Note: Written by Katie McNulty, one of our Summer 2015 Social Media and PR interns.
There are 300 million monthly active Instagram users, the same number that Facebook bought the company for. To be more precise, it was sold in 2012 for 300 million dollars in cash, and the rest was given in Facebook stock. That makes the grand total a whopping one billion dollars. Though not considered a large amount now (Facebook purchased WhatsApp for $19 billon in 2014), back in 2012, a billion is a large chunk of change. If the co-founder and chief executive of Facebook saw that much potential in Instagram, then it is evident how popular this social app really is.
So popular, that brands have began using it as a marketing tool. Companies all around the world use Instagram as a platform to get their campaigns out to the public. For example, TOMS, the shoe brand, recently completed a very successful Instagram campaign about three months ago.
What makes TOMS so special is for every pair of shoes you buy, they donate a pair to someone in need. They deliver the shoes all over the world, to places like Central America and Southeast Asia.
When TOMS Instagram campaign launched, they had one simple goal in mind: for users to take a picture barefoot and to use the hashtag #withoutshoes. For every feet picture posted, they would match it and donate a pair of shoes. What was unique about TOMS shoe donation this time around, was that instead of paying for a pair of shoes in order to have a pair donated, you did not have to spend any money at all to make a positive difference.
The campaign ended up being a hit, with roughly 296,243 shoes donated. Thousands engaged because their efforts not only benefited others (that feel good factor), but it also allowed anyone with the Instagram app to get involved. Ease of participation + making a positive difference = a winning combo. TOMS made sure to have all the right components to ensure a successful campaign.
Some of the most important aspects to remember when creating a campaign through Instagram are:
- Come up with a unique hashtag. One of the first things you want to do is to come up with a creative hashtag for your audience to follow. Something catchy, short, and easy to remember is key.
- Have an incentive. It does not have to be extravagant or a cash prize, but something to get your audience to want to participate. You could even feature your customer’s using your product in your Instagram campaign. Arguably, everyone likes their photos to be recognized, and that is an easy and cheap way to incentivize this campaign.
- Engage with your audience. Having your company engage with your audience is also important. By commenting back or following them, they feel a sense of importance and appreciate being acknowledged.
- Discover your best posting time. If your audience does not seem to be active in the mornings, avoid posting your pictures then. Do it at a time when you know a majority of them are on their devices checking your Instagram. This could be weekends, nights, during lunchtime, etc.
Know any other successful Instagram campaigns or tips? Let us know!