Using Instagram Stories to Show Off Your Brand Behind the Scenes

RIP, Snapchat.

 

Okay, so Snapchat isn’t officially dead, but in June 2018, Instagram reported having up to 400 million daily active users – more than twice that of Snapchat. While Snapchat is still appealing to teens, we’ve been steadily phasing it out of our clients’ strategic social media plans. Why post to Snapchat when you already have a great platform built up on Instagram?

 

If static Instagram posts are the sandcastles, Instagram Stories are the sandbox. You don’t have to worry as much about the content quality because that’s not what your audience is looking for. They want to see what you’re doing, right then in the moment. That awesome product shot you got of hats perfectly balanced on a railing that did so well on your page? Show what it took to get that shot – including the 49 outtakes where hats kept falling over or hands were still caught in the frame.

 

Here are four other ideas to show off your brand with behind the scenes (BTS) Instagram Stories.

 

Event Planning.
Those of us in PR know how much work goes into planning an event, whether it’s a press conference or an exclusive blogger sneak-peek. Those rows of chairs don’t set themselves up on their own – take a boomerang of setting the chairs up, tag your employees doing the heavy lifting, and take a moment to recognize all the work that’s going into the event before the official photo-ops.

 

Interviews.
One of my favorite things to do at Dittoe PR is to set up on-air interviews for my clients. Like event planning, there’s a lot of coordination that goes into these interviews – and some very early morning trips to the news station! Most people only see the final interview when it airs on TV, so take a moment to get a BTS shot of the studio (don’t forget to tag the station and reporters!).

 

Photo Shoots.
Professional photo and video shoots will bring your brand the best visual materials you can ask for. Behind those lenses are a lot of people, tools and coordination that your fans may not be aware of. The top-down shot of a desk with your products scattered on it? There’s a photographer standing on a chair, holding her camera out at a precarious angle, and snapping by feel rather than what’s in the viewfinder. And there may be one person talking in the video, but there’s usually three or four people holding cameras, microphones and interview questions who are outside of the frame helping to make sure it all goes smoothly. Sharing this effort may make your followers appreciate that perfect shot even more.

 

Company Culture.
Unless your company is run by robots (which would be kind of cool), you work with people who have different interests and hobbies, as well as different roles within your organization. Introduce them to the world – with their permission, of course! You may know that your engineer has a thriving succulent collection on their desk, or your receptionist is notorious for their food-themed earrings. Your fans want to know the people behind their favorite brands.

 

And this doesn’t have to be on an individual level, either. If your company caters in lunch, regularly participates in #WineWednesday, or has a team building event off-site, these are great opportunities to show off your company culture and the leaders behind your success.

 

There are countless ways to use Instagram Stories to show off your company. If you’re not sure what might work, just take some boomerangs and see what happens!

 

Want some more help planning an in-depth social media strategy to show off your brand? Contact Lauryn Gray at lauryn@dittoepr.com.

Dittoe PR Scores a Hole-in-One with Carry The Game

Announcing a brand-new initiative at an industry’s largest trade show is no small feat, but Dittoe PR is always up to the challenge.

 

The Western Golf Association (WGA), a long-time client of Dittoe PR, knew they wanted to make a splash in the industry when they announced their newest venture, Carry the Game. It’s an initiative that aims to change the face of youth caddying in the U.S. and would take golfers, clubs, and organizations across the industry coming together to make this initiative a success.

 

The best time to announce a new industry-wide initiative is when everyone in the industry is together, right? That’s why the WGA set their sights on announcing Carry the Game at the PGA Merchandise Show, hosted Jan. 23–26, 2018, in Orlando. The PGA Merchandise Show is the golf industry’s leading trade-only event. PGA and golf industry professionals gather together to discover the latest trends in golf equipment, technology, apparel, and accessories, as well as to learn about what’s happening in the golf industry.

 

Enter Dittoe PR.

 

With brand new, never-before-seen initiatives such as Carry the Game, it’s important to begin by establishing a knowledge base, or making sure your audience in informed. Dittoe PR started by drafting a press release, FAQ, and fact sheet to share with reporters, acting as a one-stop-shop of information for anyone who needs it. We bundled all this information into comprehensive media kits and included photos of the student caddies for reference.

 

Facts in hand, it was time for our team to pull from our past golf industry experience to secure media interest.

 

If you’re new to media relations, you may be surprised by just how many news outlets and blogs there are for various industries. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of golf magazines, blogs, radio shows, and podcasts. The major outlets such as Golf Digest and The Golf Channel may dominate the airwaves, but local golf associations have their own publications, and just about anyone who loves golf wants to talk about it. Dittoe PR researched and reached out to them all, with one caveat: No one could share information about Carry the Game until the first day of the PGA Merchandise Show.

