The Takeover: Instagram and Advertising

Hey digital mavens! Over time past couple of years we’ve watched with amazement as Instagram has grown to a global community with millions and millions of people who take photos and share these rare moments through Instagram.

I don’t know if you have noticed how certain brands we love have Instagram pages that are so flawlessly done. These advertisements you see feel as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos from many of your friends. I in particular follow Starbucks :

ImageJust a glimse at their Instagram and your intrigue by their clever way of marketing the brand of Starbucks. I am always saying “Wow” how did they think of that photo or video. Starbucks is one of the brands that are marketing masters through Instagram, with 2.5 million followers Starbucks is a brand that knows how to market well on Instagram. The key of creating a creating such a postive look to a brand through social media is to connect emotionally with your audience.

On Instagram their are other companies who have took avadgtave of marketing on Instargram in the last couple of years. Since “Instagram – which was bought by Facebook for $1billion in 2012 – introduced ads to its US audience in November. In a blog post, Instagram said advertisers had positive results which “in some cases [were] well above the ad industry’s average for performance”. The app said it had over 200 million users worldwide.” BBC News This proves that marketing on a social app is something most brands should do. Getting closer to the consumer and creating an emotional connect through their brand is the best way gain exposure.

What I really love about Starbucks being on Instagram is that the vast majority of the images on Starbucks’ are fan submitted images of from locations around the globe. The company encourages its followers to post their own Starbucks photos, along with a campaign-focused hashtag to connect the visual content back to its brand. People can add comments and likes and build a whole conversation around the looks the fans have created. I have yet to have my personal photos of Starbucks posted on their page, but one day I know I’ll make it. ImageBut even if I don’t, I enjoy how such a brand can flawlessly connect with its consumer and build its momentum through such a digital driven world.  Oh man how I love the branding of Starbucks. Comment below digital mavens and share your insights below! 


Gittleson, Kim. Instagram expands ads to the UK, Canada, and Australia. June 2014

Instagram: Marketing Strategy for Businesses

In 2010, a new exciting social media medium became available to all apple iPhone, iPod and  iTouch products. Instagram quickly gained momentum and popularity. As an exclusive, picture sharing app, no one ever imagined it would reach the potential it has today. Today, Instagram is available on all smartphones, tablets, macs and PC’s. Instagram has more than 150 million monthly active users worldwide.  Instagram is not only one of the top social media tools around but it is also becoming one of the biggest marketing tools for businesses. 



Through Instagram, many companies are now able to connect directly and effectively with their consumers. The reason for this is that they are now able to communicate with their audience directly by sharing photos, likes, and comments. Through this segway, consumers feel that they have a personal connection with their favorite brands. Therefore brand awareness and  sales increase. The way  companies can establish and spread awareness to their brand is by using this new innovative tool properly to their advantage. 

Brands can use their Instagram feed with content their personal content in two ways: by creating original brand content and curating customer content. They can make their images and videos unique to them and capture the attention of more consumers. When brands and companies are being original about what they post, they have the opportunity to be authentic, and “in the moment”, which works best at connecting with consumers than traditional ads. 

Brands can really take advantage of Instagram by maximizing the success of non-traditional media advertising and marketing. In doing so, they put customers at the center of the experience and really engage with their consumers and target audience. 


Because of this unique way in which Instagram is beneficial to businesses, it has become more than just a social media tool. It has reached a point where all of the social media sites before it have strived to achieve such as Twitter and Facebook. Instagram growth is accelerating and so are the devices in which users can have access to the site. With technology at an all time rise, businesses can definitely take advantage of this new, innovative tool to maximize their company success and reach consumers at a more personal level. 



