As hashtags became more popular, people began using dozens of them on each post, making their organic brand marketing impact a little less important.
(Although, there are still times that #hashtags are a great tool to enhance campaigns and events.)
Using an @Mention is intentional, clear indication that the user is creating a connection with the brand. If users are @Mentioning or tagging brands in their photos, they more than likely ready to have a conversation with that brand. With Instagram’s switch to the new Graph API, connecting with your audience through @Mentions just got a lot easier, and is probably an all-around better option than using hashtags.
6 reasons to start using @Mentions for your campaigns.
Direct Linkage to your Brand
Users who @Mention your brand in a post are now organically linked to your brand account on Instagram & Twitter. Each user’s follower has now been introduced to your brand and linked directly to your brand, through a peer they more than likely trust, and they can easily click through to your account to learn more about your brand.
Organic Social Media Account Growth
Because of this direct linkage to your brand, this most likely results in not only better organic reach and impressions, but also potentially more followers! Using @Mentions for your campaigns and coupling that with awesome content curation on your brand accounts on Instagram and Twitter will most definitely result in more followers!
User Generated Content
Consumers trust their peers and brands capitalizing on user generated content are seeing the benefits. Brands that utilize @Mentions will gather awesome user generated content that can be incorporated into their marketing showcasing that their values align with those of their audience. This can drive loyalty, provide transparency, and, inevitably, make brand experiences more customer-centric. Requesting photo rights from your audience is easy and users are usually more than happy to provide it, they appreciate the recognition from brands.
@Mentions on Photoboxx Analytics
There are even more benefits to using @Mentions when used with Photoboxx analytics (as compared to hashtags).
When @Mentions are used as the feed for events in Photoboxx, we are able to pull in more data and analytics from the API than when #hashtags are used. Instagram’s new Graph API provides more detailed data faster and with more options for customization for @Mentions, but reduced the data for #hashtags.
Better Analytic Data
With the switch to the new Instagram Graph API for hashtags, there are some specific limitations compared to what used to be provided. Things like no username (or any personally identifiable information), no timestamps, and really no additional data other than the post and media will be available. With @Mentions, the Instagram Graph API allows for the data missing in hashtags, which results in better/more accurate analytic numbers and more analytics stats like top contributors and follower growth.
Gather Posts Faster
Posts using the @Mention feed load faster into Socialdrip than hashtag feeds. This is because of how the new Instagram Graph API delivers this data via web-hooks (basically pushes notifications rather than pulling data). Posts loading into Socialdrip faster speed up the entire process from posting on social media to prints in hand.
Future Feature - Commenting
Brands can now easily comment on posts that their @username has been mentioned in while using 3rd party apps. This is HUGE! You can easily connect and respond to your audience by leaving comments on their photos, answering their questions, or requesting photo rights. With notifications each time your brand is @Mentioned, you’ll be able to gauge the overall perception surrounding your brand. Look for this feature to be coming soon to Socialdrip events.