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:
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:
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:
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!