InstagramFor those that know me well, I take a ridiculous number of photos. I crush Mr Wang.  I love capturing moments.  These moments begin to define who we are as individuals and as brands. The sheer volume of photos (and videos) now being taken is crazy. Over 140 billion on Facebook. Instagram is publishing over 40 million each day.

Of course there are many other photo sharing services... Flickr, Picassa, etc... but what I really dig about Instagram is that I can't just dump my 120 photos from my day on the lake. I have to pick just one to post to Instagram. That's the biggest difference.

This simple aspect makes this form of visual story telling more selective... purposeful... thoughtful. Ultimately more powerful.

Of course there are more points... so let me list points that I think contribute to my opinion that this is a fantastic channel for brands to connect with consumers.

Why Instagram rocks for Consumers

  • Super easy to snap, edit, post
  • Each photo is individually edited and uploaded - therefore more SELECTIVE
  • Sharing feels good
  • Filters and edit tools make photos look great (errr.. sorta)
  • Post to Instagram, Facebook and other API services
  • #tags connect categories
  • Liking and commenting easy
  • Receiving likes and comments feels good

Why Instagram rocks for Brands

  • Seeing is believing
  • Excellent way to grow fans
  • Publish to website, Facebook and other API services 
  • High engagement
  • Great combo with Facebook
  • Safe bet to invest in (with Facebook purchase and addition of video)

One sector making good use of Instagram is the hospitality/resort industry

Infographic-NSAA-2013-for-SFsmall

In the mountain resort category, the growth is higher than any other channel. Gregg Blanchard of Slopefillers/Ryan Solutions tracks social media closely across North American Resorts. His end of season info graphic here shows a season growth over 250%.

What I find most interesting though isn't how Resorts are telling the visual story, its how Customers are. They are defining the brand in a most authentic way. So tools that tap the Instgram API and pull guest's photos and videos back in are awesome. We're building these right now for next season in fact.

Of course, all of this applies to any brand. Very few brands lack a visual story - or customers with visual stories to use.

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