Andy Fenstermaker, MBA

Marketing, Bikes, Social, Music, Blogging, Personal Finance, More.

Instagram at 100 Million

What a feat! Just the other day, Instagram announced that it has reached 100 million users.

Here’s a great quote from the article:

It’s easy to see this as an accomplishment for a company, but I think the truth is that it’s an accomplishment for our community. Now, more than ever, people are capturing the world in real-time using Instagram—sharing images from the farthest corners of the globe. What we see as a result is a world more connected and understood through photographs.

Kevin Systrom, Instagram Co-Founder and writer of those words downplays the milestone, putting it more on the users than his on ingenuity. Humble, smart, honest. But a lot has to be said about Systrom, who assisted in bringing the idea to life.

Of all the social places to follow a business, Instagram is perhaps my favorite. It capitalizes on putting a human touch to a company, connecting its products with its fans:

I may only go to Starbucks about once a month, but I love their brand even more thanks to Instagram. They occasionally put a fun twist on product placement:

Starbucks on Instagram

The same goes for Mission Bicycle. As an avid biker, I may not own one of their bicycles, but I aspire to one day park a Mission in my garage:

Mission Bicycle on Instagram

How can a business capitalize on the image-centric nature of today’s social world using Instagram? It can come in many ways, depending on the ultimate goal for being there and how it relates to the company’s overarching business and marketing goals. Used consistently, Instagram can be a great way to share a side of the business that may not often be seen, or portray the business and its customers in a light that is warm and endearing.

One brand that does this well is General Electric (disclaimer: I am a GE stockholder). Their photos tend to be of highly technical heavy machinery, of jet engines and wind turbines, of unknown industrial and mechanical manufacturing plants. Not something you’d expect to be interesting or amazing when photographed with a camera-phone, but put through the lens of Instagram the colors pop and life begins to emerge from machinery that would otherwise seem ominous:

General Electric on Instagram

Have you used Instagram for your business? If so, do please share. And feel free to follow me on Instagram while you’re at it!

When In Vegas: MRI, Red Bull & A Quiz

Here it is, my blog-slash-web presence under my very own name, Andy Fenstermaker.

This is what was recommended we create at a two-day intensive Account Executive Advanced Training session by Agency Management Roundtable.

What a concept!?!?

In now fourteen years of blogging, I never thought to create one using my own name; likely to my own fault. It just always seemed more notable to create something under some pseudonym — something witty or clever.

But this makes perfect sense: I am now peeking behind the veil that is “Fense” and saying Hello World! in the most generic WordPress manner possible.

The AMR event saw me in Las Vegas for the first time. (Talking with someone later, I noted that the only items I didn’t use in my über small carry-on bag were the 14 quarters I took to play the slot machines.) And what a trip! Lots of new friends; an amazing learning experience.

The final night I ended up a Vodka Martini and four beers deep while hanging out with a new friend from Massachusetts. After she took off for a red-eye flight, I made my way to my new hotel, checked in and powered up the laptop.

Looking for a spare plug, I found the following behind the couch:

When In Vegas

Plenty of WTF, this was the perfect wind-down to an amazing trip.