Ever since I discovered the true beauty of a photograph, I have become a relentless photographer; desiring to capture every second, no matter what the occasion. The fact that a moment in time can be forever seized in a 3×5, 4×6 or 5×7 snapshot is quite amazing to me. With the wide array of cameras, picture-devoted social media networks and built-in camera phones on the market, it’s easy to see that I am not the only one with a picture addiction. The world has a deep obsession with photography, which explains the increasing popularity of the “fun and quirky” smartphone application, connecting users through pictures.
In fact, lately it seems that Instagram is taking over the social media world. This application has over 100 million users and the number continues to grow. It’s completely free to the user and turns simple images into creative masterpieces.
Individuals are not the only ones Instagramming. Several noted brands have jumped on the Instagram bandwagon. Companies are using it as yet another social media tool to promote their brands, campaigns and connect with the public. Instagrammers can follow big brand names including, Victoria’s Secret, Audi and Starbucks to keep up with the latest happenings.
What are some of the ways that companies are building relationships with consumers through instagram? According to the Social Media Examiner, this is how brands are utilizing the application:
Brand Showcasing: Instagrammers get a firsthand look at everything brand-related, from new product releases to inside looks at different store locations across the country.
Sneak Previews: Followers can feel special and their loyalty is rewarded with exclusive previews of unreleased products. To have their hands on something before the general public gives them a sense of exclusivity and helps generate buzz around the public launch.
Behind the Scenes look: Companies on Instagram are taking consumers behind the scenes to see where and how products are made. Some brands like Starbucks are even introducing their employees, allowing followers to see the faces behind the brand.
Tagging: Large audiences can be reached and tracked by the use of hashtags for photos. Brands that are promoting a product, campaign or just the company brand events can utilize hashtags to engage followers and also track the engagement when users use the tag in return.
For now, Instagram seems to be dominating the photography-focused social media scene, but what will be the next popular social networking creation? Only time will tell.