Instagram Heats Up for PR/Advertising and Marketing Pros

The Grammy Awards are Monday, and for the first year ever Instagram is releasing global data rankings featuring the top three in every category. We’ll see if Instagram is a good predictor of the eventual winners, but from seeing that Taylor Swift is leading for album of the year, and Chris Stapleton is leading the Country categories, lends it some credibility.

While it seems that Twitter and Facebook may have stumbled a bit, the rush has been on for Instagram ever since the social media app opened up advertising to companies that would like to market on its platform. These Instagram ads generally involve a description of a brand’s offer and then a call-to-action for users to click to their landing page to drive traffic.

Particularly in terms of marketing to those millennials who bypass Facebook and Twitter, it seems to be the one universal network that everyone is using. Want to reach cord cutters and cord-nevers? (Mostly young people who don’t watch conventional cable, satellite or broadcast TV). Think different; think Instagram. The photo app was designed with the smartphone era in mind. And, because Instagram is instinctively visual, it provides both a unique creative challenge and opportunity to PR and marketing communicators.

One of the more obvious business applications is in the fashion and beauty industry. It’s no accident some of the most popular Instagram accounts belong to models and celebriteis or the people who style them and do their make-up and hairstyles.

Atlanta-based hair and make up artist Amelia Fugitt (Instagram handle Amelia-HairMakeup) gets new clients from her account almost every day.

Amelia says, “I’ve gotten a lot of editorial projects from Instagram because clients can see what you have been working on and they can see what you can do. As far as the salon goes, overall, now when people bring in pictures to show their stylist how they want their hair, it’s not magazine clippings, it’s pictures off Instagram or Facebook because they’ve seen what you’ve done with other clients. And a lot of people draw inspiration from Instagram in terms of style and fashion.”

Experts say the best way to build followers for your Instagram account is to be consistent with posting. Primetime on Instagram is 7 to 11 pm ET because it works best for East coast and West Coast followers, after regular work hours. It’s recommend that you shoudn’t over share or over post; posting more than twice a day may cause you to lose followers, but you should post at least post once a day to build engagement.

Instagram has direct messaging, so it’s very similar to email, you can inbox and you can also provide direct links to your website. The biggest challenge for most marketers because Instagram is designed for your smartphone, you generally need to use your smartphone to post. Thoughts, questions, comments? I’d love to hear from you….