Gladwell, M. (2013, November 4). The Year of the Instagram Strategy. The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 30, 2014, from


Instagram as a Growing Business. (n.d.). – Instagram Blog. Retrieved April 30, 2014, from


Follow the Leader around the World

Russian photographer Murad Osmann has a very popular Instagram account called “Follow Me” in which he has a series of photos being led by his girlfriend Nataly Zakharova all over the world. In each photo Nataly has her back to the camera and has Osmann’s hand clasped in her own – making it look like she is constantly tugging him to the next destination. The project initially started off as a joke when Zakharova was getting impatient when traveling with photographer Osmann because of how many pictures he takes – she took him by the hand to drag him along and after Osmann snapped a picture of it, the idea was created.

Osmann’s Instagram account has 898,072 followers and his project has turned into quite a following – with many other individuals copying his project. The traveling duo have been to all sorts of exotic places and landscapes that are just dripping with color and culture. Here are just a few examples from his project:

Benidorm, Spain

Benidorm, Spain

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey

Blue Mosque - Istanbul, Turkey

Blue Mosque – Istanbul, Turkey

There are countless numbers of these pictures – I love how this project has been created. It is such an ingenious way to incorporate not only social media, but your significant other into each and every photograph while making the entire project artistic. It’s refreshing to see digital story telling about traveling that isn’t quite as touristy as many of the other tourist photographers out there. I think this is a huge benefit that Instagram and other social media platforms have given us – not only has social media given us a way to share images, stories, and experiences with others, but it has given us a way to do so artistically. To raise the standard and upgrade from showing our close friends the camera film of our summer trip to Europe to making a statement in a larger context. Can anyone think of other ways that digital media has elevated or enhanced travel story telling? Do you think the convenience of social media platforms has made sharing experiences more or less meaningful?


(2013). Photographer’s girlfriend continues to lead him around the world. Retrieved from:


Osmann, Murad. (2014) Instagram account: follow me. Retried from:



You can have more social media influence than you believe. With every tweet, post, share, comment and like you are creating an online presence. Presence of your personal brand. Klout is just one other platform that brings an analysis of your impact.

Klout is a San Francisco based social media platform that launched in 2009 and incorporates your online presence on various platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and other several platforms. Klout serves more like a performance platform and scales a person’s social media presence on a scale between one and hundred. The higher your score the more social media presence you have within the digital networks.


A lot of people find it difficult to understand the structure of this social app. The site is administered on complex, secured algorithm basis, which makes it, complicated to understand but with well planned insight using other social media platforms you can this app to your utmost advantage. Here are some helpful Q & A on this app:


Who is an ideal Klout user?

Klout users are people who want to be online influencers. This is particularly important for authors, professional speakers, actors, marketing professionals and other leaders. A lot of business decisions today are made based on ones influence hence this app will be particularly important for entrepreneurs and enterprises. Klout has an incentive program where is gives perks to people who have significant amounts of influence. A Klout user is one who is looking for a national or international audience to engage with hence online presence is crucial.

You can make the most from this application by creating specific strategies and schedules to interact with customers and make the most from business.

What is an important tip for newcomers?

One of the most important rules for social engagement for newbie’s would be to follow ABC’s of social engagement.

Be engaging with people on a personal basis. Social media is replacing the traditional method of advertising to create and more personal and targeted connections with people. \

Be consistent. You cant expect to have any influence if you occasionally tweet once every couple of months. Being out of sight means being out of circle of influencers. Hence it is important to have a consistent and engaging environment with the community.

Be connected. In order to your community to connect with you, you must learn to hear them first. Understand what they are looking for and cater those needs sincerely.

Will Klout ever replace resume?

Klout will not replace resume but add to the application process. It will definitely be used as an effective hiring process for job applicants.


Fidelman, M. (2013, 7 9). Why microsoft’s partnership with klout to measure influence at work is a good thing. Retrieved from

Palermo, E. (2013, 10 22). how to improve your klout score and why you should bother. Retrieved from

Hall, S. H. (2013, 6 4). Don’t like klout? 12 other ways to track social media influence and engagement. Retrieved from

Fall Fashions Filtered Faster with Social Media

Fashion designers and brand are beginning to adopt the social media craze to boost advertising.  High end fashion such as Oscar de la Renta and ready to wear fashion, such as Forever 21, and Nike use FB and twitter. 

