Retailers and brands can use the photo-sharing website to show customers a different image of their business.
Whether defined as an iPhone app or the latest social networking site, Instagram offers an opportunity to bring your business alive via images.
iPhone and iPad users can download the Instagram app to take and share images with others. It also allows users to share pictures taken with Instagram on other sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The reason Instagram has become so popular is that it allows users to make images more artistic by enhancing them with different effects or filters. Users can then share the images and others can like or comment on them.
For retailers, Instagram is another platform for building a network of followers. Used effectively, it allows a business to show another side using a more creative approach.
One early adopter of Instagram was denim brand Levi’s. It used Instagram for a global casting campaign and asked individuals to upload images of themselves onto Instagram and tag them with #iamlevis. Levi’s explained why it chose Instagram: “We think Instagram is quite ‘go forth’ and pioneering in nature. It is both an app of creativity and of imagery, a truly global photo exhibition of what interests people.”
So should other retailers be looking at Instagram Matt Connolly, founder of etail consultancy We Are Matt, thinks they should: “With an ever-growing intimacy among its 15m-plus community, it’s becoming more powerful and relevant. Instagram offers brands the opportunity to forge relationships that have an intimacy not found in other networks.”
David Brint, marketing director at online imagery specialist SpinMe, agrees but advises retailers to think carefully about the content they upload: “On Instagram you need to be using cool images such as background shots of models at shoots or celebrities wearing your dresses and shoes. You could even use images of products being handmade, drawings of items at the design stage … anything that brings your brand to life.”