Instagram (IG) is touted as the fastest growing social media. Having opened its doors in 2010, Instagram currently is said to have the most engaging social media platform. According Iconosquare’s Instagram 2015 Study, Instagram has more active users than Twitter. Using Instagram to promote events is a smart move.

Boasting over 300 million daily users, the Instagram website shows a total of 500 million users.  Of those Instagramers, 80% are outside the US. You can utilize this venue with online activities to increase your Brand recognition, such as contests, sales, promotions and just basic daily interaction.

How to Use Instagram to Promote Events

The subtle form of marketing on Instagram may be a new concept for some businesses, but it’s a very effective way to promote companies and their events. Instagram offers online tips and tools to assist your marketing efforts.

The most important thing to remember is the Instagram culture. It promotes creativity, so be sure whatever you post represents this goal. Do not present sales pitches in your Instagram photos or interactions. This is the easiest way to alienate Instagramers and ruin your chances of building a following.

Since Instagram is an excellent soft sell form of marketing achieved through the use of photos and videos, your photos should have a light touch to them. These visuals should never hit Instagramers over the head with sales pitches.

Keep in mind there are over 95 million photos and videos posted and viewed each day. That may seem daunting especially since the competition for attention is pretty stiff. However, you can grab your share if you follow the Instagram 2015 Study results on the type of photos that capture Instagramers’ attention.

Start with Your Company Bio

According to Kirk Williams of Kissmetrics, “Instagram helps convert passive shoppers into confident customers.”

The focus of your Instagram account and page should be your brand. Williams advises, “In fact, ‘you’ should rarely appear on your brand’s IG page, or even not at all.”

He suggests:

  • Add clickable link to your landing page or CTA page on your bio (company) underneath your company name and description at top of your Instagram page.
  • Be consistent and professional with your company name and photo. This thumbnail appears in all your interactions on Instagram.

Your company bio should present a company persona that’s catchy – never a sales pitch. Give a brief description of what your company does. Keep it easy going, inviting and interesting. Williams advises that you can also include a hashtag that relates to your business, but reminds that “keywords and hashtags” aren’t searchable on Instagram.

If you’re preparing for an event, then you should change your company bio to reflect your upcoming event. Be sure to provide a clickable link to the CTA page for your event.

A Few Rules for Instagram Photos and Videos

Kissmetrics explains how the Instagram 2015 study revealed 67% of Instagram consumers are influenced to make purchases by “detailed images” rather than product information or customer ratings.

You want to be sure that your photos are high resolution and aren’t static, but full of energy and movement. Use photos to garner likes. This will ensure a buzz is created about your event to drive traffic to your website.

Williams points to the 2015 study for tips on increasing the number of likes for your photos. A few suggestions:

  • 24% more likes are made for light and bright images than dark ones.
  • 24% more likes for images with the dominant color of blue rather than red.

According to Kissmetrics a good rule of thumb for Instagram photos is they should be, “attention-grabbing, unique, and full of personality.” This paves the way for you to let your company event shine. When you post pre- and post-event photos, make sure each one is colorful, energetic and lively.

A few examples of action shots include:

  • Cooking school featuring photos of students’ cooking masterpieces, students in action and candid shots.
  • Catering company highlighting creative dinners, galas and other events.
  • Paint and sip venue featuring attendees’ art work and students having fun.
  • A short video of the event, such as a time-lapsed capture of an artist painting or decorating a cake or baking a recipe. These are ideal uploads for Instagram.
  • Other videos include students interacting, such as dancing or fun antics.

Photo Advice

  • The number one rule for photos and videos is always embed a clickable CTA or other website link.
  • Instagram advises to add a text overlay. This could be your company logo, name, a title for the photo or your company event promotion.
  • Types of photos to avoid uploading include personal photos, especially selfies.
  • Keep the style of your photos consistent. Williams advises this should be part of your Instagram branding effort.
  • Your photos should demonstrate or show your product(s) without needing descriptions.
  • Never add a product description. This is considered a hard sell tactic that’s resented on Instagram.

Instagram offers photo and video tools that allow you to resize and format to their specifications. Instagram also offers several photo filter choices to enhance and change photo appearances.

Promoting on All Social Media Outlets

The photos and videos you upload onto Instagram can also be shared on other social media, such as Twitter, Facebook and Flickr. You can even pick and choose which photos go where. Another great marketing tool is to host a meetup through Instagram. This will strengthen your connection with clients. Social media continues to be a great way to further promote your company and events while allowing meaningful interactions with clients and potential clients.