How Brands Fit in to Consumers' Social Picture on Instagram

Last week, Instagram launched Bolt, a one-to-one, one-touch photo and video messaging app, in Singapore. South Africa, and New Zealand. It’s a step further into the multimedia messaging market following the launch of Instagram Direct late last year. 

The service joins other ephemeral photo sharing apps, like Snapchat, Taptalk, and Facebook’s own Slingshot (which just announced Reactions to Reactions late last week). 

What does the proliferation of these more intimate, fleeting messaging apps mean? As I see it, people are just adapting to our increasingly social world. The social vanguard, Facebook and Twitter, have proven that we crave connection and sharing our stories with friends and strangers alike. But we still need to carve out room for personal moments—shared by few and made precious by their scarcity. 

What does that mean for your brand? On visual channels, both fleeting and long-lasting, brands need to find ways to affect that personal connection at scale. It starts by being human. (Try these eight tips to humanize your brand in Instagram.) It’s important to remember that even on highly visual channels, it’s not a one-way conversation.

Many Instagram comments on brand content are users mentioning their friends in “hey, look at this!” fashion (hello, brand advocacy!)  But when a follower asks, “where can I find that?” or brings up a totally unrelated support question, is your brand there to answer? Even better, when you receive love from a passionate fan, do you give it right back in surprise-and-delight fashion?


Whole Foods answers fan questions in Instagram Comments


As brands, part of asking to participate in consumers’ everyday, social lives is a making a commitment to add value and improve their experience. Listening and engaging, no matter where your fans are trying to reach you, is a chance for your brand to provide the personal, familiar interactions that people crave. Last year, we added a new capability in the Spredfast Conversations platform so our customers could respond to Instagram followers and edit comments alongside their listening and engagement efforts on other channels.

Want more ways to connect with your fans on Instagram? Check out our 10 Tips to Capture the Moment on your Brand’s Instagram Account:


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Courtney is the Content Marketing Manager at Spredfast. She focuses on sharing smart social ideas and insights to transform the way companies connect with consumers. Courtney is a passionate football fan (supporting Arsenal and the USMNT), curious traveller, and ambitious home cook.