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6 Instagram Tips From Colorado's Fastest-Growing Brands

How to make your story stand out


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It seems there may be more to the power of Instagram than its ability to influence – especially for Colorado’s fastest growing brands. Often companies find themselves in limbo regarding branding on the image-heavy platform. To understand what Colorado companies can do to better use this social tool, we studied the Instagram posts and behavior of five of Colorado’s fastest-growing brands on Instagram. These companies –Havenly, Artifact Uprising, Outdoor Gearo, Training Peaks and Inspirato — are reshaping conventional wisdom on the app.

As a platform, Instagram is designed to share stories. Whether realized or not, when participating on Instagram, brands are also participating in a global community of storytelling. So, how do you make your story stand out?

Here are a few ideas based on a years of Instagram analysis. Narrative is at the core of Instagram branding. While a picture may be worth 1,000 words, a picture with a good story is worth thousands of likes and impressions.

As with any good story, an Instagram post should communicate a curated voice. For the purposes of branding, this means the company voice: how a brand’s voice is communicated to its customer base and how the voice creates conversation around a brand.

Below are six steps your brand can take today to improve your Instagram presence and voice:

1. POST OFTEN

What Havenly, Artifact Uprising, Outdoor Gearo, Training Peaks and Inspirato have in common is they post frequently. These brands aren’t playing hard to get with their followings; they are actively engaged, posting an average of six times per week. That’s a lot of posts, but when brands post often, they remain relevant within their communities.

2. MAKE USE OF CAROUSELS  

Instagram allows you to post three types of content: A single image, a video or a carousel of images. While the vast majority of these top-performing brands are posting single images – 90 percent of all posts – the posts that are getting the most likes are carousels. On average, carousels receive 3.1 times more likes than videos, and 1.3 times more likes than single-image posts. We think this is because carousels are an extension of a story. Rather than a single image with one point of reference, carousels allow for an interactive and visual narrative. Although carousels require more images and take more time, they are worth the effort in terms of engagement with your Instagram community.

3. WRITE LONGER CAPTIONS

The days of 140-character limits are over. We discovered that posts with captions between 300- and 500-characters received 1.8 times more likes than captions with less than 200 characters. Although it takes a few more minutes to write a longer caption, those stories pay in community engagement.

4.  FOCUS ON PEOPLE

A focal point of good storytelling is stories should not try to sell products. Storytelling is an art form that appeals to a wide audience. Storytelling on Instagram should mirror storytelling in real life. These brands are not focusing on product shots; instead, their top performing posts showcase people. Images with individuals in them received 10 percent more likes than photos without. Storytelling drives community. To tell a good story, showcase people to show off your community and lifestyle.

5. BE A WEEKEND WARRIOR

Your company may not be active on social media beyond Monday through Friday, but your customers sure are. Our study shows top brands’ customers are so active on weekends, they generate more likes on average than any other days of the week. While the most common day for top brands to post is Wednesdays, the posts closer to the weekend receive the highest number of likes and comments from community members. The takeaway here is when in a pinch, aim to post on Thursdays, but don’t neglect the weekends,

6. IT’S 5 O’CLOCK SOMEWHERE

Top performing brands post in the late afternoon. While the most common time for brands to post to Instagram is first thing in the morning — with 17 percent of all posts being made between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. – posts made between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. receive 96 time more likes from their communities. It seems like common sense to get social through the door first thing in the morning, but the extra time brands spend planning for late afternoon posts really pays off. Don’t post when it’s convenient for your company, post when your customers are most active on Instagram.

Instagram should be fun. It should be a platform for you to share your brand’s voice and ideas. Use Instagram as a way of communicating your story with your community. Use our tips to get a head-start today.


Justin M. Nassiri is the Chief Revenue Officer at Shotzr. He holds a bachelors degree from the United States Naval Academy and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is the founder of the Instagram marketing software company, StoryBox, as well as the military Veteran support company, Beyond the Uniform.

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