Poor Instagram; very few brands harness your power to build brand loyalty. Or should I say poor brands! Many of you are missing out! If your brand can produce plenty of visual content, which most can, using Instagram is an incredibly easy way to get it in front of your audience in order to build brand loyalty.
Sharing visual content is a great way to build brand loyalty for two main reasons:
“A picture’s worth a thousand words” – This phrase still rings true today; more than ever I’d say. Visuals can convey more to people than most text which makes this sort of content valuable and worth seeking out.
Pictures get more interaction – People interact with pictures far more than any other type of content on social media sites. They’re more willing to comment on and share pictures and other imagery than text content only. Visuals are just more fun and provide more talking points.
Essentially, because of the popularity of visual content these days, if a brand can post this sort of media on a consistent basis, its audience will continue to come back for more. As they come back for more, they begin to recognize the vast number of like-minded brand supporters that they’re a part of. As they recognize this, they become comfortable with the idea of commenting on the brands content and interacting with other brand followers. This interaction fosters a deepened support and love for the brand.
This like-minded, mutually supportive group is called a “brand community.” The brand community is where much of a brands strength and equity comes from. Just think of Apple Computers and their loyal community. Apple wouldn’t be what it is today without its loyal brand community.
Now back to Instagram. Why am I specifically pushing Instagram as a means to influence brand loyalty? Because not only is it the fastest growing social media site today but because it’s all about visual content, nothing more. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, Instagram only allows image posts with captions. There are no text-only posts.
Thus, the increasing throng of Instagram visitors, whether on their phones or online, are purposefully seeking visual content. They want to seek you out and see what you can show them. They want content they can comment on and share with friends.
So, how do you use Instagram to build brand loyalty? Five fundamental tactics are below.
Post pictures that show your brands human side – I know I’ve said this a lot but, the more human you can be, the more relatable your brand will be. People relate best to humans rather than logos and packaging alone.
Post pictures of employees at internal office events or of consumer’s and employees at tradeshows, conferences or promotional events.
Post pictures of your product or service – Show your community ways your product or service can be used. Essentially, you can inspire them to interact with your brand in ways they may not have realized, endearing them to your brand further.
Ask your community members to post pictures of your brand – It’s extremely common for people to define themselves based on the brands they buy (picture Apple customers again). You audience will indeed be willing to post pictures of themselves using your product or service because it means something to them personally.
Ask community members to tag their branded photos with your hashtag (# + whatever your brands Instagram screen name is).
Advertise additional content – Post the image you used on your other content to increase traffic to it. Almost all your content such as blog posts, white papers, case studies, etc. should have imagery associated with it. You have ready-made Instagram posts awaiting you.
Participate in Instagram weekly events – Every Thursday is #throwbackthursday and every Friday is #flashbackfriday. Use these events to post images from quality content from the past such as blog posts or white papers that could be helpful today.
Not every post needs to have a heavy marketing angle though. Maybe use these weekly posting events just for fun. If you’re an Ethernet cable company for example I can see you posting a picture of some telephone lines with a caption that reads, “Remember dial-up? Medieval huh? How long ago did you make the switch?”
So you can get an idea of the type of content that works on Instagram, here are a few brands that use Instagram extremely well. Fire up the Instagram app or website and type in the words in quotes to find them.
“starbucks” (Starbucks brand coffee shops)
“nhlbruins” (Boston Bruins hockey team)
“puma” (Puma brand athletic shoes)
“sharpie” (Sharpie brand permanent markers)
We’re all trying to build a loyal following for our company’s. Loyalty requires giving our audience members what they want. And these days, it takes more than just a quality product or service. They want visual content that’s sharable. Instagram is a great way to give them what they want.
- Brand Loyalty: Moving Beyond Content (heatherpbowes1.wordpress.com)
- Instagram > Pinterest (cgrega.wordpress.com)
- 3 Brands who are Flying the Flag for Instagram (muddywall.com)