 

Dittoe secured 17 on-site interviews for three WGA staff members who appeared on TV shows, on podcasts, in magazines, and in blogs. A Dittoe PR team member traveled to Orlando with the WGA team to assist on-site by coordinating meeting times, supplying the ever-important media kit, and ensuring both reporters and the WGA had everything they needed.

 

Not long after the PGA Merchandise Show, the coverage began pouring in!

 

 

In total, our outreach also garnered media interest from an additional 30 outlets, including Golfweek, Golf Digest, Golf Talk America, and the Daily Herald. Interviews with the WGA occurred well into March.

 

At the conclusion of Dittoe PR’s partnership in announcing Carry the Game, the WGA saw 63 secured stories, over 95 million media impressions, and an estimated ad value of over $800,000.

 

Interested in earning media attention for your next big announcement? Request a consultation with us today!

Changing for the better, Instagram goes corporate

Four new features on Instagram you need to know about (and six tips you should consider!)

 

With major changes hitting Facebook’s News Feed soon, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Facebook-owned Instagram is getting some snappy updates as well. Whereas the Facebook changes may have induced anxiety is some social media managers, these Instagram updates are more tactical in nature. By incorporating the following updates into your Instagram plan, you’ll start seeing positive results sooner rather than later.

 

Putting the “social” in social media

Instagram can give your followers an intimate look into your brand – whether that’s your life, your business, or your product. Naturally, this means you’ll want to build a strong relationship with your followers, and one of the best ways to escalate this connection is by engaging with social influencers.

Collaborating with social influencers is like a really good TV crossover episode. Arguably, “Grey’s Anatomy” had a little extra oomph during the “Private Practice” days, and “Arrow” improves every time Barry Allen speeds into town. This is the same sensation your followers will get when a social influencer pops up on your channel or some of your own insiders see their favorite Instagrammers using your products.

Start connecting with social influencers in your city and industry today. Checking out local blogs (like your local theCityMoms blog), or even just following hashtags (like #VisitIndy) could provide great insights into the people making a splash around town. (We’ll revisit following hashtags below.)

 

Make the switch

If you haven’t already, now is the time to switch your Instagram account from a personal account to a “Business Profile” to gain access to analytics, scheduling, and paid advertising options. Just like the tools you already use on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to see best times to post along with most successful content, the same is true through Instagram business profiles. Are you looking to promote posts or know who is looking at your content? Use demographics such as age range, gender, and cities to your advantage.

 

This is particularly important with the new algorithm Instagram is using. Instagram now gives priority to business profiles over personal profiles, plain and simple. Will your account show up more on the explore page? Yes. Will you be able to see if your posts are reaching more than just your current follower base? Yes. With so many advantages it’s negligent to not make the switch and start generating successful results for your brand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow the leader

Since the creation of the hashtag, users have been able to search, piggyback, and explore others who use the same phrases on their photos and videos. This has been a great way to connect with like-minded influencers and brands while also building up your profile. Instagram’s new feature allows you to now follow hashtags so they show up in your timeline, even if you don’t follow the account that used the hashtag in its caption.

Instagram recognizes when business profiles follow hashtags and ranks them higher – increasing your likelihood of popping up on the explore page. These hashtags can be as simple as the name of your brand or cities or regions where your target audience resides. For example, as an Indianapolis Instagrammer, good hashtags to start following would be #DowntownIndy, #LoveIndy, or #VisitIndy, and for those on the sporty side, #GoColts and #GoPacers.

 

Spontaneity is king

If you’re not already using Instagram stories, now is the time to dive in. Instagram just launched new fonts and a searchable gif library to enhance every story, and Instagram supports live broadcasting, too. As we know from Facebook, live video where users can interact in real time with your account significantly increases your views. Instagram is the perfect medium to experiment with this.

If you prefer Snapchat over Instagram for your spontaneous content, it’s time to rethink that strategy. While Snapchat offers clever filters, Instagram has more than four times as many daily active users than Snapchat. With a larger audience pool and Instagram’s efforts to continuously launch new features, if you’re going to invest your time into one real-time story-sharing app, you should invest in Instagram.

 

Quick fixes

In addition to the top four updates above, here are six more tweaks you should start incorporating into your posts immediately:

  • Use no more than five hashtags per posted photo.
  • Include the hashtags in your caption, not as an additional comment.
  • Do not edit captions within 24 hours of posting – yes, even if you make a typo.
  • Tag accounts in the actual photo rather than using the account’s handle in a caption.
  • Use geo-locations for specific areas/restaurants/businesses – this is great for stories, too.
  • Respond to comments within an hour.
    • We know “response” can mean two different things on Instagram. Is it just a like? Or do you need to write a response to every comment? We’re still not clear on that just yet. It’s safe to say that you should acknowledge every comment. Some will be replies, some will be likes. The important thing is that you respond.

 

Want help navigating Instagram? Request a consultation with us today and find your way to social success!