Four Tips for Becoming a Pro at Visual Storytelling on Instagram
We live in a visually dominated world and Instagram is a powerful platform in the social media world when it comes to visual content.
With over 400 million active monthly users, Instagram’s platform hosts over 70 million photo posts per day with 510,000 photos being liked every minute. According to Instagram, about half of its users now follow at least one business on the platform and around 60 percent of users say they’ve learned about products through Instagram. However, in the sea of selfies, cats, and food, it’s easy for you to feel like your content can get lost.
Strategic storytelling is absolutely necessary if you want to stand out. Through these four tips, your Instagram profile can be well on its way to more effectively engaging your followers.
#1 – Be human.
People are social beings. We crave interaction with other people and love feeling like we’re connected to someone else’s little piece of life. Each brand or person has their own style and story; that’s what your followers want to see.
User-generated content is also a way to show the human side of your brand. People want to see how other people love and use your brand. By reposting content captured by your audience, your brand can tell your own special story through the stories of other people. Connect with your audience by using by using stories of real people’s interactions with your organization or products, not stock photos or cheesy, posed pictures.
REI is a master of featuring their products being used by real consumers.
#2 – Be in the moment.
Don’t miss opportunities to connect with current events. Relevancy is key on social media; if your content isn’t relevant to your audience, then you are missing opportunities to grab their attention.
On the other hand, your social media marketing strategy can’t just be spontaneous either. A good strategy takes preparation and planning.
Find a balance that works for your brand between spontaneous and planned. It’s important to stick with a plan, but don’t be afraid to jump on a hot trend or micro-story from the office that will engage your audience.
Coca-Cola never misses an opportunity to participate in the conversation on what’s happening at the time whether it’s a big movie release, sporting event, or even a meteor shower.
#3 – Be platform specific.
Many brands make the mistake of posting the same exact content across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It’s important to consider which content is most effective for each of your platforms and what opportunities each platform offers. For example, Twitter and Facebook are better for text-based content, while Instagram is better for visually-based storytelling content. Of course we’re not saying that visual content is unimportant on Twitter and Facebook. It absolutely is. But you must carefully consider what types of content will have the most impact on each platform.
Don’t make the mistake of trying to force a piece of your Instagram story onto other platforms. Personalize your story experience for Instagram.
Oreo has used their Instagram account to tell the story of their new Oreo Thins while using their Twitter account for GIFs and retweets, and conversations with customers.
#4 – Be a big-picture storyteller
Pick a specific story or message you’re trying to tell your audience, and stick with it. While it’s important for each post to be a tiny window into your brand’s story and values, they should all communicate a big picture together. If your audience understand your brand’s culture and values by looking at your Instagram profile, you’ve done your job, and the end result will be more effective.
Patagonia’s Instagram feed consistently tells the story of a company obsessed with making people’s experiences in the great outdoors more enjoyable.