Instagram engagement is way up. According to a recent Forrester study, the photo sharing site blows Facebook and Twitter out of the water with 4.21% engagement versus .07% and .03% respectively.
Here are four tips on how your brand should be using it.
First, tell a story. People respond to stories about people, said Gartner analyst Jennifer Polk. If Corvette posts a picture of a guy driving his car through the desert at dusk, that communicates something more powerful than a plain photo of a car in a parking lot.
Second, take the customers perspective. Your followers don't use your products in studios with white walls. Starbucks, for example, is good at posting photos of their products in places familiar to the customer, like on an outside table next to paperwork.
"They don't want to see the advertiser's point of view," Polk said.
Third, post attractive pictures. It might sound obvious, but make sure your photos and videos are appealing to look at. No one wants to share or like a bland, boring photo — they might just think that you're bland and boring.
Fourth, don't forget your followers. When Ben & Jerry's encouraged fans to post Instagram photos with the #captureeuphoria hashtag, they got some real user-generated gems. Plus, having followers post Ben & Jerry's-themed Instagram photos ends up being implied endorsements sent out to users' individual networks, regardless of whether their followers are following Ben & Jerry's, Polk said.
Erin Carson has nothing to disclose. She doesn't hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Erin Carson is a Staff Reporter for CNET and a former Multimedia Editor for TechRepublic.