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Most organizations recognize the value of establishing a presence on at least one social-media platform today for marketing purposes. However, sites such as Pinterest and Instagram remain somewhat of a mystery. They’re occasionally dismissed as the domain of teens and other social-media junkies. But it would be a mistake to overlook their business benefit.
Visual content drives digital trends today (if you’re unfamiliar, think “memes” on Facebook), and that’s why these platforms are getting so big. Visual content is easy, quick and fun to consume, which makes it a great way to connect to brand-targeted audiences.
To get started, assess what the two platforms have to offer that would enhance strategies, decide whether to engage and, if so, develop a marketing plan specifically for that social network. To get a better sense of this, here’s a brief breakdown of both sites:
Pinterest lets you “pin” different images/graphics/videos to your board(s). So evaluate what visually appealing content you can present to followers. You may conclude that you have little of any value to offer, and move on. But think creatively before you rule it out. In a recent Forbes article, the magazine offers the following suggestions for coming up with great “eye appeal” for any kind of business, including the IT companies that our high-tech PR firm serves:
- Turn data into charts or infographics, which users love
- Pin a book cover from a title authored by an exec on your staff, or a cover of a company report
- Produce a video that provides helpful information which users seek, as opposed to self-promotional content and/or advertising
- Post a graphic about a current product/services promotion, if relevant
Instagram allows users to share photos, and more recently, short videos (15 seconds max – almost an evolved version of animated GIFs). It’s a great way to showcase what you sell. Or you can display images of the office, your employees, partners, etc., to help customers/clients feel more connected to your people and what you do.
As SocialMediaExaminer.com points out, you can share images/videos on Instagram when attending a tradeshow or other event, so followers can better understand the industry events that you take part in. Other good tips include:
- Using hashtags as descriptors to explain to followers why you’ve posted a particular image
- Making sure that you look for any posts about your company – key hashtags allow you to easily search for this – and engage with the users who post it
- Getting an “OK” to re-use the user-posted content, in the interest of brand building and direct user engagement
The last point is critical, as much of social-media marketing strategy is driven by engagement. Commenting and replying to followers is a must. And your Pinterest and/or Instagram pages must never stay static. An abandoned page never looks good, as it conveys the opposite of what you want: apathy.
At our agency, we’re always offering extensive support to clients to help them develop and executive winning social-media plans – including those for sites that are primarily visual. If this sounds like something you’d like to learn more about, then contact us.