Right now we will share with you the concept of a magic web platform: take mobile phone, social network activity and glue it together with photographs, or rather lots of photographs. User-friendly interface will add flavor, and here we are – it is Instagram at its best, the social network attracting millions of monthly users and providing grounds for professionals and amateurs of photo art to show their skills. No wonder that Instagram is developing in boost and is viewed as a desired place to advertise and promote business and other projects.
Instagram is conveniently integrated with most popular social networks and allows easy access to the email boxes, so after snapping a pic and applying filters in Instagram app one can immediately share it on Facebook, post it on Twitter and add 140 characters of description, or even make a 15-second video and send it to YouTube. All routes are open to Instagram users, and their uploaded pics will be visible to millions people on both sides of the Atlantics.
The advent of digital imaging was a blessing and a doom. It became blessing for users who wanted speed and convenience of use and sharing, and it was the doomsday for photo film manufacturers like Kodak. If people can take photo, see it, edit it and post it on the web in less than a minute, who will ask for more? Or buy film and developing chemicals? Yep, no one.
In general, those companies that missed the trend of going digital and facing the era of Internet and social media, finally ended up in a ditch. Those who decided to ride the wave are now living through yet another heyday and are not going to stop.
So here are some examples of most successful application of social media for making brands and companies closer to the users – and gaining additional promotional points on the way.
Mechanics is Fun: GE going to Instagram
General Electric, the world-known manufacturer of sophisticated and expensive monster machines, including parts of aircrafts and special equipment, did not miss an opportunity to come to the next level of popularity among global network users through use of free Instagram app. It was a cheap and beautiful solution, perfect match for the operational principles of the company.
Whet GE did: the company ran competition on Instagram, where applicants’ picture should have demonstrated how GE was operating around the world in simple actions – building, assembling, creating elaborate pieces of mechanisms etc. The prize was free journey to UK and a day spent at GE Jet Engine facilities taking pictures as an official GE photographer, or rather ‘Instagrapher’. The contest was an absolute hit and its echo still reverberates through the networks.
Now ask yourself: what values or assets of your business or company can serve as a ground for starting an exciting contest on Instagram, which will make users employ your brand name as a #hashtag? Take some time to think and roll it out.
Pretty Pictures Of Fashion
Fashion and design are important consumers of inventions and opportunities related to photography, so it’s no wonder that House of Burberry used Instagram as a platform to additionally promote its work and highlight the fashion event in Milan under the slogan ‘Come Rain or Shine’. Here are the elements of their strategy:
1. Burberry posted photo teasers prior to event itself to raise expectations.
2. “Behind the scenes’ pictures taken during the event were provided as a live coverage of the hidden parts of the show.
3. Images of full collections were also provided, for those who could not attend the show.
4. On the website Burberry.com people who did not attend the event could have some interactive experience, and to provide this opportunity the developers used Instagram API to embed Instagram photo feeds into the website.
As a result, the Instagram-based show caused the same big buzz as the live event in Milan.
As a summary of the previous successes, here are 6 steps which you should take to ensure that your brand is making a vibe in the networks.
1. Make up a clear plan of what you want to do. This plan might include the goal to raise your brand awareness through making it topics of online discussions on Facebook or Twitter or even creating hashtags storms.
2. In order to integrate Instagram photo feed into your main website, like Burberry did, consult your web developer and explain what you need to be done. Do it ahead of rolling out your promotion.
3. Check out if pictures from your brand Instagram account are posted on all available social networks, including, along FB and Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr and Foursquare.
4. Do not be dreary serious (read – boring). Social networks are about fun and play, so keep off corporate formality and relax in your messages and events a bit.
5. Do not forget to employ “behind the scenes” pictures, they make the brand look real, instigate curiosity and what’s not. Jamie Oliver, the famous chef, does it regularly (posts ‘behind the scenes, we mean).
6. Relate Instagram events to Facebook and engage Facebook users in your brand discussion trough asking simple but catchy questions, of the type ‘What do you think about this picture?”
So keep up with trends and use Instagram to the full extent. It is a worthy game.