This holiday season, you’ll probably see a lot of images of food, fun, and festivities on social networking platforms. One that’s seeing a lot of action is a relatively new kid on the social block: Instagram.
Instagram is essentially a photo sharing application where users can filter their photographs with different effects. After its initial launch in October 2010, the Instagram community grew to one million members in just a few months.
A year later, the application saw its 150 millionth upload. It has been named the best app by Apple, has partnered with Facebook, enabled video uploads, and has even launched mobile pages. Not too shabby for a social network that just came onto the scene.
Today, Instagram has 150 million active users, 60 percent of which are located outside of the United States. In addition, there are 16 billion photos shared daily, 1.2 billion likes daily, and the application averages 55 million photos per day.
Here’s the other thing too: Since the photo sharing application has the reach of its behemoth counter types, the holidays are a perfect time to build engagement around your brand, start conversations, and of course, spread your message in fun and interesting ways.
When you’re ready to get started, check out these tips to “filter” your way to better engagement on Instagram.
Start a fun contest
It’s no surprise that the holidays can be a time to let loose and have a little fun. As the most popular page on Instagram with over 3.3 million followers, The Ellen Show does just that.
To increase engagement, The Ellen Show asked users to post photos of babies dressed up as Santa. The winner would receive day one of the shows “12 Days of Christmas” giveaways. The initial post received over 117,000 likes, as well as lots of comments. The following “Santa baby” photo received 124,000, with subsequent comments to follow.
Lesson: If you make a contest fun, your followers will be more enticed to participate and follow-through with it.
Studies show that the top brands on Instagram post often, which in turn draws larger audiences.
In fact, among brands with Instagram accounts, 57 percent posted at least a single photo per week.
One of these top brands is MTV. The music network, which averages about 1.8 million followers, not only posts multiple times a day, it also does so with a little holiday joy mixed in with entertainment updates.
For instance, one post shows a celeb posing with presents (19,000 likes). Another showcases a singer with a turkey dinner (35,000 likes). Both of these illustrates the commitment MTV has to not only their audience and engagement, but the season itself. MTV also takes advantage of Instagram’s newest video feature by posting daily news videos, which provides snippets of information to followers whenever they need it.
Lesson: Simple — Unlike other social networks, the more you post, the better.
Associate famous products with the season
The holidays are also about that nostalgia factor. You know what I’m talking about: festive lights, garlands, and even that anticipation of a familiar product that’s only out during the season. Not only do these products bring more demand, it also helps you to enjoy this time of the year a little more.
Case in point: Starbucks red cups. While the coffee is no different, there’s something special about drinking one of the most famous beverages out of a colored cup. Starbucks, which currently has 1.8 million followers, understands this and has used Instagram to show off their product’s famous seasonal counterpart.
For instance, in November, Starbucks posted a simple photo of a woman holding a red cup up to her face, with the caption “They’re back.” This post almost hit a million likes, most likely because people loved seeing the product again. They’ve also tweaked the red cup to create cool graphics.
Lesson: If you have a seasonal product, show it off!! Both of the above examples let you see a familiar product back on the market again, creating excitement and engagement over something relatively small.
This holiday season, don’t be boring! Use social networks like Instagram to connect with your audience, “filter” your way to better engagement, and keep them coming back for more.
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