What is Instagram?
Instagram is an online photo and video sharing social network. It enables you to share photos with your friends and followers. In turn, you can comment on and share their images. The site is differentiated from other social media networks in that it was designed for mobile phones.
Instagram’s sheer scale makes it a very powerful tool. There are over 300 million monthly active users on the site and they post 40 million images per day. Nowadays over 20% of the world’s internet users have an Instagram account! And of those who have it, over 50% use it on a daily basis.
Why use it?
Despite its phenomenal growth, Instagram is not as inundated with paid adverts and promotions as Facebook and Twitter. This means that businesses looking to use it can find it easier to build up a trusted rapport with their clients. It is often described as feeling more ‘intimate’ than other social networks.
The lack of targeted advertising presents another advantage for businesses looking to take advantage of Instagram. Posts are more likely to be seen by followers; whereas your post might reach just 1% of your followers on Facebook, it might be seen by every one of your followers on Instagram.
The fact that Instagram is mobile-based makes it great for those attending weddings and wanting to catch the emotions of each minute of the day. It is little wonder that wedding photos are so widely circulated and are some of the most-liked posts on Instagram. Kimye’s wedding kiss was the most liked Instagram photo of all time!
Instagram also appeals to the visual nature of the wedding industry. A wedding day is filled with emotions, the bride being walked up the aisle by her father, the first dance, the magical moment when the bouquet is thrown to the bride’s friends. It is a common cliché that a picture is worth a thousand words, but actually photos are very well placed to capture the excitement of these moments. This is why we ask suppliers to put as many of their best photos on their Bridebook profile pages as possible.
Instagram’s users also fit into the wedding industry’s core demographic. 64% of UK Instagramers are female and the millennial generation is extremely well-represented with over 90% of users aged under 35.
What to use it for?
Given Instagram’s demographics, the best way to use the site is to choose and upload photos that could prove inspirational for brides. If a photo catches a bride’s eye, there is a good chance that she might save it. These tips below will help you to create an eye-catching profile and in the long run bring you leads.1) Build your profile
Before you start actively looking for followers, build your profile up. Make sure you have at least 20 photos loaded- no one will want to follow a blank page.2) Fill in your contact details
Make sure your details are filled in. Given that you cannot link your website to the photos that you post, the best way of making sure brides come and view your webpage is to have your details written clearly in your profile.3) Use the 150-character bio field wisely
Use the bio field in your profile page wisely – you only have 150 characters so do not waste a single word. Clearly state what you are e.g. a luxury caterer, a boutique hotel and what you can offer wedding couples.4) Post little, but often
When you want to start getting a following, be sure to send photos out little but often. Do not bombard prospective brides with photos, simply whet their interest with one or two photos every couple of days.5) Timing matters
Time your posts carefully. They are most likely to be seen if you put them up at around 5pm when people are just leaving work (or procrastinating at work)!6) Wednesday’s are the best day
On the same note, it is little wonder that #WeddingWednesday has been such a success. People are most likely to like photos on Wednesday and least likely to engage with Instagram on Monday.7) Join the festive spirit
Use special occasions as a chance to send out themed images. These should attract plenty of attention e.g. consider uploading a romantic photo for Valentine’s day or a photo of a couple kissing under mistletoe as Christmas approaches.8) Use your best photos
Upload your best quality photos to Instagram. Remember that Instagram photos are square shaped giving you a good chance to play with symmetry effects. Photos can be cropped or you can use the square setting on your camera to have photos which are instantly ready for sharing.9) Differentiate your photos with free apps
Add geo-tags when you post your photos (this option is available whenever you post photos). This will enable potential brides to see where you are based and what locations you have worked at recently.11) Try posting videos
Instagram also allows you to post videos which are up to 15 seconds long. Try posting one as it may be a more efficient way to showcase your brand. You can learn more about video marketing in this article.12) Use hashtags
Write hashtags under your photos to ensure that they get the attention they deserve. #weddingwednesday, #shesaidyes and #weddinginspiration are not a bad place to start and should help you to build a good, well-targeted following. Have a look at Bridebook’s Instagram page to build up further ideas on what hashtags to try out.13) Enable notifications
Enable notifications so you can monitor which photos get the most attention and at what times. Modify your Instagram strategy accordingly.14) Share photos across your social networks
By changing the account settings, images can be shared across Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr and even Weibo accounts in one go. To do this, click on the rosette in the corner of your profile page, go to settings, then linked accounts and link through to any accounts you choose.15) Try running a competition
If you are in a hurry and want to boost your following quickly, it might be worth trying a competition- offer a free photo shoot, tour or makeover for the bride. Try following Bridebook to see what exciting competitions we are currently running!16) Offer special discounts for followers
On a similar note, try offering special discounts to those who follow you on Instagram. It is an amazingly quick way of building up an audience.17) Socialise!
Social media is meant to be social- follow businesses with similar interests, brides and suppliers with whom you commonly work. Like their photos. Comment on new ideas they are trying out.18) Follow Instagram’s blog
Instagram regularly tries out new features. To keep up to date with their latest ideas and really differentiate your photos by following their blog.19) Add Instagram to your Bridebook profile
Showcase all your hard work by adding your Instagram account to your Bridebook profile page.20) Follow Bridebook on Instagram!
We’d to have you in our wedding community on Instagram! Come follow us!
Have a look at how to maximise YouTube here!