Social Insights for Promo Pros: Using Instagram

Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social platforms in the promotional products industry. The highly visual format is the perfect medium to highlight products and decoration, but successfully running an Instagram account isn’t as easy as taking a few quick pics and hitting send. 

Let’s break down the ins and outs of the platform and talk actionable strategies. 

Let’s Get Visual, Visual

It probably doesn’t need to be said, but the visuals are the most important part of an Instagram feed. When considering your graphic content, consider the format: typically square (1080×1080 pixels to be precise) though you can deviate from those dimensions a smidge. 

Since your space is limited, focus, focus, focus. One impressive image chosen from a flyer is a thousand times more impactful than the entire flyer. A breathtaking lifestyle photo is a thousand times more impactful than that. 

The visual content you post to Instagram needs to be more than just okay, it needs to be top-shelf, so take your time and focus on quality over quantity. Instagram content should take your followers’ breath away and make them stop scrolling. In short, it should be a thumb-stopper.


Just like any social media platform, in order to amass a following on Instagram, you need to post consistently. Take a step back and think strategically, how often can you post every week? Once a week? Twice? Three times? Seven? 

Make sure you’re thinking big picture. Create an ideal schedule based on your potential content output and stick to it. The more you post, the more your followers will engage with you. The more they engage, the farther your posts will reach. The farther the reach, the more followers you’ll gather, and then the cycle will repeat. 

Don’t Neglect Stories

Instagram Stories are a huge part of the platform. Stories aren’t permanent (unless you save them to your highlights). They stick around for 24 hours and then they vanish. Think of them as quick hits. Little bite-sized snacks of social media content. So, while you still want to focus on quality when posting to Stories, you can get away with posting more raw, unprocessed images if you want to let your hair down and get a little informal.

Some people spend most (if not all) of their time in the app looking at Stories and ignoring the main feed, so it’s important not to neglect this aspect of the network.

Hashtags, Hashtags, Hashtags

Hashtags are the secret ingredient in your Instagram recipe. They’re the main way users find content on the platform, so if you aren’t tagging your posts, you’re only reaching a fraction of your potential audience. 

Posts should have somewhere between five and fifteen hashtags (yes fifteen, one-five). 

The Instagram app makes it easy to find popular hashtags. Simply start typing, and the app will make suggestions and tell you how many people are using it in their own posts. When choosing a hashtag, try to find the sweet spot between “so popular your post will be a single drop in the ocean” and “no one is using this hashtag.” 

Our favorite fallbacks are #PromotionalProducts and #PromotionalProductsWork. Start from there and start finding the hashtags that apply best to your post.

Dig Deeper

Well, there you have it, an introductory primer into Instagram, but the best way to learn the ins and outs of any social network is to use it. Follow us on Instagram @ZOOMcatalog, and keep an eye on Trends for more social insights.