The beloved gold protocol droid C-3PO has provided many a life lesson throughout the Star Wars film franchise. He’s given us a foundation for translating foreign alien languages. He’s taught us that fretting over careless plans of attack won’t always do any good. And, above all, he’s taught us that it’s important to always be polite.
So what can C-3PO teach us about Instagram? You know, that strange and seemingly-alien social media platform that’s kind of like Twitter but with pictures, and kind of like Facebook but not?
While I couldn’t find any direct quotes from the droid himself, here’s what I believe C-3PO would have to say about orchestrating a successful Instagram campaign for your business.
Six Million Forms of Communication is Nothing
C-3PO is designed to assist in customary etiquette across species, and has helped many intergalactic meetings go smoothly and kept all parties pleased in delicate situations. As important as that is, without C-3PO’s translating skills, we would also have no idea how hilarious R2-D2 is. Like any foreign language, Instagram is a whole new form of communication. Hashtags are a brand of dialect on their own. There’s a code that dictates what’s acceptable, what’s not, what works in a strategy, and what doesn’t. Unfortunately, you’ll be hard pressed to find a droid to physically help you with this translation.
Do your own research. You can learn a lot from online beginner guides, but ideally you’ll learn the most by getting on Instagram yourself and see what other people are posting. Immerse yourself in the platform. Take note of the most common trends in language, hashtags, and styles of photos. You’ll eventually get used to the particular language and the many ways to communicate via the platform – you’ll make any protocol droid proud.
Too Many Words Can Get You in Trouble
At times, C-3PO can get in the habit of talking a little too much. This can be risky for high-security situations, and can be really bad for Instagram. While that little nagging voice is useful sometimes for keeping out of bad situations, the droid would tell you himself that the little nagging voice is going to bog down your Instagram posts with needless noise. And anyway, the rebels aren’t going to listen to you if you don’t stop talking all the time.
Keep your words limited. Instagram is a platform for sharing images, so let the power of these images do their own talking. Learn how to consolidate your hashtags and find the most effective ones for labeling. It will also be advantageous to learn how to tell your brand stories visually – this is one of the most effective ways to strike a chord in your audience through Instagram. So quiet that little droid voice and resist the temptation to say too much.
Look Out for Other Droids
It can be easy to fall into a groove and forget all the threats and dangers out there in the world. Even when life is good, C-3PO is always on the lookout and has prevented surprise ambushes as a result. Even in the Instagram world, especially when you’re new to the game, you could be going about your strategy all wrong and not realize it until you’ve already lost some great opportunities.
Metrics software will act like your own built-in security hardware. It’ll keep you aware of what your problems are and help keep you on track. There are plenty of social media tools to help you see if you’re posting at the wrong time of day, or if some of your posts are driving people away. You can also use Website Rocket as your makeshift Millennium Falcon, guiding through your daily Instagram routine safely. As long as you can accurately identify the holes in your strategy, your Instagram efforts will be stronger because of it.
It’s Okay to Rebuild
At some point, you might explode into tiny little pieces and have to start over. Either you’ll be attacked by unfortunate outside influences (low engagement, low following), or you’ll self-combust out of stress. It happens, but don’t worry – if you’re anything like C-3PO, you can reassemble your Instagram strategy.
If at any time you feel your strategy isn’t working, just stop and analyze what you’re doing. Determine what you’re biggest problems are: are your photos failing to interest people, or are your Instagram contest submissions lower than they should be? Also be sure to pick out what is working, which posts people seem to enjoy. Then experiment, strategize accordingly, and you’ll be rebuilt in no time. (Just don’t let the Wookiee help.)
Diversity is Good
C-3PO might be a major hero in the Star Wars universe, but the ambitious droid hasn’t stopped there. He has diversified his career by appearing in many pop culture stories outside of Star Wars, such as the television show “Droids” and the series “Expanded Universe.” While consistency is always ideal, consistent diversity is the golden ticket to a successful Instagram presence.
Try a few simple campaigns that are fairly easy to pull off, yet your audience might find engaging. It could be a series of funny photos featuring a particular mascot or character, a series of customers trying your product for the first time, or anything else you think of. Come up with a couple ideas and test them all. This will give you the widest reach and the best chance for success.
A Common Core is Most Important
What is perhaps the key to C-3PO’s success as a character? What has made the overly-chatty droid so loveable for so many years? There may be many factors, but I think his consistent personality is largely thanks to the fact that he’s been portrayed by the same actor through all the Star Wars movies. Anthony Daniels played him through both trilogies, and will continue to play him in the upcoming Star Wars films.
The kind of consistency that reaches down into your core is extremely important for your Instagram content strategy, and any strategy you choose to follow. Take some time to determine your “core strategy,” a one- or two-sentence statement that you can measure all your images and posts against. This will give you a consistent message and style throughout all your posting for (potentially) the rest of your brand’s life. That way, like in C-3PO’s case, everyone thirty years from now will still know exactly who you and your brand are, and what you stand for.
With some practice, Instagram can be an easy tool for brand expression, with a simple interface to understand. Instagram strategies themselves are easy to design and implement, as long as you follow these handy C-3PO tips. By his calculation, the odds of you getting your business into a nice Instagram groove are… pretty high. Now those are odds you can live with.