Instagram is an incredible tool to share visual pieces of your brand, and an increasingly popular platform for marketing campaigns.
Analytics platform SumAll’s 2013 study of brand social media success on various platform awarded top honors to Instagram by naming it best-performing social platform of 2013.
If you’re selling a visual product, Instagram has one of the best ROI rates, typically coming in just behind Facebook. With more than 150 million active monthly users, 25% of Fortune 500 companies have flocked to the network, and since the introduction of video, brands account for 40% of the most shared videos on the network. That’s a lot of activity — and love.
Every social media platform comes complete with a package of apps and services that make handling accounts easy for community managers. Here are a few of the best ones out there for Instagram and how you can utilize them:
Over: The big brother of immensely popular Overgram, Over costs a couple of bucks, but it allows you to lay some fabulous looking text over your photos using your phone. It’s much better looking than other free apps. If you need to get a message across in a photo, take the plunge and buy Over. The branding is much better quality. Use it to explain contests or promote a new hashtag campaign to the max.
Followgram: Much like the crazy popular Statigram, Followgram is a great Web-management tool for Instagram. It offers analytics on likes and comments (nothing too in-depth), but its best feature is the vanity URL and hosting page for your account’s photos option — a great place to direct fans for a complete visualization of products. Brands such as Nike, Armani and Ford are all fans of Followgram.
Printstagr.am: Print out brand photos and use them as displays in stores, offer them up as prizes, or sell them. I’d love to see a band or concert venue active on Instagram do this for a fan giveaway. I’m also positive there are some young ladies who would faint if One Direction did it.
OfferPop Hashtag Gallery: This one costs a few bucks, but its capabilities are pretty amazing. It pulls all content from multiple networks including Instagram into a gallery that can be loaded onto a Facebook app, website or custom landing page for those larger hashtag campaigns. If you are going to focus a ton of effort on a hashtag campaign, which are extremely successful on Instagram, this tool is stellar. It will pair Instagram photos with other social media content to extend your brand’s presence to the ultimate depths. Constant Contact is harnessing the power of Instagram and hashtags using one of the best campaigns I’ve seen yet, #smallbizselfie, and it’s all pulled together using the OfferPop tool.
Slidagram: For those interested in simply adding a slideshow for a specific account or hashtag, this free service generates a code perfect for your blog or website or social network. It’s great for displaying entries to a contest or showing off your stunning Instagram’s on a site. Storeowners can create slideshows of photos based on their exact location. It’s a little slow to generate the code, but it’s a very cool tool to promote those who shop and snap at your location.
Do you have any favorite tools that help you manage your brand’s Instagram account?
Constance Aguilar is the head of strategic communications for The Abbi Agency, a digital marketing and public relations firm with offices in Reno and Las Vegas, Nev. She plans and executes social media campaigns for dozens of brands in various industries, and also regularly contributes content to online publications. You can read more work at www.theabbiagency.com/blog.