Instagram For Brands


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In the latest edition of the Room 214 POV series we explain why Instagram is a perfect opportunity for brands to connect with a highly engaged community.

We go over the main features, provide examples of successful initiatives, and give you tips to make your community a success.

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Instagram For Brands

  1. 1. ROOM 214 POV | INSTAGRAM FOR BRANDSRECOMMENDATIONMost marketers have taken command of their Facebook and Twitter presence over the past few years, paving theway for big budget campaigns and a plethora of tools and resources, but social media is moving at a fast pace. As“experts” in the field, we must be careful not to focus so much time and energy into the current leading networks, thatwe miss the next big thing.Sure, a lot of us are still fighting for budgets and we need the bang for our buck. It’s understandable that anycommunity manager would choose to only expend efforts within popular and highly engaged communities, but whenyou look at the numbers, Instagram fits that exact description: • Strong Growth: In just over a year, Instagram has reached more than 15 million users (roughly as many as Foursquare, but with double the growth rate). The community continues to grow at an incredible rate of 2 million new users per month. • Remarkable Opportunity: Instagram achieved their current popularity with an application that is only available in the iOS market. As they expand into the Android market in 2012, expect to see their user numbers get a huge boost. • High Engagement: Over 200 million photos have been uploaded to Instagram and users post over 1.3 million photos every day (roughly 15 per second).The truth is, a lot of brands have already begun to adopt Instagram and use it to their advantage. If you were to startyour account today you wouldn’t be the earliest of the early, but you would be in on the ground level of an activecommunity with huge growth potential. Bottom line, the bus is waiting for you to board.BEFORE WE BEGINSo now you’re all jazzed up about Instagram! Let’s do this! Wait… does your community manager have an iPhone?Unfortunately, the only way to post content to your Instagram at this time is to use the iPhone application. Otheroptions include waiting until the Android app is released or eff-it, I’ll just buy the stupid iPhone.FEATURE OVERVIEWInstagram’s features are easy enough to understand, but from a brand perspective you should keep a few things inmind as you begin to build your community: be interesting, be consistent, post often, and actively engage withyour fans. Just as with any other community, Instagram will require time and effort to get off the ground. However,once you understand the basics of being an Instagramer you can brainstorm more advanced contests, campaigns,and promotions specific to the platform.ROOM214.COM | INFO@ROOM214.COM | 866.624.1851 | @ROOM_214 | FACEBOOK.COM/ROOM214
  2. 2. ROOM 214 POV | INSTAGRAM FOR BRANDSPosting ContentChoose a photo: The first step to posting a photo is to either snap a new photo with your iPhone’s camera or select apreviously existing photo from your library (tip: the photo library makes it possible to email yourself high qualityimages from other sources for use in Instagram).Edit, filter, frame: Instagram supplies 17 high quality filters that can instantly give your photo an edgy/vintage look.You can also use the blur tool to draw focus to a specific point in your photo. Some filters come with an optional photoframe for an added touch. Play around with the settings until you have a great-looking image to post.Enter Description and Publish: Enter a quick description of your photo before you send it live. Remember, you canuse a hashtag to categorize or use @mentions to interact with other members within your photo descriptions.Instagram automatically publishes to Twitter, Facebook, eMail, Flickr, Tumblr, Foursquare and Posterous, so syncyour accounts to give your photos maximum exposure.ROOM214.COM | INFO@ROOM214.COM | 866.624.1851 | @ROOM_214 | FACEBOOK.COM/ROOM214
  3. 3. ROOM 214 POV | INSTAGRAM FOR BRANDSInteractionInteract and Respond: Instagram adopts many of its user functions from Twitter and Facebook. When browsing yourhome feed, you can like and comment on photos to interact with your friends. Also, within photo descriptions andcomment streams you can use hashtags and @mentions to interact with other users.Use the feed: Your photo feed is a stream of posts coming from the friends you follow. Consider it an opportunity toget some one-on-one with your customers. You should get very friendly with the like button, and go out of your way tocomment on a great photo from one of your fans.PRO TIPS: • A hashtag will enable viewers to search a feed of posts with the same hashtag. • An @mention will notify another user that you have mentioned him/her in a comment. • The “…” located to the bottom right of photos in your stream will allow you to copy URLs, delete a post, or flag inappropriate photos. • Choose filters that brighten up your pictures to receive more comments, likes, and tweets. Research has shown that bright pictures gain more interactions.THIRD PARTY APPSThere are a plethora of third-party applications that take the photo-sharing experience outside of Instagram. • Instaprint: An on-location photobooth service, which instantly prints photos as they are posted to your profile (See Nikes Make it Count campaign). • Postagram: For 99 cents you can send a postcard of one of your Instagram photos to anywhere in the world. • Ink361: A web-based Instagram viewer that allows you to view, search, like, and comment on photos. • Gramfeed: Another web-based Instagram management tool. • Statigram: Analyzes your account usage, likes, and comments to deliver personalized stats and infographics about your photos.ROOM214.COM | INFO@ROOM214.COM | 866.624.1851 | @ROOM_214 | FACEBOOK.COM/ROOM214
  4. 4. ROOM 214 POV | INSTAGRAM FOR BRANDSSUCCESSFUL INITIATIVESBrisk Photo Contest: Brisk Iced Tea teamed up with Instagram last year to have users help create a limited editioncan during South By Southwest. Anyone who tagged a photo with “#briskpic” was eligible to appear on a limitededition can. The effort saw good traction although Instagram had only a few million users early in 2011.The Vaccines Music Video: An indie band called The Vaccines leveraged their fans’ Instagram photos to create amusic video for their song “Wetsuit.” Fans delivered over 3,000 photos using the #vaccinesvideo hashtag, while techand music blogs wrote countless posts about the creativity and ingenuity behind the video.INSTAGRAM RESOURCES • A blog dedicated to Instagram news and updates • Landing page for the Brisk + Instagram SXSW promotion • Instagram Helps the Vaccines Put Fans in Music Video – Mashable • Instagram Becomes the Largest Mobile Social Network – Social Fresh • The Latest Crazy Instagram Stats – TechCrunch • 23 Brands Using Instagram and What They’re Doing Right – Social FreshROOM214.COM | INFO@ROOM214.COM | 866.624.1851 | @ROOM_214 | FACEBOOK.COM/ROOM214
  5. 5. ROOM 214 POV | INSTAGRAM FOR BRANDSWHAT WE LIKE • With an expected expansion into the Android market, this community will continue it’s incredible growth. • It’s a very creative and visual way to tell the story behind your brand. • It easily functions with existing social sites to deliver your photos everywhere. • It can be a simple platform for photo contests. • There is proven success from early adopters.WHAT WE DON’T LIKE • Posting content is limited to the iPhone app only (plans to launch Android app in 2012). • Most user following is automated through Facebook and Twitter, which creates a need for a high level of integration with current social and digital efforts to build a strong following.FINAL THOUGHTSAs consumers begin to engage on new social networks, the brands that are the quickest to adopt new platforms willwin out over the latecomers. The point of social media marketing is to engage your consumers in an environmentwhere they are active. As communities like Instagram come around, the most innovative brands will find ways toconnect with customers on platforms that are outside of the norm (i.e. Facebook and Twitter). Don’t be afraid toexperiment with a new community. It will show your audience that you really do pay attention.Keep up with all of Room 214’s POVs by subscribing to our SLIDESHARESee the top stories we write about by subscribing to our monthly email NEWSLETTERROOM214.COM | INFO@ROOM214.COM | 866.624.1851 | @ROOM_214 | FACEBOOK.COM/ROOM214