Consumers are increasingly sharing photos via social networks and mobile apps, which has lead to the growth of Instagram. What is Instagram? It is a photo sharing app that allows users to take photos, apply filters, and share them instantly on the Instagram network and other social media networks like: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Foursquare. After opening the app to Android users earlier this year, Instagram now boasts over 50 million users! Organizations can use Instagram to showcase another side of the business. Here are some creative ways companies have increased audience engagement using Instagram:
High end retailer, Marc Jacobs, used the route of encouraging their fans to snap and share pictures with them. Over the holidays last year, the retailer creatively asked users to share family moments by using the hashtag #marcfam. The company then compiled the images and have showcased them on their website for all to see:
Key Takeaway: Encourage your fans and followers to get involved in your content creation.
While Starbucks was an early adopter of Instagram and now has over 595,000 followers. The company uses Instagram to showcase in-store experiences at various locations around the world, how new coffees are tested, tasted and chosen at the Stabucks headquarters and provides a ‘behind the scenes’ experience. Starbucks also shares their feed on Facebook, allowing their fans additional opportunity to comment and engage.
Key Takeaway: Photos provide a visual experience for your brand. Create fresh and relevant content for your fans that encourages them to share further.
A non-profit organization that brings clean water to people in developing countries, Charity Water uses Instagram to showcase amazing pictures of their efforts. With over 15,000 followers, the company shares photos of their water projects and the people who are benefit from these projects.
Key Takeway: Use photography to showcase your charity efforts. It builds credibility with your fans and shows that you care.
In celebration of South by Southwest, Brisk developed an Instagram contest where they asked users to tag their photos with the hashtag #briskpic to enter a chance for their photo to appear on a limited edition can of Brisk Ice Tea. The final bottle revealed images from Brisk fans all over:
Key Takeaway: Similar to the Marc Jacobs example, Brisk encouraged content creation from their fans, but the brand included a contest element which in turn helped fans identify with the product.
Sharpie is a great example of a brand that uses Instagram to its full potential. The brand uses the photo sharing tool to showcase fun illustrations using the simple permanent marker. Their feed is nothing but boring and really feeds inspiration to those who follow.
Key Takeaway: Have fun! Use Instagram to show a different, passionate and fun side of your company – it will make you seem more human.
All images courtesy of brand websites and Instagram feeds.