Instagram, according to it’s website, is a fast, beautiful, and fun way to share your photos with the world. It’s simple, really. Just snap a picture and choose a filter that you feel captures the essence of your image. It’s essentially taking brand new technology to take really old fashioned photographs. The photo-sharing app started out with just four employees catering to a network of four million users. But since Facebook’s recent 1 billion dollar acquisition, Instagram has grown to a solid 50 million users. Instagram has proved itself to be more than just a billion dollar photo-sharing app, it’s also a good marketing tool. Companies ranging from Starbucks to Levi’s to NBC have taken advantage of the app to market to their customers.
So what makes Instagram a good marketing tool?
Companies have the ability to directly connect with their followers. It gives an otherwise faceless corporation a personality. Companies are allowed to sell their products without any marketing gimmicks. Users don’t feel like they are being sold to. Companies like Marc Jacobs International share photos from inside their offices, photo shoots, and products. Instagram allows users to see the fun side of companies, and as a result, they want to purchase their products.
Huge ad campaigns require lots of time and research. Instagram does all of the work for you. Companies are able to snap a photo and thousands of people will see it within seconds. Instagram also provides feedback that ad campaigns don’t have. Users can “like” and comment on each post, allowing companies to gain an understanding of their customer. But your photos don’t have to just exist on Instagram. Companies can always print their photos to send out to their customers, reaching beyond their internet audience.
The best part about Instagram? It doesn’t cost a thing! Did we mention that ad campaigns require lots of money? Instagram allows even the smallest of companies with the smallest of budgets to reach thousands of people. It really doesn’t get any better than that.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that social media has taken over the internet, and companies that won’t adapt will fall behind.