Is it just me or have you found that there’s an increasing number of people using Instagram?
According to the Yellow Social Media Report 2013, Instagram (15%) was the third most popular social networking site used in Australia behind Facebook (95%) and Linkedin (20%). The social networking site was found to be most popular with females and people aged 14-29 years.
I’m often asked how Instagram works for shopping centres, what to do and why you should do it once you have your account up and running so let’s take a look…
If your Retailers are on Instagram, start following them.
Go through your retailer list one by one and start searching and following them. Keep up to date with the content they are posting and get involved.
When your retailers post photos start liking their posts and commenting on them.
This is important because you’ll be doing them a favour by helping to spread the word about their product or service (and their Instagram account!). This is how it works: people who follow your account will see the photos your like and comment on in their ‘Following’ newsfeed, therefore increasing retailer visibility.
Notice how you can see the photos people are liking and commenting on from the list of people you are following. This is what your followers will see when you like and comment. If your followers are interested in the photos they can click on them and start following the account or like/comment too.
You’ll also notice that when you comment, the most recent accounts to comment show up in the newsfeed as a clickable link which allows other Instagramers to check out your account and press follow … if they are interested. You can also click on the “View all comments” option or the “Likes” to see all of the accounts that have liked the photo.
This is what it looks like:
Instagram asks that you don’t share other people’s photos from their life so you need to be careful about repurposing content from Instagram. This is the official word from the Instagram website FAQs:
In the case of your retailers it would be ideal to be able to share their content to other social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In a perfect world, you would seek individual retailer approval via a memorandum and explain how you will be sharing their content and on what social networking sites. If you are working towards the common goal of increasing sales and traffic they really should not have an issue with this. When retailers agree in writing, you can share their content. To do this use the “Copy share URL” or you can “Tweet” directly from within the app. If the account you are following is not a publicly available account you will not have this option.
Hashtags on Instagram are like any other social networking site, they are used to categorise content for search. Some shopping centres have already created tags and shared them with their other social networking sites like Facebook. They ask their followers to tag them in their Instagram posts and advise them that they’ll share fan photos via their Facebook page. If you are concerned about copyright and keeping your fans happy, simply comment on their Instagram photo seeking permission to share it on your Facebook page.
You can see here that the iconic Queen Victoria Building in Sydney shares photos and references the source of the photo with their account name.
Instagram is perfect for retail because it can be so visual. Each day as you walk the Centre you will see great content which can be shared with your followers. Instagram is perfect for product shots, food images, capturing entertainment, iconic features of buildings … the list goes on. When you share your photos use tags to expand your reach and find new followers. Examples might include the suburb in which your shopping centre is located or words that describe your products or services #KidsEntertainment #SchoolHolidayFun #Fashion #Style #IceCream etc.
Click here to find out how you can share photos simultaneously to your Facebook and Instagram accounts too.
If you want followers you need to tell your customers that you are on Instagram. You might do this by sharing your account name (e.g. @isocialize_au – that’s my account!) on other social networking sites periodically, add it to your website, create an Instagram feed on your Facebook page, tell people via an email etc, the list goes on. Just make sure you tell people!
If you want to get noticed (and potentially followed!) start following other Instagramers. You can start by following your Facebook friends from your personal account, you will see friends who have recently joined Instagram in your “News” newsfeed.
You can also search for people by using hashtags, you might search by geographic location or interests.
Now it’s over to you: Do you think you will set up an Instagram account for your shopping centre? Is Instagram a good fit for your demographic? Do you think Instagram is a medium that will continue to grow? If you are already on Instagram, drop me a line in the comments below and I’ll be sure to follow your account.
Author: Celina Johnson
• Customised social media set up
• Daily Monitoring of your social media
• Marketing Plans and Strategies
• Experienced in Shopping Centres
• Experienced in Retail
• Experienced in Small Business
• Media trained
• Experienced in stakeholder liaison