Sahail Ashraf posted on 25 May 2017
Instagram is officially taking over the world. Okay, maybe it’s not, but it has now become a bit of a tradition to look to Instagram for all that is cool and hip in online social media marketing. And the brand itself is leading the charge.
It will probably not have escaped your notice that we are heading for a (hopefully) long and hot summer soon. Brands need to take this into account and understand that the summer is a great time of year for photos, happiness, and all things bright and Instagram. In other words, you need to build out a summer campaign ready for all of that sunshine.
It actually isn’t. You won’t necessarily gain more engagement in summer than you would in winter, for example. But the opportunities to gain some quick wins through some of the recognised tricks and tips on the platform mean you should have something in the pipeline.
And if anything, Instagram is perhaps one of the most ‘summer friendly’ platforms. It is all about the imagery, and having a good and highly visual campaign should pay off big when summer finally ends.
Late last month Instagram released a blog post that suggested brands need to get ready for summer (Get Ready, Summer’s Around the Corner) and the post contained a lot of advice on how to make a brand’s presence more effective on the platform.
It’s a little confusing at first, to be honest. Apparently, summer is a major thing for the Instagram audience, with brands, in particular, doing well out of the season.
Before we look at the practical aspects that Instagram put forward for the consideration of brands, let’s a take a quick look at one or two of the case studies the blog post highlighted, brands who have built campaigns around this part of the year. These brands have seen real results off the campaigns.
This beer is perhaps (along with Budweiser maybe) seen as one of the top ‘summer beers’. It has a light, playful feel, and conveys feelings of happiness and sunshine living. This particular beer is also perfectly primed for summer on Instagram.
Checking out the Corona page on Instagram is all you need to do to appreciate that the brand lives for the season, and knows that its audience does too. But they don’t just encourage people to chill out in the sunshine. They also make sure that the audience is inspired to get out of their homes and offices and go and enjoy a lifestyle. Perhaps their best work on Instagram that has a summer feel is the creative work that goes into posts like this one.
Here we have a brand that has aimed to use all of the power and engagement that Instagram offers, creating content that keeps you watching right to the end when the splash happens. It links the feeling of jumping into a pool in the summer with the brand. That feeling is what you get when you drink Corona. And the visual nature of Instagram is the perfect vehicle for a clever and intriguing piece of video.
The post practically screams summer.
This stuff from Corona plays well in places like Brazil and Mexico. And it is no coincidence that Instagram itself has made it clear that it has a huge audience in these parts of the world.
Adding in a splash of adventure. #ThisIsLiving
Okay, we’re cheating a little here. This is branded content from Qantas Airlines. The whole point of the content on Instagram, in other words, is to pull audiences to world travel. But give these guys an excuse to get summery, and they jump at it. Instagram highlights them as a key player in the summer Instagram push, and once you check out their page, you can see why.
The page is made for summer. And since so many people have holidays in the summer, it really fits in with the kind of campaign Instagram is trying to highlight here.
If you want to jump on the summer Instagram wagon, the brand itself is happy to help. In the post, Instagram highlights a number of hashtags that should help you get noticed as a brand around the summer season. They are as follows:
No surprises there. We do see though that the AWOL content doesn’t go mad on these hashtags. It had its own hashtag in #thisisliving.
What Instagram seems to be trying to do here in the article is simply help brands by giving them a few good suggested tags. And as we all know, you can place a lot of tags in Instagram posts, so having a few extra from the brand itself can’t hurt.
The best way to deal with this information is to test as much as you can. As summer starts grinding into gear, try out the hashtags and see if they result in a boost of engagement. Keep using those that do. But put it this way, if you use the hashtag #summer2017 on your posts a lot, you’re going to get noticed.
The summer months are historically pretty dry months for social media. This is simply because people are going out to the beach rather than religiously following their feeds. But using hashtags carefully, along with high quality imagery that conveys the summer feel, should be more than enough to help the brand maintain a presence during the summer season.
And you don’t have to always use the suggested hashtags from Instagram. You can take inspiration from Sarah Sidway Godshaw, the founder of Sidway Swimwear, which Instagram highlights as a brand that ‘does’ Instagram summer very well:
‘When we make an ad we use hashtags that have to do with more than swim, for example, things that fashion-driven women care about. Things that I care about, like #womanownedbusiness, #designedinLA and #InternationalWomen’sDay. Of course, we also use the more expected tags, #summer and #swimwear, but finding ways to leverage hashtags that are trending overall and integrate them with our line is key…’
No surprise that Instagram names #summer as one of the biggest hashtags for the hotter months.