Photo: Instagram for iPhone
We’ve seen rapid adoption of the funky photo sharing app Instagram, with well over 1 million users.With the insane spike in popularity, companies and brands have jumped on the photo sharing bandwagon too.
Instagram recognised this trend in its latest update by making it easy for people to make their photos searchable with hashtags.
This is fun for the average user, but a huge win for brands that want to get more attention with the Instagram crowd.
Here are some tips to leverage hashtags for your brand on Instagram:
- Host a contest. Brisk seems to be the first major brand to pioneer an Instagram contest. They’re hosting one now tied to South By Southwest where users can submit photos that will appear on Brisk cans at the event. This is only scratching the surface.
- Target people by interest. Find people who photograph your brand. Blogger Social Wayne noticed that people were already posting photos of brands even as Instagram was in its infancy. Hashtags make tracking these people even easier. We did a quick search for “#Apple” and got the results in the photo above. Not bad for a feature that has only been around for a day.
- Create an RSS feed. The new hashtag feature allows you to create an RSS feed of your Instagram photos. Since not all your customers have an iPhone, this will be a great way for them to keep up with what you post. You can also integrate the feed into your company’s Facebook or Twitter pages. To create an RSS feed use this address: http://instagr.am/tags/[hashtag name]/feed/recent.rss.
- Encourage participation. In its blog post introducing hashtags, Instagram introduced examples of brands that are encouraging followers to share photos with specific hashtags. NPR, for example, is asking followers to tag photos showing #love and #hate. It’s a great way to garner engagement with your brand.
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