Remember the Polaroid? A widespread novelty, it developed photos within minutes and allowed nearly instantaneous sharing of your memories. The iconic film and camera were immortalized into the digital generation when Outkast encouraged us to “shake it like a Polaroid picture.”
Fast forward to 2011; Polaroid is fighting to survive and mobile photography is gaining steam. The top player? Instagram.
Instagram is an app that allows you to take pictures and add effects (or filters, as they’re called) to the images. But like the original Polaroid, the most powerful aspect is the ability to share, like, and comment on other people’s photos. In other words, it’s a social network. But it’s not just another social network, it’s already surpassed 150 million photos (that’s 15 every second) all from a single platform—the iPhone.
So the question is, can a business find value in a photo-sharing app? While you’re not going to see an uptick in sales figures right after you post a photo; if done right, Instagram will allow you to spread awareness and cultivate relationships through your pictures. Some forward-thinking brands like Audi, General Electric, Kate Spade, Red Bull, and Starbucks have embraced Instagram to connect with their audiences.
Instagram is currently available for iOS devices only: iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Visit the Apple app store and download the app. (An Android version is on the horizon.)
Create a username, upload a photo, write a brief bio, and link to your website.
Now that your account is set up, it’s time for the fun part—taking pictures! Here are some important tips for starting your feed.
If you adopt these tips, you will find that Instagram can become a powerful way to attract, engage, and grow your community.
Image credits (clockwise from top left): Red Bull, Levi's, General Electric, Audi, Kate Spade, Starbucks, Threadless, and Jamie Oliver
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