Snap! Instagram Brings Your Brand To Life

It seems that each year there is a new social media “star.” Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn rose to stardom in recent years, and 2012 the year of Pinterest. Now, Instagram is gunning for top billing.

What opportunities does this present to marketers and buy Instagram followers?

With the Instagram community thriving, major brands and companies like Starbuck, MTV, Nike and Marc Jacobs, to name just a few, are jumping on board aggressively adopting the mobile photo app into their marketing strategies.

According to Simply Measured, 59% of the Top 100 Global Interbrand Brands already have Instagram accounts. And based on the Instagram blog, the two-plus-year-old platform reaches over 100 million active users each month. Compare that to Twitter, which broke the 200 million mark after six years.

What makes Instagram different from other social media networks? Most obvious is that it’s almost entirely photo-based. But beyond that, its simplicity makes it an effective vehicle for engaging consumers since they can express themselves from anywhere, anytime.

Why should your business use Instagram?

Visual content is expected to be a major trend in 2013. Pictures appeal to emotions, and resonate across cultures. In fact, if we take a look at social networks overall, photos drive more engagement than any other form of content. On Facebook, for example, photos have an interaction rate 39% higher than other posts. It is not surprising, then, to see Instagram rise to popularity so quickly.

If you’re looking for inspiration about how to grow your current Instagram community check out examples from four brands that are successfully integrating the platform into their marketing mix:

· Red Bull – Through a recent Instagram contest Red Bull gave away two tickets to this year’s Red Bull King of the Rock Finals basketball tournament in San Francisco. Followers were asked to take a picture of themselves with a basketball in unexpected locations and tag their photos #TakeMeToTheRock. The contest not only got followers excited, it also let Red Bull to make a statement to and connect with the sports community.

· Ford Fiesta – In early 2012, Fiestagram was one of the first Instagram campaigns executed by a big brand. Ford engaged its target audience with a simple photo competition. Approximately 16,000 photos were posted during the seven-week campaign and the promotion received great visibility on Facebook and Twitter as well, with many users linking their social networks.

· Tiffany & Co. – A Tiffany campaign offered followers 3 new photo filters: Tiffany blue, peach, and black and white. Followers were encouraged to tag photos of themselves and their significant others (#TrueLovePictures) and Tiffany featured a selection on its “True Love in Pictures” website. The effort enabled Tiffany to give its followers relevant, brand-related content, while also inviting them to take part in the experience.