Unlike Twitter where snappy witticisms and continual tweets are the key to staying on top, Instagram is a bit different. Sure, there are words that can be used to enhance the photos you post, but the medium itself revolves solely around how enticing your images are. They don’t have to be unique per se, but they do need to come regularly and with purpose.
There is a different use, though, that is rarely ever addressed, and that is the art of the regram. Like Twitter and Facebook, you can share other Instagram images posted by others as a way to show your support and share their personal brand with your community. If done correctly, this is a fantastic way to begin and foster a relationship with a person or brand you have your eyes on as well as strengthening your community following at large.
A Shared Vision
Because Instagram is more about what images can portray than words, a majority of brands spend a good deal of time figuring out what kind of images they want on their page to better push the lifestyle promoted by the brand. REI, for instance, focuses a lot on regramming their customers’ outdoor adventure images. This, in turn, gets customers excited about taking outdoor photos because there’s a good chance the company could share their experience with a huge audience.
In short, it’s the idea of a shared experience. By sharing their image with your followers, you are publically recognizing them as an exemplary promoter of your brand – an ideal that others should strive to be like if they hope to achieve being regrammed at some point. In that sense, it is also a reward. Customers become excited when they are mentioned by a company they love and even more enamored by the brand when their work is shared by a company with far more clout than them.
While you can’t regram everyone, you can pay attention to those that are continually active on your feed. This is modern day networking on a one-on-one level. Instead of doing general mass grabs of images that look like you want, you actively seek out people that can do more for your brand than you could ever do on your own. The best part about this all is these individuals don’t even have to be famous. They could be customers with passion that simply love what they do and love your brand for helping them realize their dreams. Inspiration can come in the smallest, simplest package. It’s up to you to seek it out and market it. If done successfully, you’ll have a slew of individuals that are forever dedicated to your brand all because of the support you showed through regular regrams and interactions.
Sharing is Caring
On the opposite end of this equation is recognizing those that regram you on a regular or semi-regular basis. As a growing brand, you should always expect fans to share your posts, that’s how social media works. However, not everyone will share everything all the time. There are those that go well beyond being a simple fan, working hard to make your brand an active part of their own online presence. When this happens, it’s a clear sign that they are actively seeking a social media relationship with you. Unless they are posting other things that violate your image standards, look into sharing their stuff as well. You don’t ever have to send direct messages or otherwise engage them in any way beyond a few regrams to form a sort of virtual friendship.
As much as we would love to be relationship instigators, this cannot always be the case. Most growing brands understand that there is a cap on how many people we can be aware of at one time. However, we should always keep our Instagram eyes open for those that go further than the masses to get our attention. By doing that, they prove they are ready to be a strong supporter of your brand even without compensation.