Instagram, just like Pinterest, has been a social platform that businesses leave to the everyday consumer, not quite understanding how to level a brand message without sounding sales-y or robotic. It could be that marketing or PR teams have no idea how to harness the power of hashtags or the use of them in marketing campaigns. It could also be that they #use #broken #hashtags versus knowing how to utilize the trending ones correctly to gain more followers and brand exposure. Below you’ll find my suggestions to market any company on Instagram throughout the week.
Man Crush Monday
#mancrushmonday, also known as #mcm
Most of the weekday hashtags are self-explanatory, and man crush Monday is definitely one of them. Although this gallery is chock-full of Jake Gyllenhals and James Francos, companies can easily leverage this hashtag. Say, for example, you’re a tech recruiting company and one of your salesmen outperformed everyone in the division. You could do the following:
- Write a short, interesting bio of him (maybe include a funny quote or a random fact).
- Snap a picture. It doesn’t have to be GQ, just make it witty or realistic. Just please not grainy or blurry.
- Upload to your company’s Instagram account.
- Make sure your company’s brand page is connected to its Facebook page
- Include a bio, hashtag #mancrushmonday and a link to your site in the text.
- Select to upload to your company Facebook page as well.
As you can see, people use this tag to show many facets and ‘man crushes’ of their lives. From an A-list celebrity to a boyfriend or best friend – many companies prefer to get abstract with it, applying #mcm to their mascot or an employee. It goes to show that companies can pretty much have a ‘mancrushmonday’ on just about anything. As long as it’s interesting, shows a human angle and somehow relates to your company’s goods or services, you’ll be portrayed as participating and joining the social conversation with consumers, not selling a product.
Another option for Monday features fluffy felines in the #meowmonday hashtag.
It’s hard to go wrong with pictures of cats, so just share a nice picture and you’ll be good to go.
#mondayfunday provides a great opportunity to show your business’s fun side and connect with your audience on a personal level. Break up the monotony of Monday with a bit of light-hearted posting.
You can include your staff outside of work, doing something fun at the office, such as a Birthday for an employee, or something festive for a holiday. Since the goal is to just present your workers as real people, rather than drones trying to sell things, this doesn’t necessarily need to represent your product.
#transformationtuesday, or #tt
Another tag you could figure out with context is Transformation Tuesday, which highlights transformation with before and after photos for the #transformation being compared. Personal uses of this hashtag could include before and after pics of a #DIY car restoration, weight loss, and home improvement projects. Many businesses can use this tag to great effect, from a construction repair job, a website redesign, a hair salon, or any type of improvement that you can think of.
Another option that can really connect with your audience is #traveltuesday. Although you might not be able to do this every week, when you’re able to, you can share some great pictures that help your audience connect with your staff or see some great locations.
Woman Crush Wednesday
In the same vein as #mancrushmonday, Woman Crush Wednesday lets you shine the spotlight on a leading lady, whether that’s an interesting person in your field, a great employee, or any other woman you’d like to feature.
Way Back Wednesday
#waybackwednesday: You could also use: #wbw
From a business standpoint, the Way Back Wednesday tag can also be used to showcase how far your business has come from its humble beginnings, no matter what industry you’re in. Whether it be something specific like re-designing a website, a broader idea such as showing how you’ve improved your industry with new, innovative ideas, or something as simple as streamlining the efficiency of the way things are done around your office as opposed to the way things were done when you first started, utilize the #wbw to show your target audience just have far you’ve come! You can also connect more with your audience by sharing #wbw posts about their lives.
Let’s not forget our canine friends! Your favorite pooch can make an appearance on Woof Wednesday with a cute picture that your followers will love.
#throwbackthursday, also #tbt
Throwback Thursday was really the first tag to really go viral across a vast variety of online users (as you can see by the 20 million plus pictures). #Tbt is pretty much the same concept as Way back Wednesday, however you can appeal to a larger audience and target your niche by additional hashtags:
Above: If you sell vintage jewelry, sunglasses or other accessories, this would be the perfect picture to upload and market under #throwbackthursday. It also wouldn’t hurt to add a #vintagesunglasses or #vintage jewelry tag to possibly root out your audience across the platform.
#flashbackfriday, also known as #fbf
Much like #tbt and #wbw, #flashbackfriday allows you to feature bygone days, often with a comparison of the present. Be creative and share your company’s growth, past events, or older versions of the products that you offer. For instance, jewelry companies could feature a necklace style that was popular in the 1920’s.
Like #mondayfunday, Friday’s are a great time to share the lighter sigh of your company. Everyone is gearing up for the weekend, so you can set the tone by sharing some fun posts.
Other Friday tags include:
#friday 7,340,176 photos
The internet will never have too many cat pictures, so you get an extra day to share more posts of adorable or quirky cats, whether they belong to your coworkers or you found them on another social media site.
#saturdaynight 5,873,281 photos
#saturdaymorning 102, 865
Although this day is dedicated to setting the cell phone camera to ‘self portrait’ mode, businesses can also take advantage of this hashtag to build community. For example, if Starbucks wanted to leverage the virality of the tag, their team could launch a #starbucksselfiesunday engagement campaign to display user-submitted pictures of patrons with their steaming, brand-splahed cups of coffee. Not only does this show Starbucks adaptability in the social media strategy arena, it also gives their fan base a feel-good, humanistic relationship with the company.
Below: Continuing with the Starbucks example, it’s obvious that their Instagram fans are there, they just need a clean, social campaign strategy to round them up and engage them.
Moving forward to market your brand on Instagram
If you’re involved in social strategy, SEO, or any other type of content marketing then you’re more than likely well-versed in the etiquette of Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. The problem is that many are professional, social ninjas on their personal profiles, but don’t quite know how to translate that to the company account. The key is to leverage these viral hashtags and other social trends to display your brand as humanized, sincere, engaging, relevant and most importantly, not trying to push something to sell in the users’ face; the company that’s engaging and makes itself more inviting and approachable on social media is the company that is going to succeed.