Using Instagram to Boost Fan Engagement

When businesses first consider using social media as a marketing tool, a necessary step in today’s day and age, as just about everyone and everything is online, their first thoughts are usually of Facebook and Twitter. Instagram, however, somehow manages to remain forgotten or ignored, despite its rapidly increasing popularity. Perhaps companies refrain from using the network because they don’t know how to properly take advantage of it, as it is made up entirely of pictures and short video clips.
In fact, there are many companies who are using Instagram, yet not in the proper way, just filling it with boring pictures of their merchandise. But the truth of the matter is, Instagram is a great method for boosting fan engagement, as some businesses have already proven through their successful Instagram campaigns. Here’s how:


1.  Behind the Scenes

Instagram is not a tool to use to just post pictures of your merchandise. Brands should not turn it into just another online catalog of their products; rather, it should take their fans and customers and bring them behind the scenes. For example, Burberry’s Instagram account is filled with pictures of London, the location of their home office, as well as backstage photographs from various photo shoots.
Similarly, American Express, which has over 20,000 Instagram followers, uses its account to post backstage pictures of the various concerts and fashion shows that they sponsor. While both companies may also include pictures of their clothing every now and again, that is clearly not their primary goal. In this way, they allow their fans to get to know them on a more personal level, thereby creating a stronger relationship with them.


2. Be Artsy

Above all, Instagram is an art. People who are just looking to post pictures of their weekend will usually stick to Facebook albums. But because of its various editing tools, Instagram grants users the ability to take interesting pictures and make them even cooler. As a result, many, if not most, Instagram users are looking to follow users who post pictures that are both creative and visually appealing. Therefore, in order to fit in with the crowd, so to speak, businesses should use Instagram as a means of showing their creativity.
Warby Parker, a glasses manufacturer, incorporates this idea well by using their glasses in cool and thought provoking ways, such as by taking a picture through the lens of the glasses, allowing the frame of the glasses frame to serve as a frame for the photograph. This allows them to remain appealing to the larger Instagram community while also cleverly marketing their merchandise.
Red Bull also takes this idea of being artistic and has their Instagram full of high-quality action shots, a fun marketing campaign that skillfully advertises the energy Red bull provides its consumers.


3. Use your fans

Another great way to increase fan engagement is for a company to post pictures submitted by fans on their Instagram account. For example, Mosquito Magnet has people post their camping trips or other special events where they used their mosquito traps.
Sharpie is another company that makes use of their fans, using their Instagram account to post their fan’s Sharpie-drawn artwork. Including customers in such an interactive way is a sure way to boost fan engagement, as it makes the experience interactive, allowing fans to feel as if they’re really a part of the company, even more so than if they were just allowed access to behind the scenes pictures.
See also: 7 Most Outstanding Instagram Tools