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The Rabbit Feed on Instagram


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Published in: Business, Technology, Art & Photos
  • Following the news that Instagram gained three million new users on the day after it opened its doors to Android, we've put together this introduction for brand marketers
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The Rabbit Feed on Instagram

  1. 1. The Rabbit Feed - The Instagram edition (Updated April 2012)
  2. 2. The Rabbitfeed on have now been supplemented by a whole series of third party photo-apps where usersInstagram can amend their pictures before posting.In May 2011 we devoted the first of our At the moment you can only post toRabbit Feed guides to different social Instagram direct via the mobile client (andnetworks, to Instagram, a then new photo- most recently via the photo-appsharing network with eight million users, Hipstamatic as well) and indirect via athat only worked on Apple number of photo apps. A number of webiDevices (iPhones, iPod Touches, iPads). based services allow you to view posts through a browser.Fast forward to April 2012, when the 28.7million strong network finally opened itsdoors up to the Android market. To markthis milestone, weve revisited the RabbitFeed on Instagram to give an overview to What it looks likeany brand that might now be thinking ofhow to use it.1 - What is it?2 - What it looks like3 - Who is using it?4 - Why has Instagram caught on?5 - Instagram communities and sub-culture6 - What brands are using it?7 - Metrics and measurement8 - "But Im not in fashion / travel /entertainment?"9 - As a brand marketer, what should yourfirst Instagram steps be?What is it?Instagram is a mobile (Apple iOS andAndroid) photo-sharing network. In itssimplest form, you can think of it as a visualTwitter.You post updates, though those updatestake the form of pictures with a short Both the Android and Apple iOS versionscaption instead of a 140 character message. have similar navigation and screens. This includes a tab showing your feed - postsJust like with Twitter you use hash-tags to from people you follow. A button to uploadcategorise your post. Just like Twitter images. A popular page tab (or tab in themost accounts are public with only a app), showing which posts are popular atminority of users having made them private. any one time. And your own profile andAnd the follower / following relationship notifications tab.doesnt have to be mutual. Like Facebookyou like posts and can comment on them. Once you upload an image you can share itUnlike with Twitter there is no equivalent of via Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare (using thethe retweet, though a third party web geo-tagging function), Tumblr and Flickr,service called Statigram does make it provided you have synced your accounts.possible in a round about way. With the exception of hipstamatic, the Instagram app is currently the only way toHowever, what made Instagram stand out directly post photos onto the network.from the start was a series of in-app filters.These filters can alter or enhance yourphoto in different ways. The in-built filters
  3. 3. base will immediately double, 50 millionWho is using it? users by year end is entirely feasible. As well as a large user base, Instagram shows a high level of engagement. At SXSWStarted in October 2010, Instagram hit eight Kevin Systrom claimed that 67% of users hadmillion users by May 2011 meaning it logged on the previous day. Byalready had a faster growth trajectory than comparison, Twitters active user base iseither Facebook or Twitter at similar around 25% of total sign-ups.development stages - and despite being anApple only network. Why has Instagram caught on? Instagrams huge growth is down to a number of reasons: 1 - Everyone who owns a smartphone (now 51% of UK mobile phone owners) now owns a camera as good as the best cameras on the market a few years ago. The top source of photos for the giant photo sharing site Flickr is iPhones, and recently Kodak filed for bankruptcy protection and will no longer be in the camera business. Mobile photography is democratic. 2 - Related to that, it is accessible. At SXSW Kevin Systrom mentioned that he couldnt get his Dad on Twitter but he could get him on Instagram. Taking photos was something his Father already did - he was asking him to adapt existing behaviour and not create totally new behavioural patterns.In December 2011 it hit fifteen millionusers, and in March 2012, Instagram founder Kevin Systrom said that Instagram wasKevin Systrom announced 27 million users at cross-generational and, being picture led,the SXSW industry conference in Austin, worked across languages and cultures too.Texas. Indeed, one of the first things we noticed about Instagram was that the early adoptersOn the morning of April 2, we did a count werent the usual suspects who flooded tofor a client presentation using Instagrams Google+ when it opened up. It attracted aAPI and estimated the network at 28.7 genuinely new audience, many of who didntmillion users. Android was announced in use any social networks outside of Facebookthe afternoon of 3 April (European time),when we did a new count at noon on 4 3 - The filters were a huge innovation,April, numbers stood at 32.1 million, allowing anyone to make an ordinarymeaning it had added three million users in picture extra-ordinary. Its added what cantwo days - the vast majority of those 3+ almost be described as a gaming elementmillion new users will have been post the with users looking at new ways of doctoringAndroid announcement their pictures. An eco-system of thousands of photography apps now work in support,Instagram is now the biggest mobile only allowing you to do everything from add lightsocial network worldwide (a few country flare effects to making your image lookspecific networks in China have more aged. One of the most popular apps,users). Though different android / Apple Camera+, had made $5 million via the AppleiOS user behaviour (Apple users account for iTunes app store by the beginning of themost mobile web activity) means you cant year.just take Android and predict that the user
