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Instagram launched in October 2010.  In just over 2 years, it has registered over 100 million users.  Just what is the reason for its meteoric rise?  At the time of the launch, even though mobile camera pixels were getting better and better, there was no app in the industry that allowed effective editing of mobile photos.  The Instagram app allowed a variety of filters to be added to the photo thus making instant professional photographers out of ordinary mobile-loving citizens.  It also ensured a remarkable ease in sharing these photos with the outside world instantly.  There was no need any longer to go home, download photos from mobile to PC, photoshop them, and then upload to your social networking site.  With Instagram there was no need to wait anymore…like it…click it…share it…easy peasy!

Here’s why marketers too are jumping onto the Instagram bandwagon:

A great way to provide the personal touch:  A fantastic way to emotionally connect with your customer is through photos.  Brands now post behind-the-scenes photographs that show its human side.  Recently during the US presidential elections, Barrack Obama used Instagram to upload many on-the-election-trail photos, which no doubt would have added a more personal touch to his campaign.

A great way to involve employees:  An involved work force leads to more creativity and consequently a better bottom line.  Encouraging employees to upload workplace photos not only is a great way to involve them in marketing, but also ensures that the outside world perceives your work space as a fun and cool place.

A great way to involve customers:  Global coffee giants Starbucks regularly ask customers to post photos of them with their Starbucks coffee.  What a great way of promoting customer loyalty and literally turning them into star salespersons for your company!

A great way to engage:  Brands looking for ways to engage their customers run caption contests and other competitions that help promote brand loyalty.  Images that announce promotional codes or upcoming events are sure to garner more attention than the written text. A picture, as we know, says a thousand words.

In the end, Instagram’s utility as a marketing tool lies in the fact that it provides better and instant visibility to a brand in a fast, free, and hassle-free manner at once connecting the customer, the employee, and the brand in a way never seen before.

Well if Instagram does become as popular as we think it will, it will probably be the next social media site to be integrated to Voraka!

Here’s to hoping that happens soon!


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