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Once an iOS-only app, albeit a trendy one, Instagram is now a household name.
Its relentless march to the top, no doubt helped by its $1 billion sale to Facebook in 2012, is evidenced by growth to the tune of 23% during 2013.
Growth rate aside, it’s the 200 million active users that turn the heads of marketers.
The popularity of visual content and the strong proposition of Instagram enables brands who seek to connect with Generation Y to do so with exceptional results.
These curated posts are an excellent starting point for any marketer wanting to tell their brand’s story through amazing imagery.
In the Beginning
Everyone has to start somewhere, and Instagram, just like any of the other social platforms is no exception.
These posts are ideal for marketers who are new to the platform.
- Instagram Business: Getting Started: Who better than Instagram to ensure that you get to grips with the basics? This post provides a comprehensive overview of what it means to be a business on Instagram.
- How to Share Instagram Photos on Your Facebook Business Page: Targeting the omni channel customer means connecting Instagram with other platforms. This post provides a simple explanation of how to integrate Instagram with Facebook.
Hashtags are one of the most important elements of marketing on Instagram.
These posts explain how to use them correctly.
- How To Use Hashtags on Instagram: This post from the aptly named Hashtags blog explains how to choose the right hashtag, while being as descriptive as possible.
- Ride the Hashtag, Don’t Create It: An easy way to gain exposure for your photos is to add a trending hashtag to capture people searching for this term. Gary Vaynerchuk explains more in his post, and why, unless your name is Justin Bieber, you won’t single-handedly get a hashtag to trend on Twitter.
If you want to add a witty comment to one of your photos, these posts will explain how.
They will also explain how to delete the not so witty ones.
- How to Bold Comments and Captions in Instagram: This useful post from CNET explains how to make your comments and captions stand out.
- Five Essential Instagram Tips: Ever been frustrated that you can’t delete a Tweet? You won’t have that problem on Instagram. Among other useful tips, this post explains how to delete a comment or a caption – handy for any social faux pas that may transpire.
The key to success on Instagram is not just knowing your way around a camera, although it will certainly help.
- 10 Tips for Mastering Instagram: From the clever use of lighting to seeing the world in squares, this post from Digital Photography School explains how to get a great shot every time.
- Repost Other User’s Instagram Pics: Thanks to Iconosquare (formerly Statigram), you can share your follower’s images as a powerful way of engaging further. It’s important to ask permission, since sharing personal photos can quickly backfire. (See tools section for what Iconosquare is).
- Embed Instagram Photos in Your Twitter Feed With This Workaround: Instagram disabled Twitter integration back in 2012. This post from Wired explains a workaround using Tumblr.
- The Surprising Data Behind How Often Brands Should Post On Instagram: No one likes a spammer, but no one wants to miss out either. Your Instagram posting schedule is a balancing act. Jeff Bercovici at Forbes explains how to get it right.
There’s a good chance that you’re using some kind of social media management system.
If you aren’t, you should probably consider doing so.
It makes life infinitely easier.
- How to Add Instagram to Your HootSuite Dashboard: This post explains how to integrate Instagram with the HootSuite system and ensure that you keep to a regular posting schedule.
- Key Metrics About Your Instagram Account: An audience that is effectively targeted is often an engaged audience. Consider using Iconosquare (formerly Statigram) as an alternative to HootSuite.
A Little Inspiration
From Sharpie to Burberry, there are several brands who have Instagram down to a fine art.
They manage to interact in a way which provides value and doesn’t appear overly promotional.
Find inspiration here.
- Learn How Top Brands Are Engaging Audiences on Instagram: Engaging your audience is critical to success on any platform. It’s good to learn by example, and this post from Sprout Social shows exactly how brands are making an impact on Instagram.
- 18 Outstanding Examples of Companies Using Instagram Video: Stand out from the crowd by using Instagram video. The companies featured in this post will show you exactly how it’s done.
- The 5 Most Innovative Instagram Contests and Campaigns of 2013: Got some goodie bags to give away? Combine a giveaway with an Instagram contest for instant marketing prowess.
If you prefer to get an overview of Instagram marketing in one hit, the complete guide featured here delivers, and if you would prefer to stick with the visual route, there’s a snazzy infographic for you too.
- The Complete Guide to Instagram for Business: This free guide covers everything from what to share with your followers to how to take your Instagram endeavors to the next level.
- The Business Marketers’ Guide to Instagram: Prefer a visual guide? We are talking about Instagram after all. Marketo has put together a useful infographic.
Extra Reading Material
Want something a little meatier?
- Instagram Power: Build Your Brand and Reach More Customers with the Power of Pictures: Pitched as the perfect companion for Instagram marketers at all levels, this book will keep you company on the train ride – or whenever you find yourself without a WiFi signal.