  4. 4. 4 - There is an active community of super- different destination photos. 750 editsfans and influencers who run everything have been uploaded, each shared on users’from competitions, edit challenges and real feeds, and bmi has more than tripled itsworld meet-ups. In a relatively short Instagram following as a result.period of time, a very distinctive sub-culture has grown among Instagrams most Instagram groups. A number of groups existdedicated users that is different to what within Instagram that mix challenges,you find on other social networks. tutorials, community support and pop sessions (see below). One of the most well know is Rebels United. Others include Implus and Gang Family.Instagram communities Pop groups. Instagram has a popular pageand sub-culture or tab. Getting on there depends on having a very large number of likes within a short amount of time, usually 50-100 in ten minutes. As thats impossible for 99% of users, a number of pop groups have sprungAt SXSW, Instagrams founders talked about up. These are closed accounts where youtwo different types of Instagram user. The apply to follow. The groups post at amajority who use it as a visual life stream designated time and all post together, usingor news feed. And the minority, secret hash-tags to like every post in therepresenting Instagrams most committed group.users, who see it as, in Kevin Systromswords "performance art."The latter group manifests itself in anumber of different ways, for examplethrough:Edit challenges. There are regular editchallenges on Instagram, where a picture isposted and users are invited to change it asthey see fit. One of the most popular editcommunities is one run by a French pastoron @applified. Every night he posts adifferent image from France and every day,people think of new and creative ways ofchanging the picture and uploading an edit. Most pop groups members tend to see the whole exercise as a group challenge as opposed to a popularity contest. They also claim to post high quality images with the aim of taking back the pop page from the teenage and cat photos that often make an appearance there. Instagramers. The best known Instagram community is the "Instagramers" - Set up byRabbit client, British Midland International Phil Gonzalez in Spain, Instagramers now(bmi) has over the past month been running has hundreds of chapters worldwide. Theya weekly #bmieditchallenge featuring
  5. 5. organise challenges, as well as real-world #shapes, all apparent Fiesta brandmeet ups and photo-walks. attributes. The campaign was supported by advertising and had 16,000 responsesThe London Instagramers group createdEuropes first Instagram exhibition in GE - At the end of last year GE ran aOctober, which Rabbit supported, and competition for a full time “instagrapher”weve been working with the groups on a under the tag #geinspiredme. GE also has acampaign for low-fares airline bmibaby lighting photo app, and uses its feed towhich has seen over 30,000 destination visually showcase the being uploaded and tagged. bmibaby - myeurope. This is an going campaign weve been running since August to bring bmibaby destinations to life. Rather than launch the competition into the wild, we worked with local Instagramer groups with the countries taken in rotation. Essentially working through Instagramers, users had to upload and tag their favourite destination photos for each country. The campaign has also included a series ofWhat brands are using Instameet exchanges and a series of visual inspiration guides using the images on theit? bmibaby website. As of March 2012, we had 30k+ pieces of user generated content submittedMany of the early adopter brands were asyoud expect in fashion, the media, retailand travel. This includes Starbucks, RedBull, Burberry, Ford Fiesta, MTV and (in Metrics andtravel) Rabbit client bmibaby. A fewexamples of how brands used it are as measurementfollows:Puma - flew core Instagram and Tumblrusers to Abu Dhabi to visually document the There are a few Instagram web viewers thatVolvo Ocean Race, tagging them allow you to view posts, and also manage#marmostro (the name of Puma’s boat) your account (but not post direct to Instagram). One is Statigram, which also gives you basic metrics including topFord Fiesta - Ran a six week competition to followers, average likes and comments perwin a car. This integrated Facebook and post and best time to post.Instagram. The categories for posts included#starting #hidden #listening #entry #music
  6. 6. #powerlineporn (pictures of power lines) 8143 images #buildinglover (people who love buildings) 11094 images #foodporn (an Instagram favourite) 636,164 photos #computer 32,692 photos #streetsign 5264 photosStatigram has also tried to solve the #cat 1,730,793 pics - OK, no surprise there!problem of the lack of a repost function byallowing you to repost an image in a round So what should you do?about way - you send a image with a repostlogo to yourself and then upload it viaInstagram. As a brand marketer, what should your first"But Im not in fashion / Instagram steps be?travel /entertainment?" 1 - Create an account and get to grips with Instagram yourself. Nothing beats firstOne of the most common comments we get hand knowledge and the fact that many ofis but were not visual. We believe every us at Rabbit have been enthusiasticbusiness is not only visual, but should have Instagram users and really understood thea visual social media strategy pulling in the communities, proved key to the successesother two main image led social networks, weve hadPinterest and Tumblr, as well. 2 - Reserve your brand ID. The sameFor example, take a look at the huge range strategy as other social networks applies,of objects being featured on Instagram, take your brand ID before someone elsesome truly weird and wonderful: does so. Right now there have been no examples of brand-jacking, but it is not a question of if but when. Given the saying of a picture says a 1000 words, were it to happen it could be highly embarrassing for the brand in question 3 - See what people are taking pictures of. As weve said, if you dont think your business is visual, you are mistaken. The range of things people take pictures of on Instagram is huge, the chances certainly are that some tie into your business 4 - Take a look at what other brands are doing for best - and worst - practice. Plenty of brands are now on Instagram for you to follow and assess what they are doing 5 - Put together a visual strategy for your business, not only encompassing Instagram but also Flickr Pinterest and Tumblr. How can your brand be brought to life, beyond
  7. 7. standard photos of the CEO shaking handsto seal a deal that no one is interested in?Finally, if you want us to advise on a visualstrategy for your business and howInstagram can work for you, email us!instagram@therabbitagency.comRabbit LibraryLooking for more resource documents andpresentations?   Weve grouped them all inthe Rabbit Library where you can view anddownload them. We’re a young (February 2010) agency that this year has already won six industry awards, and counting. As a social media ideas agency, we look at the different ways in which online social tools can be integrated into organisations. Want to know more?  Visit us at, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook or email Viewing the the html version and want to sign up to get this by email?  Sign up at