Why Instagram is a Powerful Tool in PR Today

Why Instagram is a Powerful Tool in PR Today

Post by Eri Mizobe, Vox PRPA Intern

Most PR professionals would agree that social media is an essential communication tool. However, what makes social media effective? It comes down to social media’s  engaging nature, allowing brands to connect with the public in a personal way.

Instagram is a great example of this. The platform has proven that it engages more audiences than Facebook or Twitter. Here’s why:

Instagram is highly visual. While other platforms use visual content,, Instagram’s main focus is sharing photos and videos. In a world where audiences are constantly being exposed to multiple messages, effective visuals can shine through.

It’s harder to miss posts on Instagram. As explained in this recent article by MarketWatch, Instagram doesn’t weed out promotional posts. Facebook uses an algorithm that decreases the chances of users seeing posts, and Twitter’s news feed refreshes every few seconds, which pushes down tweets. As a result, Instagram engages 58 times more users than Facebook and 120 times more users than Twitter!

The average Instagram user is younger. This is advantageous to companies because younger audiences tend to be more active on social media. MarketWatch also mentions the median age of Instagram users is 27, while that of Facebook users is 40.

To fully take advantage of Instagram’s potential, it’s important for brands to use the platform in an effective manner. Here are a few pointers to make sure that your brand’s Instagram posts are engaging:

1.    Promote your brand personality, not just your products. Your followers and customers want to see what your brand is about. You can appeal to more users if you promote a lifestyle as opposed to just your products and the functionality of them. Lifestyles resonate and engage with people.

2.    Don’t be afraid to be candid. It’s important to have a social media calendar or strategy, but inspiration can’t always be planned. If you see a photo or video opportunity that is relevant to your brand, share it! Candid posts are genuine and more personal, which attracts audiences.

3.    Use effective hashtags, but in a minimalistic manner. Hashtags are an important component of your captions because users can search for them. Use a mix of hashtags that are trending, but also differentiate you from other brands. For example, create a hashtag for your brand and another for the culture of your brand, such as your brand slogan. If you’re using buzzwords in your hashtag, make sure that they are relevant to your photo or video. Hashtags should be used sparingly so choose the most relevant ones – we recommend no more than three or four on Instagram.

By making strategic choices with your brand’s Instagram account, you can connect and build relationships with your audience. As with any other social media platform, the best Instagram accounts are those that facilitate a two-way conversation with your audience. Ask them for opinions. Share new ideas. Make it authentic.

What will you post on Instagram today?

Photo Credit: stella via Compfight cc

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