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Social Media Blogs by Aliza Sherman

Social Media Blogs by Aliza Sherman

Aliza Sherman is a news media entrepreneur, author, women's issues activist, and international speaker.
Sherman has received recognition for her role as an entrepreneur focused on women's issues, particularly women's role in the news media industry and their participation on the Internet.

Telling your company stories through Instagram

Telling your company stories through Instagram

When you’re telling a story, you need to think about the beginning, middle and end. Social networks are great platforms for storytelling, and Instagram is a place where photos and videos can convey your story, with or without words.

Using Instagram, you can tell stories using images, 15-second videos, captions and hashtags to creatively reveal more about your brand. Sometimes you might plan out the beginning image, the middle one and the final one to tell a concise story. Other times, you might tell a story spontaneously in the moment through the sequence of the images and video you upload.

Here are some specific ways to tell a stronger company story using Instagram.

  1. Fill out your bio. Your account bio is the beginning of the story you’re telling about your company and your brand. Don’t forget to include a URL to your website. Consider using a URL not to your website’s homepage where a person might get lost but to a page within your website where you can more directly explain to fellow Instagram users who you are and what you do.
  2. Establish your key messages. As with any marketing, start with your goals, the audience you’re trying to reach and the actions you’d like them to do. Focus on messages you can convey that don’t require clicking on a link to another web page for more details. You can add links as text over some of your images to brand your URL.
  3. Come up with a look. Use consistent branding on some – but not all – of your images. While you want to use some visual clues to your brand such as your logo, posting to Instagram should also be spontaneous and not always so planned and produced. You can brand more subtly through the use of specific colors or fonts when placing text on images. Choose a filter or set of filters to use on some of the images to help create a recognizable and cohesive look.
  4. Craft compelling and varied captions. Don’t treat Instagram captions like Twitter or Facebook. The length of Instagram captions can vary as appropriate for your post. Use a mix of both short and longer captions, and don’t be afraid to tell part of your brand story in captions. Longer narratives are acceptable on Instagram.
  5. Use hashtags strategically and creatively. Hashtags may be a bit overused on Instagram, however, multiple hashtags is still an acceptable way to help your images to be more easily found in search results and to group your images together with similar content. Look to include popular hashtags when relevant. Sometimes, the hashtags actually make the caption and can add to the storytelling. A simple caption on a photo showing your dog at your office can be made more engaging with hashtags such as #dogstagram #dogsofinstagram, and #officedog, among others. Be careful about linking your Instagram account to post automatically to your Facebook Page because multiple hashtags are not recommended for Facebook.
  6. Peel back the curtain. Take pictures behind the scenes to make your Instagram account more intimate and personal. Tell the stories behind your company, products or services, and your people. Give your followers an insider glimpse of your jewelry-making studio, not just the jewelry.
  7. Upload more than one image at a time. Posting multiple times in a row may not be acceptable on all social networks, but it is fine on Instagram. For example, if you’re attending an event, wait until you have several images that tell a strong story about the event and post them one after another. Posting images after the fact is as acceptable on Instagram as posting them in the moment. In fact, there’s even a hashtag you can use on images uploaded later: #latergram.

Instagram-style images and video will attract attention and provide you with compelling imagery for the rest of your social media marketing. Leverage those distinctive images on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and even LinkedIn, as appropriate, posting to those social networks using each platform’s best practices.



Read other social media blogs by Aliza Sherman
 

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