms can you try? Has your audience moved from Instagram to Pinterest, or taken to Snapchat? Is there someone in your organization who deserves to be in charge of your social initiatives? It may feel like you’re shouting all alone form the towers of Dragonstone, but a change in direction can make you a legitimate competitor to your customers — and the Iron Throne.
Tyrion is a misshapen dwarf. He can’t fight. He will never be king. He may not even inherit his home throne of Casterly Rock. His solution is one of the most quoted lines from the series: “My mind is a weapon. And a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.” He uses knowledge to escape from a death sentence, outmaneuver his cunning sister, and to eventually ascend to the court at King’s Landing. All without lifting a sword or throwing a punch. Well, pretty much.
Learn from Tyrion: You and your organization are experts at something, whether it’s a glamorous field like fashion or a B2B industry like airplane parts. While Tyrion shares his ingenuity with only a few, such as Varys and Bronn, you shouldn’t keep your knowledge to yourself! Share your expertise via your social channels and your website. Post infographics, link to articles, and give away reports to anyone who retweets or comments. Make sure that all of your fans and followers learn something every day or every week. You’ll become known as a thought leader in your field. Just as Tyrion earned the right to command his own troops at the Battle of the Blackwater, you’ll soon command the attention of customers, vendors, partners, and even the general public.
Daenerys has one of the hardest journeys of any of the main characters: Orphaned, exiled, widowed, and surrounded by schemers who see her as a means to their own ends. Of course, she possesses three powerful dragons, but she knows she can’t burn and destroy her way to success. What’s her strategy? She listens. She turned a simple handmaiden and a nameless soldier into her closest advisers, because their “street smarts” were more true and valuable than the “wisdom” of aristocrats. After conquering Meereen, she holds court every day, allowing anyone to offer their thoughts or ask for help. She consistently puts the people first, even if it means overruling her friends’ objections and delaying her return to Westeros.
Learn from Daenerys: Social media is a two-way conversation. No matter what your organization does, customers and fans will interact with you on your social channels. They’ll ask questions, make suggestions, and lodge complaints. You can’t ignore these messages. Like the Mother of Dragons, you must apologize, offer assistance when possible, and direct people to email or a phone call when necessary. And if the posts are compliments, show your gratitude! The point is that you should check your social platforms every day and respond to issues in a timely manner. Daenerys earned the respect of her court and the love of her people with this simple strategy.
Ready to be bold and make your claim for the Iron Throne of social media success? Let Brandemix be your maester with our expertise in social media marketing, branding, and recruiting campaigns. We can help you build a wall against the White Walkers of bad PR and turn you into a brand as popular and beloved as the Knight of Flowers. Sample our magic at brandemix.com.
Jason Ginsburg is First Lord of Interactive Branding at Brandemix.
As 2014 comes to a close, I thought I’d take a look back at the year’s most popular blog posts. The topics range from social recruiting to employer branding to video marketing. I hope these articles will help you reach your target audience in your most important marketing, branding, and talent acquisition initiatives.
Thanks for reading and happy new year.
Jody Ordioni, President of Brandemix
Here are the BrandeBlog’s six most-read posts of 2014.
Social Recruiting is Still the Next Big Thing
Jobvite released its 2014 Job-Seeker Survey, speaking to 2,135 adults both in and out of the labor force. The report shows that social and mobile recruiting are still trending upwards. How can you use social media to reach top talent? Read our findings.
An Internal Communications Guidebook Will Save Your Culture
Internal communications can be challenging for large organizations. It’s sometimes difficult to speak with one voice and reflect the organization’s mission, vision, and values when corporate communications are created by many different people, sometimes in locations scattered around the world. Internal communications reinforce the business strategy to all employees, so it’s important that they’re consistent, effective, and on-brand. The solution for many organizations is to create a communications guide or toolkit. Here’s how to do it.
Employer Branding Global Trends and Surveys
Employer Brand International just released its 2014 Employer Branding Global Trends Study Report, a survey of more than 1,100 leaders from around the world. The goal was to discover how their organizations use employer branding to attract, engage, and retain talent talent, and their plans for their employer brand’s future. Here are the survey’s most important findings.
Social Media PR Disasters: Think Before You Post
Several small-scale disasters have shaken social media over the past few days, and they all have one thing in common: poor judgment. There’s something about the immediacy and brevity of Twitter and Instagram that leads brands to post with little thought to the consequences. Learn from their recent mistakes.
Nothing Engages Audiences Like Video Content
Integrated marketing success hinges on having a great website. And consistent, relevant social media. And consumable content across responsive media. But the crucial element to bringing it all to life is video. Validated in the latest surveys and best-practice case studies, it’s evident that video is truly changing the way we brand, market, inspire, and engage with our target audiences. Here are the latest statistics and discoveries.
Social Media Fun Facts
What’s the most photographed location on Instagram? The most popular tweet on Twitter? The most shared video on YouTube? The answers may surprise you — and can help you decide what content to create and share with your own audiences.Want to be more popular to job-seekers, employees, and customer?