When Instagram exploded, so did the number of blog posts written in excitement advising us how to use it in social media marketing. Well, it is leading in mobile traffic. It surpasses Twitter. It is also the most intuitive social network on mobile which makes it easy for brands to join and open a window in their leader and team’s lives. That’s special. So if you’re contemplating integrating it in your social media strategy, you’re probably right on target. Images are powerful when they encase your brand without written copy.
It’s the ideal platform to innovate fun strategies to get your audience to engage. Look at Lululemon’s #WTFocus 30 day challenge or NYC’s quest for the best 10 “#loveNYC” snapshots). Leading brands like Chobani and Redbull tell us in their bio what hashtag to tag our pictures. But what about the very pictures coming from the brand? Figuring out your strategy is twofold – just exactly how are you going to win over your audience with your own pictures before you get them to join in the action? Consider both sides of the coin. Trade up on your unique value proposition.
You are curating an art gallery. How do you stand out?
Instagram offers 18 filters, which sounds like a lot, but it isn’t. There are other apps to give you some creative ammo but the most important one is your imagination. Apply it a bit.
Say you are opening a new store or office. Lay on the ground on your back or stomach to capture a different angle. Flip your camera so you can sneak in a little body (shoulder, eye). Stand on a chair. Peer closely in unusual places. Include the outdoors. Don’t mind those bystanders. This is the sake of your audience! Take more than one to document a story (i.e. the office interior design falling in place or a customer experience in a salon).
PicStich offers a selection of different collage layouts. For example, if you want to feature a product, you can do it from four different perspectives then add it in blocks in one image instead of sending out four pictures, which clutters up a follower’s feed. People will not follow as many brands as they might on Twitter or Facebook so you’ll have to earn that privilege. You also can throw a quickie poll (i.e. “Which outfit do you like better?”) with a PicStich layout.
You can add beautiful typography to any picture. There’s an attractive array of colors and fonts. Pictures made with Over have viral potential (especially the insanely clever, funny and motivational ones). It costs $1.99 right now but I promise you it is worth it every 199 pennies. If you want to change the size each line or fiddle the placement, you have to save your work then reopen it (the app isn’t very dynamic at changing the sizes or allowing multiple text boxes at once). Be patient. Use asteriks, lines or plus signs to add design elements. Save it 30 times if you have to! You are publishing beauty.
Filtermania is more on the surreal side. In other words, the bedazzle for Instagram. Armed with over 300 filters, you can add sparkle, out of this world (literally) landscapes, sun rays or electrifying effects. Or even realistic rain. You can build filters on top of each other, adjust opacity and luminosity. I’ve spent at least a hour or two creating artwork in one sitting. Without regret.
Well, this won’t make your pictures prettier – but it will tell you which ones are! I couldn’t wrap up without telling you about this internet app. Statigram is rightfully simple. It has basic metrics such as most liked, most engagements or commented on pictures. Other than that, they serve as a web viewer for photos since Instagram doesn’t have a website. It comes complete with a few goodies like follow me buttons to code in your website, the ability to integrate a feed for your Facebook page or a campaign toolkit. Heck, they even give you a birth certificate! Adorbs!
Use the photo creating apps individually or combine them and take your time. In the present situation – with 7.3 million users and the social media world waiting to see what Facebook does with the app in the bigger picture - you can’t afford to look at pictures as things just to upload.
Color Splash, Photoshop and Textgram are a few more great ones. What are some of your favorite photo creating apps we should know about?