Instagram has recently passed the 400 million user threshold, so the launch of their strategic partnership program couldn’t be more timely. Instagram has quickly risen to become one of the top social channels for brand engagement. According to Forrester, Instagram’s engagement rate for brands is 4.21 percent (58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter). Top brands that are getting it right on Instagram receive an average of 216 comments, with 50 percent of comments being posted in the first six hours and 75 percent posted in the first 48 hours
Following in Facebook’s steps (Instagram’s adopted parent), Instagram recently introduced their select list of official partners, which we’re excited to be in. Instagram realize that community management and customer service are essential components of effective brand management on the platform. And this program distinguishes that our solution was built for scalable, conversational engagements with customers.
New forms of expression
Although advertising is still a relatively early phenomena on Instagram, brand expression and engagement is not. Brands have been creating expressive visuals of products and experiences for a while—and in return customers have been liking, tagging, and commenting.
People engage with each other in a unique way on Instagram. In fact, devout “IGer’s” may attest to tagging friends and brands in funny/relevant posts as being one of their favorite forms of communication. Similar to a “like” on Facebook, Instagram tagging embeds communication in a visually appealing, entertaining, yet low effort form of connecting. Instagram is a channel where its users are invited to explore their creativity, expose themselves, vamp up their personal brands and lure other users to follow and like their posts with strategically placed, contextually relevant hashtags.
Social has evolved into a forum for rich, expressive engagements. This has translated the most top-funnel likes and follows to more intimate interactions that are enriched with media, images, videos and now even expanding to voice and video chat capabilities. Social is malleable and just as diverse as all human interaction. Sometimes a smile or wave will suffice, but there are many times where more personable interactions must come into play. Social is learning to adjust to serve both kinds of needs.
Managing Instagram engagement with scale & efficiency
Rich media based engagements with relevant hashtags leave breadcrumbs for brands to find their influencers, discover opportunities for proactive customer service and identify trends. Authenticity is the key for attracting and engaging with your audience on Instagram. You have to show value and join the conversation that is already happening. Littering this expressive channel with commercial noise without being a part of the community will end up a glaring fail.
Through our close relationship with the Instagram team, we are able to share our feedback on the roadmap of this initiative, receive early access to APIs, and gain insights into what is coming further down the pipeline. Our clients can trust that when using our platform to manage their customer care on Instagram, they are well within the terms and conditions of this platform with no risk of disconnect or violation.
Our clients can manage and respond to comments left on their own photos, as well as monitor and respond to photos shared with relevant hashtags or location tags (e.g. a photo taken in your retail store or hotel). Our prioritization engine automatically identifies service issues among the general conversation. By using our PLAY mode, which is a kind of Automatic Content Distribution (ACD) for social media, Instagram conversations are automatically distributed and assigned to agents alongside your other social channels. We ensure that you can have in-the-moment, valuable conversations with your customers on Instagram with our large-scale efficiency, management and analytics.