Getting the Most out of Your Company’s Instagram Account (Part 1)

By Andrew Poulsen, PR Technician

In less than 10 years, social media has evolved from a fun distraction to keep in touch with college friends and distant relatives, to an essential tool needed by any brand looking to engage with its customers or maintain relevance amongst its competitors. Regardless of how millennials feel about the Baconator® or Moons Over My Hammy®, brands like Wendy’s and Denny’s are winning over young people more and more every day with their funny and relatable social media presence. While not every company needs to adopt to the latest meme or pop culture phenomenon to have a healthy online presence, social media has opened the door for brands to be transparent and relatable in new and exciting ways.

By now, companies from international brands to local muffler shops are utilizing Facebook and Twitter to engage and share company news, updates, sales, etc. But over the past few years, we’ve seen more brands incorporating Instagram into their social media plan. What was once considered a platform exclusive to tech-savvy young people with smartphones, Instagram is now just ubiquitous across all demographics as Facebook and Twitter. And businesses across all industries are starting to take notice. That’s because, if used correctly, the app’s photo and video features allow a new way for brands to give their audience a peek behind the curtain. Here are five ways your company can take advantage of the unique features Instagram has to offer.

Give Your Audience Something Different

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all bring something different to the table, otherwise we wouldn’t need to be on so many different social media platforms. While this seems obvious, companies often make the mistake of letting their social media content be too similar across all platforms. Instead, companies should reward their audience for following all their pages by giving them content exclusive from the other platforms. For Instagram, this can be a fun look behind the scenes of your office, documenting a company picnic, making a short how-to video or hosting some sort of fan-generated photo contest. Just make sure it is unique to the platform in some way.


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Use Social Media To Generate Professional Tradesmen Leads

imagesThere are many traditional ways of generating leads, i.e. pay for click, list rentals, etc. But social lets you go beyond some of these typical methods and lets people find you. In my mind, one of the biggest benefits to social media is the ability to identify and start conversations in a low-key manner with potential contractors. The two top tools I use are LinkedIn and Twitter.

LinkedIn – I find that this is a very useful and friendly site for B-to-B users. The group section is a great way to join groups with common interests and start participating.

  • I’ve joined groups like E-marketing Association Network and The Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Institute. Both are targeted and are great ways to see what the hot topic of the day is and how people are reacting to it. You can even start your own group and invite people to join.
  • It’s a great spot to throw out a question to the group or put your two cents in on an area where you are an expert.
  • I’ve also used these groups to do short surveys and I post at least once a week and sometimes twice a recent relevant post from my blog under the news section. This helps drive folks to my blog and hopefully position me as an expert.
  • You also need to update your status regularly and make sure your co-workers do the same. We’re in the process of organizing a webinar and will not only post it on my page for folks to register, but also put it as a news item on my group pages.

Twitter – I use Twitter to communicate to my followers many times a day to promote my most recent posts.

  • I use Tweetlater to schedule and manage my daily tweets. There are several other applications out there that do the same thing.
  • If you want to reach people who don’t follow you, include relevant hashtags. Experienced users will search for those terms.
  • Encourage re-tweets. In order to do so you need to keep your message shorter than the 140 characters so the person who is doing the re-tweet has room for their name and message.

These are some things I do to use social to generate leads. I’d like to hear from you on how you utilize social.

Here’s an article that might prove to be of interest, 5 Ways to Find Prospects on Twitter.


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