In class we have discussed several different social media platforms and how to effectively use these as marketing tools. Among these platforms is the photo and sharing application Instagram. Created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in October 2010, Instagram is known for its iconic features including photo alteration presets known as “filters” and a required square aspect ratio for all photos and videos uploaded, its simple design is also very easily integrated with other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. While platforms such as Facebook may larger and have a wider age range of users, Instagram is nonetheless a very relevant and influential channel for marketers to utilize, in 2013 Instagram grew by 23%, while Facebook only grew by 3%. Specifically in my age group and demographic, Instagram is much a more widely used application. One example of particularly effective marketing on Instagram is that of clothing designer and manufacturer Kiel James Patrick. http://instagram.com/kjp#
This is effective because the page does not simply display lifeless photographs of the products with overtly marketing-based captions or an overabundance of hashtags. The page instead displays the founder of the brand himself along with other prominent figures in the same realm of fashion, sometimes wearing “KJP” clothing and sometimes not. Some posts even showcase entirely different brands such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, and Brooks Brothers. This is done in order to position the brand as part of a certain lifestyle, fans who are attracted to this clothing style and lifestyle are attracted to the page as the posts are relevant to what they are interested in buying, their beliefs, and the activities they are interested in doing, in other words, customers can find value within the page beyond only marketing offers and product photos. While the account does present products offers, promo codes, and fan competitions for free clothing, presenting a lifestyle rather than only products advertisements helps to provide a personal connection between the company and its fans, as well as helps position the brand more effectively and reach a more specific target audience.
This is one example of how marketing can be done effectively through Instagram. This case shows that it is important to display a variety of aesthetically intriguing content, as well as not to focus solely on marketing offers, Instagram is a great platform to shape the personality of a brand. If used correctly, Instagram can be a powerful tool for a social media marketer and can help to tap into demographics which may not be as easy to reach through other sites.
Another interesting article on marketing through Instagram by marketing expert Ann Handley: http://www.marketingprofs.com/opinions/2011/23435/why-instagram-matters-to-marketers-evolving-solomo-to-solomosto/