Jul 12, 2012

Instagram’s Brand All-Stars (And What We Can Learn From Them)

Instagram isn’t the newest kid on the social media scene. Since its release in 2010, this application has garnered more than 50 million profiles, (and growing at around 5 million a week) and a $1 billion buyout from our friends at Facebook. In the past year, Instagram has seen a huge explosion of user-generated content with more than 100 million photos being uploaded since July 2011.

Yet, brands haven’t seemed to truly take advantage of Instagram in its social marketing campaigns. But brands with retail, beauty, epicurean, or entertainment focuses should make Instagram part of their social media marketing plan.

To best spark engagement on Instagram, it’s key to not only post your own interesting images, but to allow your customers be your brand advocates. Companies that have drawn Instagram participation from their fans now have another easy, fun, and visual way to create brand loyalty and follow. So, who are the shining stars among brands when it comes to these types of Instagram campaigns?


Bergdorf Goodman- “Shoes About Town” Campaign

Bergdorf Goodman encourages customers to take photos of shoes around New York City using Instagram. By simply hashtagging the image with “#BGShoes” and enabling Instagram’s geotag, their photographed shoes then appear on an interactive map, displaying where the image was captured. Thousands of images have been uploaded to this campaign site, making it one of the most successful brand Instagram campaigns known to date.



Brisk Iced Tea

Early on in Brisk’s Instagram rendezvous, the brand did a great job of providing value to its users. One of its first campaigns was an Instagram contest in which users were encouraged to take a picture of their Brisk Iced Tea can, and add the tag #briskpic. After thousands of Instagram images had been entered, the winning images were then used on their next Brisk beverage cans. It was a simple way to provide some unique (and pretty cool) value to their users…and it was as simple as hashtagging a photo.

Because Instagram is so visual (and because sharing is so, so simple), the platform lends itself to user-generated contests. And you don’t have to stop at Instagram. Brands can use their other social properties to entice people to post to Instagram under a specific hashtag. For example, make the winning photo in your contest your Facebook cover photo for a week, or cross promote you winners via all the channels.

Whatever your brand’s plans are for Instagram, just remember this one thing: get your followers involved.