First of all we have an admission to make: we have been very bad Instagrammers, very bad indeed! Actually I should qualify that and say that we have been great at helping our clients get set up and we’ve provided posting advice and lots of encouragement. We’ve even integrated Instagram feeds into websites like Malaysia Holidays and GMC Cooyar. But as for BA Creative’s own Instagram account, well, we have been nothing short of woeful – but not any longer!
So as we ramp up our own Instagram presence we thought it would be a good opportunity to share our thoughts on why we think it can be fantastic for your business.
In this modern world of ours a brand can be experienced in many ways. We call these brand touchpoints. Examples of touchpoints include seeing a logo on the side of a car, clocking a billboard ad on the way to work or stumbling across a website.
So let’s imagine that your business sells paint. And let’s say that you already have sign written vans, flyers and a great website. Now if you added an Instagram feed and posted great, inspirational images of your paint products in action it would provide a great additional way of customers discovering and experiencing your brand.
Many marketing experts believe that it takes between 7 and 15 brand touchpoints before someone will be ready to become a customer. We think Instagram should be one of those.
As well as increasing the ways in which people can experience your brand you can also use Instagram to reinforce the position in the market that you want your brand to fill.
Using our example of the paint company again, you might want to move up market and capture the interior design market. Cool, professional images that are on-trend will help shape the consumer’s perception of your brand as aspirational and high-end. The fact that you’re using a modern tool like Instagram will probably also provide inroads into a lower age demographic.
There is no doubt that there is a soft, lightweight, non-serious vibe to Instagram. Lots of companies use it to provide an filtered glimpse behind the scenes – here’s a picture of our product being made; the album we’re listening to today; the lunch we had; the thank you gift we received from a happy customer.
As with all social media there is a temptation to over-think posts and this must be resisted at all times. Keep it simple, honest and happy and your customers will love you for it.
While we wouldn’t be as bold as to say that through Instagram you can tell how many people love you and your business it is a pretty good indicator of how well your brand is appreciated.
We consider good social media engagement a factor in assessing a business’ value. If our imaginary paint company was being sold you can bet that thousands of Instagram followers would make it a more attractive proposition and may increase the overall value of the business.
At first site Instagram may not look like a great way of sharing love and appreciation of other businesses and brands. Unlike Facebook you can’t write on other people’s feeds and you can’t send messages (edit: you can send messages, but it’s not very obvious – thanks Charlotte!). But when you get into it you’ll soon discover lots of ways in which you can make someone’s day.
For example you could take a picture of the beautiful handmade sofa you saw and tag the maker, E.G fantastic workmanship on this sofa @thehandmadesofaco. Or you could add a comment to a picture they have already posted with a tag, E.G cool picture of your new sofa design @thehandmadesofaco.
I guarantee that even the most wizened and jaded soul will be a little uplifted by a simple, heartfelt Instagram comment. And all this sharing of social media love makes it more likely that your brand will be talked about and ‘touched’ in return – what goes around comes around.