5 Tips for Using Instagram for PR Campaigns

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With over three hundred million active monthly users, Instagram has now overpassed Twitter.

~ IconoSquare

Instagram is a fun and easy social media tool to share photos and short videos that promote your PR campaign and tells your story in images, not words. When first launched, Instagram was primarily used by millennials - but Instagram usage has sky-rocketed and today is a popular site for:

  • Millennial Moms
  • Gen X
  • artists, celebrities and influencers
  • teens - 56.4% of all 14-17 year-olds
  • males - 51%

Statistics indicate 17% of all online adults use Instagram (JennsTrends) and major brands like NBC and Coke, nonprofits and educational organizations are using Instagram as part of their branding and PR campaigns to build their online audience. Using Instagram as part of your PR campaign requires understanding how Instagram users respond to and interact with images and developing an Instagram strategy for your PR campaign.

5 Essentials for Your Instagram PR Campaign

1. Curate what you share to Twitter and Facebook

Instagram has easy to use options that share your posts with Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Flickr. But don’t overshare and post all your Instagram images on your other social media sites: you will dilute your following.

2. Plan ahead

The power of sharing images and building your audience on Instagram is capturing the moment and sharing your PR event in real time - but the reality is that as you build your campaign you may find it more convenient to plan ahead and schedule your Instagram posts. While Instagram itself does not provide a scheduling option, there are tools available to plan and schedule your Instagram posts

  1. Onlypult - is a paid tool to schedule your Instagram posts in advance
  2. IFTTT - has free recipes that allow you share your Instagram posts to other social sites, such as schedule any Instagram post with the hashtag #twitter to share to your Twitter site as a native image (not just a link to Instagram).

When used together, Onlypult and IFTT allow you to schedule some of your Instagram posts in advance so that your PR campaign is running seamlessly while you're busy with other tasks... like sleep!

3. IRT - Share in real time

Its convenient to plan ahead and schedule your posts for efficiency and greater reach - just because your audience is on Instagram at midnight does not mean you want to be online posting at midnight! But the real power of Instagram is sharing with your audience in real time - when someone likes or comments on your post, immediately reply and start a conversation to build relationships.

4. Build user-generated campaigns

Instagram is an ideal tool to promote PR campaigns focused on user-generated content. Develop a hashtag strategy and encourage your followers to post images using your hashtag, then recognize and reward their shares:

  • repost their posts on your Instagram page
  • comment and thank all followers who post and tag you or use your hashtag
  • tag users who share your hashtag or image to encourage more engagement

5. Cross-promote on other social channels

When you start your Instagram campaign, be sure to let your followers on other channels know you're there and that you're sharing content only available on Instagram. You can create campaigns, contests and promotions that are only on Instagram - give your audience a reason to follow you on Instagram and increase their loyalty and interaction as you build your following.

Instagram is an ideal social media platform to build awareness and following for your PR campaign. Instagram's visual storytelling and high audience engagement encourage follower loyalty and build relationships.

For more information on using Instagram
Cision: Instagram for PR: 4 Campaigns to Spark Your Imagination
Maximize Social Busines:  How to Create an Instagram Strategy for Your Business