Creative Ways To Use Instagram For Business


April 7, 2017


Social Media


Business Owners

Instagram has 400 million active users. Engagement with brands on Instagram is 10 times higher than Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest and 84 times higher than Twitter.

Here are some creative ways to get started on Instagram social media marketing, with some inspiration from brands that are killing it on the platform.

Show products: Instagram is all about visuals, so transform your Instagram account into a catalogue of your products. But remember, Instagram works best when used creatively. If you want to generate interest and gain followers, think outside the box.

Ben and Jerrys are a brand to take inspiration from. Their Instagram feed is loaded with snaps of their ice cream but they’re showcasing the products in innovative and clever ways.

Go Pro dedicate their Instagram feed to their product in action. And who better to showcase a product than the people who use it. Go to their Instagram and you’ll see tons of snaps from people across the globe capturing their adventures.

Behind the scenes: Instagram stories allow you to take followers behind the scenes. These could be at conferences, photoshoots, product launches and other events. Using the stories feature means you won’t be over-posting. According to an Instagram blog post on the feature, “you can share as much as you want throughout the day – with as much creativity as you want”.

For example, Mercedes-Benz took followers behind the scenes at a photo shoot the company was doing for its new AMG model.

Behind the scenes doesn’t just include events. Take followers behind the scenes of your product. People are more aware than ever of the products they’re using. Use Instagram stories to take them through your manufacturing process.

The food industry is capitalising on this idea with recipe tutorials. Instagram accounts such as the Scran Line use their feed to show their talent for creating baked goods and cupcakes. At the same time, they’re showing people how to recreate the same product.

Work with Influencers: Building relationships with digital influencers is a great way to promote your product and service. They’re always happy to get free goodies and share the unveiling with their followers.

Another way to work with digital influencers are takeovers. In this special edition, your chosen digital influencer will take over your Instagram account for the day. This could be a straightforward ‘Day in the Life’ segment or it could be for occasions such as photoshoots, TV appearances, events or conferences. You could promote that takeover via Instagram ads.

For example, Anne Hathaway took over InStyle’s Instagram account for the day. The actress took followers of the account through a day in her life.

#Hashtags: The use of creative, unbranded hashtags are more likely to catch on with readers and this helps your content to spread. Hashtags were first used to sort massive amount of content available on platforms but now they’re used by brands to create conversations with followers and promote their products.

Red Bull’s #PutaCanOnIt campaign was inspired by a photo the company found where the photographer is seen holding a Red Bull can above a trademarked Red Bull car that was missing the usual giant can of Red Bull.

People then began recreating their own images with #PutaCanOnIt.

This campaign exploded as it allowed people from all over the world to connect with others who shared their love for the brand and show their creativity.

Competitions: Instagram is a great platform to run a competition on. Competitions that encourage followers to show their creative side work particularly well on this platform. See the example below.

Starbucks ran the White Cup Challenge across the platform. The competition encouraged customers to decorate a Starbucks cup with customised artwork. They then had to take a photo of it and submit it via #WhiteCupContest. The winning design would be produced as a limited edition reusable cup.

Starbucks received almost 4,000 entries in just three weeks.

Snap smart: It’s important to pay attention to trends and things that are going viral. Think cute animals, motivational quotes and pictures with funny captions. This is the type of content that encourages user engagement – likes, shares and tags.

– This post was written by Emma Vince – former Digital PR Lead at Tinderpoint.