Brand and marketing tips for businesses, destinations, and non-profits.

brand and marketing insights for business


Why your business needs to be on Instagram


Clients often ask us: is Instagram worth it? Instagram can be an incredible platform...if you use it well. We know it can be overwhelming to start a new social channel from scratch, especially one that's image-heavy. We've condensed the most important information we give to our clients here.

Why Instagram Is Worth It


Instagram is not just for Millennials. Over 60% of adults ages 35-44 and over 41% of adults ages 45-54 are active on Instagram at least once a month (AdAge).

Your competitors are already there. 49% of brands use Instagram—a number estimated to increase to 70.7% by 2017. The time has come to take this channel seriously. 

Instagram for Business: Best Practices, and What Not To Do

Instagram = inspiration. This is the most important thing we tell our clients, as paying attention to this can be the difference between a healthy account and a dormant one. The key to a successful account is a commitment to inspiration and storytelling. People open their Instagram feeds to be wowed, transported, and inspired—not to find out about news or deals.

This means Instagram is an especially powerful tool for experiences. Experiences such as trips, festivals, concerts, meals, and movies quickly build audiences and engagement. Even sunsets count. But what if you're a coffee shop or a bookstore? Tell the visual story of an experience at your business: a perfect cappuccino sitting beside an empty comfy chair, or a story-hour event to show you're family-friendly. Think of Instagram as an opportunity to tell your brand’s story in a compelling, visual way.

You need to geotag. Users are using location-based searches to drop into stores and destinations and see what their next visit might look like. As The New York Times Magazine put it, these geotagged posts are “akin to a surf cam. But instead of tuning in to see if the waves are too mushy, feeds give a feel for a place that you can use to decide if a place feels fun and seems safe.” This offers an incredible opportunity for audience development: geotagging connects you to an engaged audience. They're already looking, and if they don't see your posts, they will see someone else's.

Commit to a visual style and voice, and stick with it. Users are more likely to follow an account if they have a good idea of what future posts will be like. We know this works: after we provided consistent brand guidelines for New York City's @NYCgo Instagram account, the audience grew by a whopping +450% growth in just six months. 

It can be daunting to brand your business on Instagram and set it apart from competitors. Don't spend the time trying to figure it out from scratch—let us take it from here. Your competitors have already figured it out, and we're here to get you caught up. We did it for one of the greatest cities in the world—we can do it for you.

Want more inspiration?
Follow us on @bellweather to see our own spin on how to best use the channel. We've also put together our favorite accounts for travel inspiration.