With 30 millions users, it’s not just for hipsters anymore. So I’m pretty sure the answer is yes. Or rather, it’s, “Yes, we should consider it.”
Sure, Instagram started as just a cool way for a small group of cool people to apply cool effects to their cool pics and share them with a group of cool followers on a cool mobile device. But it’s way more than that now, providing a visually rich environment for a brand’s customers and prospects to share their own experiences with that brand. And likewise, for the brand to share back. (Just like with Twitter, hashtags are used to increase viewership among like-minded people).
Despite the fact that the jury is still out on whether Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of the platform will be a good thing (Instagram users fear that FB will use all the location-tagged photo data to target ads at them, among other things), you can’t argue with the fact that, for the right brand, it is a potentially powerful environment.
So who should consider it? Not surprisingly, most brands active in the space currently are consumer-focused. But b-to-b brands are increasingly using it, oftentimes to share pics from trade shows or events. But it’s truly a no-brainer when:
- your brand has passionate advocates (e.g., Red Bull)
- your brand is in a category with a high level of interest (e.g., ABC World News or NPR)
- your brand has a story to tell (e.g. TOMS Shoes, National Geographic)
- your brand sells visually pleasing products (e.g., fashion, food, art, travel, etc.)
If you do consider it, just remember to take the time to plan for Instagram as you would for anything else you do to engage your audiences. Start with objectives, develop a strategy, execute well, and give it the manpower it will need to be successful.