When Fall comes around, everyone looks forward to the premiere of fall fashion lines.  Normally in fashion magazine such as W, Vogue.  Anyone ever here of the September issue? It’s a big deal.  But this year Oscar de la Renta took another route.  Weeks before the fall fashion are typically shown, Oscar de la Renta previewed their line on Instagram!



Oscar de la Renta used their Oscarprgirl Instagram to show looks and fashion styles covering everything from shoes and jewelry to clothing. 


What a fun way to make fashion available to a much wider audience, and to grow the excitement of fashion, creativeness and design.  


I do want to point out that it is a bit of bummer for print media.  Print media normally gets all the excitement and these fall issue are normally their biggest selling issues.  Here food for thought, is this fashion fall release hindering fashion fall print issues?  



Instagram Video is a Hit in the Ad World

Short videos posted on social media platforms are not new, right? Vine has been around since the beginning of this year with its 6 second loop videos. So, what is so special about video on Instagram? Christopher Heine offers up “5 Reasons Why Instagram Video May Cut Down Vine,” an article posted on

1) Longer videos

15 seconds could turn out to be a far more engaging length than Vine’s six-second clips. Not to mention, in terms of advertising, that’s the length of TV spots constantly employed by brands.

2) Cool filters

Anyone who has made a Vine knows that they are fun but kind of rough-looking. Instagram’s filters and cinema elements really seem to give it the upper hand here.

3) Brand Engagement

On the pure marketing level again, social media teams are getting stretched like crazy these days, as they have for a few years been trying to market items with Facebook, Instagram photos, TwitterLinkedIn, Google+, MySpaceFoursquare, Pinterest, etc. If brands can incorporate good-looking Instagram videos into their messaging via those channels, will they bother with Vine? It undoubtedly will be interesting to watch.

4) Built in scale and community

Instagram—as a photo-sharing app—has 10 times more users than Vine. Those folks are used to constantly updating the app, so consumers are going to start using Instagram videos in the next few days if not hours. It should not take long for it too overtake Vine in terms of sheer audience.

5) Oh yeah, and Facebook is also big

FB has a billion users who are likely going to start regularly seeing Instagram videos of children, puppies and random footage of things like street mimes. CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s huge platform should be an unusally strong advantage to the forthcoming Instagram video vs. Twitter Vine battle.

Heine also writes about marketers utilizing Instagram Video in another article on titled “Brands Are Already Using Instagram Videos and Planning for More: Stoked marketers quickly whip up 15-second ideas.” He quotes the social media lead for Red Vines, the super delicious licorice candy, as saying the following regarding Instagram Video:

“It was wise to make them 15 seconds, because it allows for more engagement than the six seconds you get with Twitter Vine,” said Michael Kelly, Red Vines’ social media lead. “It allows you to tell stories that are at least a little more complicated.”

Marketers are hoping that they can utilize these 15 second videos to give consumers a more intimate look behind the scenes. There is a benefit in the homemade feel of these short clips because it puts the brand in the same creative space as the consumer: they’re all just a bunch of people using their smart phones to tell stories about the things they love. And the relatively unpolished Instagram Videos feel like home videos, so consumers can feel more connected to the products that they use every day. Here are a few examples that Heine shows in his article:



Red Vines


Charity Water

Jenis Ice Creams

I will admit that I am not a fan of Vine. I had a project in another class that involved Vine and I just don’t see the point of it. Most of the videos seen on Vine feature teenagers doing stupid things that they think make them cool. Vine’s network isn’t as big as other social media giants. The benefit of video on Instagram is that the network is already built up, so users aren’t jumping into a new platform with no friends. They can share video with the friends, celebs, and brands that they already follow. And, the Instagram platform supports both photo and video, so you aren’t stuck with just video as you currently are on Vine.

It will be interesting to see how the video war plays out. What do you think?