Over two thirds of the Top 100 companies are utilizing Instagram.
As an “artsy” image-sharing social network, Instagram is instantly identified for its food-focused content. Yet somehow, only one out of the five biggest brands on Instagram sells anything edible – and that’s Starbucks. Nike, MTV, Burberry and Gucci round out the top five.
Nike is first, with 1.31 million followers. The sports-centric brand demonstrates the opportunities that continue to evolve on Instagram for those within a wide range of industries. Capitalizing on visual trends, Nike’s profile includes exactly the type of images consumers would like to see – from extreme sports to simplistic footwear.
Taking its image inspiration one step further, however, is the brands unique collaboration with Instagram. Nike iD created “NIKE PHOTOiD,” which allows consumers to create custom shoe designs based off of their own photos.
As shown with an example below, consumers choose a photo from their own Instagram and then Nike provides correlating shoe options. After deciding on a design, the consumer can then share it on social networks and purchase it on a desktop or mobile device.
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Surpassing basic brand contests, Nike’s innovative idea takes product placement to another level. Integrating an application with a popular social network is an excellent way to increase buzz. Although there aren’t sales numbers yet, Mobile Commerce Daily reports that the goal of this campaign is likely more focused on engagement and social awareness than direct revenue.
Nike’s creativity on Instagram has many takeaways for other brands. First and foremost, it’s important to conjure up an entire social experience for your consumer. This hinges on understanding audience demographics and brand expectations, as well as how you fit into the visual social sphere.
Cultivating engagement on the network can be done through custom hashtags, brand contests, product promotion, office life and social integration. Although details vary depending upon products and services, one constant is the significance of sharing. As with all social channels, Instagram is another opportunity to cross-promote and increase linking and visibility.
Identifying influencers is also necessary on Instagram. A study from Forrester Research reported that nearly 13% of U.S. Internet users create 80% of the content that influences people online. Discovering and connecting with influencers relevant to your brand – those who have a large or particularly valuable presence – will aid in furthering consumer reach. For instance, influencer identification for Nike would include following and interacting with well-known athletes.
With over 100 million monthly active users and 40 million photos posted each day, Instagram presents an impressive social media marketing opportunity – especially as mobile devices increase in relevance.