Three Things Brands Should Know about Instagram
Hill + Knowlton Strategies, 2012
Launched in Apple’s App Store
in October 2010, Instagram
is a photo sharing application famous for its easy to apply filters that magically improve the pictures we share with friends and followers. Reminiscent of the popular appeal of Kodak Instamatic prints and Polaroids, it is addictive and integrates well into your existing networks.
Currently only available on iOS (Apple’s mobile operating system) it was Apple’s 2011 App of the Year
. Instagram’s founders have announced an Android version that should skyrocket their base of 27 million users
, as the rest of the world wants in on the fun.
1. The Appeal of Instagram: Instant Creativity
Smart phones have turned everyone into a photographer, but Instagram turns our average snapshots into artistic images people feel proud to share.
This adds a layer of ‘Frictionless Creativity’ to the ‘Frictionless Sharing’ term Facebook wants to own.
2. Mobile Creativity
There is so much marketing noise around mobile we sometimes forget that real people use smart phones for lightweight entertainment as they go about their day. Taking pictures is fun. Instagram also plays well with others. Story Wheel, for example, lets you record a story around your Instragram pictures and share it on the web as a nostalgic slideshow.
3. Tapping into what your target audience is already doing
Apple has successfully persuaded us that their products are for creative people. Launching Instagram for the iPhone only gave it a trend savvy user base most likely to embrace and evangelize the app. The iPhone is the most popular camera in the Flickr community, so giving these users another way to share their photographs makes sense.
Brands using Instagram well — like Starbucks, Burberry, GE — are those who have also invested in a range of social platforms such as Tumblr and Pinterest. They understand these tools link together and have an up-skilled community management team needed to feed in daily content.
Brands have been running generic user generated photo competitions for years. But as Ford did with their #FiestaGram promotion in Europe, targeting just Instagram users insures an audience that is already sharing pictures and the most likely to enjoy a creative contest. New York City is tapping in to this as well.
Right now, I think Instagram is a must for brands with an intrinsic relationship to visual creativity. Sharpie is a great example. Events and editorial uses are also smart places to start. All brands should keep looking and listening to what their target audience is doing online. If they are big Instagram users, you should be there too.Author: Candace Kuss