Chances are by now you are either an avid user of Instagram, or know someone who is. Instagram is a photo sharing site that allows users to upload snapshots of their daily lives through the magic of sepia filters. This enables even the most amateur photographers to send artistic images out into the world.
ComScore recently released their ‘Top 50 web properties in the US’ report which revealed that Instagram is the 56th most popular site in the US. And if that wasn’t enough, Instagram officially became part of Facebook as of early September.
Many brands are taking advantage of Instagram and seizing the opportunity to share a more personal perspective with their customers.Instagram has seen significant growth in 2012, going from 15 million users in early 2012 to 80 million as of July. This post takes a deep dive into 5 B2C companies that are putting Instagram to work for their brand.
Starbucks – 815,000 Followers
Starbucks was one of the original adopters of Instagram and to this day is one of the top brands on the platform. Boasting over 800,000 followers, Starbucks has worked to create an emotional connection with customers by capturing in-store experiences at locations around the world. Fans also have the ability to tag their coffee images which Starbucks then shares with fans on Facebook.
The Takeaway: Create content that aligns your brand with the attributes you want your audience to connect you with.
Burberry – 516,000 Followers
Burberry has long held a reputation for being on the cutting edge of every trend, and Instagram is no exception. The 155- year old fashion company has been very ‘fashion forward’ when it comes to social media. With over 516,000 followers, Burberry is doing more than just displaying clothing and advertisments, they have captured the lifestyle of the Burberry brand through the lens in real time. Photographer Mike Krus presented Instagram followers with a real time photo feed during a London runway show, allowing fans to see pictures before they were available anywhere else.
The Takeaway: Get your customers involved and they will do the sharing for you.
Nike – 416,000 Followers
Nike has rarely missed an opportunity to connect with fans. Nike has been leading the charge in everything from print and media ads, to endorsement deals with the worlds most celebrated athletes. So when launching their Instagram account in 2012 no time was wasted getting fans involved. With the help of superstar athletes like Labron James and Kobe Bryant Nike asked everyone to join them and pledge to make 2012 count. The #makeitcount campaign went viral almost instantly and encouraged followers to tag pictures of how they were doing just that.
The Takeaway: Don’t underestimate the power of a common goal. Create content that connects with users in a way that is familiar to them.
Audi – 130,000 Followers
Though Audi only displays new and vintage images of its cars, it has managed to amass a following of over 130,000. Audi remains consistent in showcasing images that are sleek and vibrant, images that elicit luxury and status. Though Audi does less to engage with consumers than some of the other brands, they do encourage followers to post images of Audi’s using the hashtag #instaaudi. By showcasing user-generated photos and messages Audi can position itself as family of car lovers which offers a sense of community to Audi owners. The ability to showcase various models in a creative way on Instagram gives a new view on a product that a consumer might not otherwise see on TV or in a catalog.
The Takeaway: Always be Innovating.
GE – 122,000 Followers
GE has taken a completely different approach to using Instagram. The company is utilizing the platform to find and hire its official Instagram photographer. Using the four categories related to GE’s work, (Moving, Curing, Powering and Building) as inspiration, users can submit photos which will be shared on GE’s Facebook page and then voted on by fans.
The Takeaway: Social Platforms can help you achieve multiple company objectives.
Instagram, is just one platform in an arsenal of tools available to companies to help effectively reach and expand their customer base. Though there is no hard and fast rule for engaging on Instagram, there are some best practices you can follow.
- Post Frequently: Fresh content is the quickest way to get users coming back for more
- Be Interesting: People want a glimpse of what they otherwise don’t see.
- Consider a Theme: This will compel followers to get involved and engage back.
If expanding your social network is something your company is interested in, leave it to the professionals! TopRank has experience working with both B2B and B2C companies in high end retail, healthcare, technology and a variety of other industries.
Let us know what’s working for you! Has your company dipped your toes in the Instagram pool? If so, what were your results?