Take the three addictive elements of photography, mobile and social and mix them together in one “App”. Then make it so easy to use that a frog with fingers could use it. Set it free and watch the creativity explode.
That is Instagram.
The social web is providing us with free publishing tools that allow us to create tempting 140 character text headlines and then micro blog on Twitter, record and upload an online video to YouTube and watch it go viral. Snap a photo on your smartphone that uploads to Instagram without thinking and it is visible on the web in seconds from Siberia to Oman.
We are all now publishers and creators of content. No longer waiting for the photo shop to develop the film. Now you can now shoot and publish online to the social network of your choice in less than 60 seconds.
That is why Kodak is disappearing.
Working out how to use that technology and tool to communicate and spread your brand message that engages and connects with prospects and customers is the creative bit.
Here are two examples of how two very different brands are using Instagram.
Monster Machines on Instagram
Who would think that one of the biggest companies in the world who sells large multi-million pieces of monster machinery and equipment would use a free app that until recently didn’t even have a website. That company is General Electric and they are using Instagram to highlight their business in a personal and fun way.
GE gets social.
They created a competition on Instagram that offered the winner a free trip to the UK and to be the next “GE Instagrapher” for a day shooting photos at a General Electric Jet Engine plant.
As a company, how could you use Instagram to create a competition that starts the sharing online of photos that has your brand name embedded in them as a #hash tag?
Fabulous Fashion on Instagram
Fashion is about about models, photography and striking visuals. Burberry used Instagram as part of its marketing in Milan for their fashion runway event titled “Come Rain or Shine”. It involved the following key tactics:
- They posted Instagram photos leading up to the event to build excitement
- Shared photos “behind the scenes” at the event including catching up with a few models
- Published photos of the collection to Facebook and Twitter
- Created a interactive experience at Burberry.com for those that missed out on the fashion show. They also used the Instagram API to pull in the feed of the photos of the event to integrate with the website.
6 Tips for Using Instagram for Marketing
Using these brands of best practice what can we learn about Instagram and how to use it?
1. Create a plan outlining the goals that you want to achieve. This could include be the goal of increasing “Brand” awareness through creating conversations online on Facebook and Twitter
2. If you want the Instagram photos to be fed into your interactive website you need to arrange with your web designer and developer to set this up in advance of your promotion
3. Ensure photos from Instagram are being shared on all your appropriate social networks. Instagram supports the following social networks in their mobile app.
4. Make it fun – social networks are social so it is not all about jacket and tie and buttoned up corporate formality.
5. Reveal “behind the scenes” photos that humanise your brand. Jamie Oliver the celebrity chef does this regularly with Instagram.
6. Use Instagram to increase engagement on Facebook by asking open ended questions when posting a photo. This can be as simple as “What do you think about this Instagram Photo of the Day?”
View the photo on my Facebook Page
Photo by @gopro
How About You?
Are you an Instagram addict or you have not heard of it before. Are you taking more photos than ever before and sharing them online?
Have you been trialling Instagram for marketing? How could you use it for your business?
Look forward to hearing your stories in the comments below.
Want to Learn How to Market Your Business and Brand on Social Networks?
My book – Blogging the Smart Way “How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media” – will show you how.