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Instagram as a PR tool

Posted on November 22, 2016 by Paloma Martin Ramirez

Six years after its launch in October 2010, Instagram has 500 million active users that have captured photos from their smartphones to share everything from beautiful food presentations to scenic beaches. While this platform was originally picked up by consumers and photographers, it has naturally become an important tool to visually communicate a brand’s story for PR professionals and their clients.

Instagram attracts hundreds of millions of users globally, and companies and brands of all sizes are trying to tap into that engaged audience. But with the platform’s unique capabilities and design, it requires a custom content strategy to succeed. That’s why we looked at content across the top industries to show how the most engaging companies and brands are capturing their audience’s attention and growing their communities – and found lessons you can apply to your own visual content marketing strategy today.


Key Points to Consider

From the PR perspective, there are some key points we need to consider:

  • Number of Followers does not always equal higher Number of Interactions.
  • Incorporate Influencers into your Instagram strategy to increase Interactions.
  • Include engaging description text to accompany your images.
  • Feature your Followers in your content.


Browse through millions of the best-performing content pieces on Instagram and use your discoveries as inspiration for your own visual content strategy.

Most importantly, it’s vital to keep up with the platform for clients wishing to benefit from Instagram. Any business that has Instagram needs to be using it consistently; it doesn’t do you any good to set up an account and only post once a month. There needs to be a consistent presence, otherwise it defeats the purpose.

Also, make sure to engage with others and follow like-minded individuals. Dedicate yourself to building up users. As always, successful social media programs are always more successful if they’re matched by equally successful offline networking as well. So socialize, network, seek out others in your field, particularly those with higher numbers than you.

Besides, we cannot forget that in 2015 Instagram introduced sponsored advertisements, a valuable tool for outreach from both a marketing and PR perspective. You can utilize the 15 second video element with this tool.


Celebrities, Media and Companies on Instagram

Celebrities receive 3x more engagement than Media publishers and 5x more than companies. Connecting your company with an influencer or a celebrity can massively improve exposure, awareness, and image. Media receive 26% more interactions than companies. They post frequently and are usually the first to implement new social media tools.


Fashion Brands by Followers

Needless to say, certain companies can easily benefit from Instagram more than others. Beauty, fashion, food, wedding, home design and travel are some industries that can be complemented with a visual aspect, compared to accounting or tutoring services, for example.

The most followed fashion brands range from fast fashion retailers such as ZARA or Forever21 to couture brands like Gucci. High street retailers like Victoria’s Secret, Urban Outfitters, Forever21, and H&M know how to drive up Interactions and keep their community engaged. They constantly share updates about the latest trends while subtly showing off their own lines. And while luxury fashion brands have stronger Follower growth, they do not have the highest engagement.

Instagram is the world’s fastest-growing social network and brands in every industry have discovered how important it is to design unique Instagram content and measure it correctly.

It is clear that Instagram has and will remain an asset to business leaders that have stayed relevant in using social media to promote clients’ voice and visual brand.



What does Trump and Brexit tell us? Start with emotion.

Posted on November 17, 2016 by Active

By Guest Author: John Brown (Head of Engagement – Hotwire)

Eating a mushroom omelette. That’s where I was when Trump won. I was in a Dubai hotel, munching on eggs and glaring at a screen unveiling the news.

Was I surprised? Sure, a bit. While I was more confident that Britain was indeed going to opt to leave the EU, the election of ‘The Donald’ felt too crazy.

Yet there we have it. Britain out. Trump in.

I’ve had many a heated conversation about the politics behind each scenario but the key thing that I felt linked the two shock victories together was emotion.

Good old fashion human emotion.

First, take a look at the two defeated campaigns, Remain and Clinton, you’ll see all the key ingredients you’d hope for in a communications campaign.

  • Strong spokespeople
  • Set of clear messages
  • Great stats and facts
  • Money

Unfortunately, these elements came second to raw emotion.

There’s no doubt we’re living in a post factual era.

Trump had ‘make America great again’. ‘Leave’ had ‘take back control’. Two powerful emotive statements that could be used to whip up a frenzy of emotion.

It didn’t matter that what came after the straplines of the respective campaigns was dubious at best. The fact remains that they played into the emotion of society.

As communicators we need to get a lot more comfortable with emotion. In fact, our approach to tactics should start from the perspective of, ‘what do we want our audience to feel?’.

Keeping this front of mind along with the wider business objectives will help to adjust marketing strategies in a way that recognises the human factor in communications.

While the world slowly shuts its jaw after the initial shock of the past year, marketers need to take notice and adjust their approach accordingly.

I know I will be. I also know that I won’t be eating another mushroom omelette again any time soon.


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