On March 3rd, Flashstock held its first-ever InstaCamp in New York City for brand managers, social strategists, marketers – contrary to its name, attendees did not camp out with their sleeping bags sharing ghost stories. Instead, digital marketers & Instagram influencers came together to discuss best practices of using Instagram for marketing. Here’s 7 key takeaways from InstaCamp, further emphasized:

1. Instagram offers more than photo sharing.

According to @ch3m1st, you aren’t limited to only using Instagram’s app for taking photos. For instance, @ch3m1st uses 12 diff cameras, like a GoPro, and a Sony a5100 and many different apps to produce engaging visuals.

2. Organic reach is volatile.

@EvanJames11 of Social Bakers explains that it’s important to analyze more than your own metrics. Compare your numbers with competitors in the industry, and then transform that insight into something actionable. For example, you could ask yourself: “Are certain days of the week working better for you and your competitors?” and “What hours of the day should you be posting?”

@360isocial says it’s no surprise organic reach is dwindling. The two best ways to get your content seen are paid media and working with influencers. The key is to combine the right content with the right consumer at the right time. There is no need to post daily. Instead, save resources to work on creating amazing content that is well-branded and will get you farther.

3. Your main focus should be to build your community.

Increasing your reach and engagement should be top priority, according to @EvanJames11. When Instagram changes it’s platform, it will help to have many strong relationships already established.

Kevin Lu, @sweatengine, explains that to focus on engagement, you need:

1) Great images that are associated with your brand. Make it fun!

2) Community. Think, why are people following you & are you communicating with them effectively

3) Consistency. One epic photo is better than a stream of 6 photos in row.

4. Think outside the box for photo locations. Visit places no one would imagine going to, says @humzadeas. Enlighten fans with something new they haven’t seen before.@humzadeas, for instance, started trespassing and going into abandoned buildings to take photos.

5. Don’t overdo it with hashtags.

In terms of hashtags, @EvanJames11 says to analyze what is getting you the most interaction and remember – less is more! Also, when it comes to length of copy, longer posts have a higher engagement rate.

6. Create content that inspires.

@gmunro123, co-creator of flash stock and @edlynne of Johnson & Johnson both agree that people come to Instagram for inspiration. Curators should ask themselves, “Would you hang this on your wall?”

Here are examples of users who know how to inspire their audience:

      1) @rafaelmantesso‘s creative portraits of his dog, Jimmy Choo

A photo posted by @rafaelmantesso on


        2) GE showed their POV to engineers for recruiting, since aspiring engineers hang out on mobile.

         7. Know your audience.

        @gcpofnyc says to keep users coming back for more you need to become a master of three things:

          1) Aesthetics

          2) Humor

          3) Empathy