Social Snapshot: Instagram & Pinterest

April 21, 2015 -
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Strategy: Instagram is a social site built for mobile photo and video sharing allowing you to connect with companions or companies, in order to stay up to date with what’s happening where and with whom. Hashtags, captions and geo-tags are attached to photos in order to reach a wider audience. Instagram can be used to;

*showcase products and/or services
*take followers behind the scenes
*ask customers to share/show images
*tag users and locations/reinforce brand and products

Remember to be authentic, keep on top of trends, follow followers to widen exposure to other brands. Quality and quantity both matter.


You should keep your Instagram username the same as or similar to your other social media accounts ,as well as including a link to the company website in your bio. Instagram can be used to showcase your businesses best features using your social side. Make sure to reply to comments and messages as you get them and make you feed interesting by varying the content you use (comination of photos, videos and quotes). Put captions with photos and use hashtag wisely (hashtags are used so more people can find and view your content).  It is inappropriate to beg for followers or go on liking spree’s (in order to retain likes or followers), however, following your competitors followers isn’t a bad idea.

EtiquetteOn Instagram, the key is to use keywords in order to reach an audience beyond your followers. When using other users quotes or photos, always give credit. Keep your content and streaming professional by remaining cheerful and clean. Instagram is a visual story that can drive awareness to your business while relating to followers and remaining relevant to the brand. Pay attention to your followers, stimulate and engage them by encouraging them to share photos, and supply feedback.

Do: Follow and communicate with people/accounts that have similar interests, vary the types of content posted to engage with/keep your followers interested, interact by commenting, liking posts or messaging other users (to grows your audience and allow for more association), or show the brand fits in or simplifies peoples lives by capturing moments from brand events and experiences
Do not: Follow and like every person and post in order to grow your audience. Excessively use hashtags, only post your own content or post more than three times a day
Tips: Include company website in bio as it will exist as a clickable link and drive traffic to the company website (even have the link go to the ‘about us’ section instead of the homepage). Like pictures you truly enjoy and do not flood the feeds (with likes or photos). Make sure to give credit for other peoples pictures or posts. Remain true to your brand, post only good quality photos in order to inspire action and build your audience. Share experiences of behind the scenes or people who use product, as posts should be able to resonate with followers. Know your audience (current and targeted) and post in relation to company products and services. You could show how products work, show a day in the field or introduce employees for example. Expand your audience by engaging with users and building anticipation. Be creative with pictures (use filters, create collages, use different angles, or change lighting). 

Strategy: Pinterest is a social site where ‘pinners’ are able to share good content along with beautiful images and valuable data. Users are able to;

*partner with other 'pinners' and promote each others products or services
*create a ‘show off’ board which can be used to collaborate/review 
*contact other ‘pinners’ with direct messaging
*increase website traffic and brand awareness

Remember to make content pinnable and encourage users to click through your board. Be consistent, have surprises, boost engagement, and always link pins back to original source.
One should figure out what their goal for using Pinterest is (who you want to target and why; is it to drive traffic? increase sales? build an audience?), and then work towards creating their audience. The purpose is to post pins that are interesting and related to company products and/or services in order to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to the company website. Pins can be funny, informative or inspirational, they don’t have to be formal and business like. One could use great imagery along with content to show how to solve a problem, inspire/appeal to others, and promote partners or products.

Etiquette: Always share the pins source, give credit for the pin by sharing the images or post-not just posting them. Attempt to pin little and often (over doing it will make your followers lose interest and boards will become cluttered). Create and participate in conversations and say thank you when someone re-pins you pin. Add descriptions to images, don’t clutter or confuse, don’t post photos from Google (find original source), don’t need to follow everyone that follows you, don't post too large or small of image. Incorporate virtual ‘dream board' in order to have content that is compelled to be shared. Remember, think visually.

Do: Increase audience by giving stuff away (products or tips), use multimedia content, express expertise, pay attention to pin placement, create a social online shopping experience, highlight strengths, and being irresistible with idea and goal of being re-pinned.
Do not: Download other users images and post as your own. Refrain from posting negative content or leaving negative or controversial comments

TipsPinterest is a permanent visual expression of who you are or what you’re offering; the goal is to generate buzz, enthusiasm, and anticipation that can lead to potential sales.  Create an engaging profile by having a content plan and using hashtags, keywords, and high quality images when you post. Be social, participate in collaboration boards, re-pin, along with responding and engaging with other ‘pinners’.

Nicole has a passion for people and an enthusiasm for innovation. She began her career with a blend of experience in communications, public relations and event management. After postgraduate studies in corporate communications and public relations, Nicole was attracted to the way that public relations has evolved and how social media has become integrated into corporate strategies. This passion led her to an internship with the corporate communications team at MasterCard Canada. Known as a serial volunteer, Nicole is also a sports enthusiast, world traveler, foodaholic, kindle addict and fest goer.
Written on April 21, 2015 by
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