“Twitter is stupid and Instagram is Twitter for people who can’t read” — 2 Broke Girls
I disagree. Until last week I never heard this quote before and now every time I watch a CBS television show on demand I am tormented by those words.
Some of my friends know I have spent most of 2014 living inside of Instagram. At times it feels like I am on Instagram for several hours a day. I know I changed because these days when I wake up in the morning I go onto Instagram first before checking my email.
Inside the world of advertising, the advertising, PR, Marketing worlds grew up with the terms “earned media” and “paid media.” Paid media is advertising that is paid for. Earned media is the opposite. It happens when someone writes a story on a media platform about a product, person, place, thing, and service without economic compensation. In the era of Instagram I have discovered another form of media, “Love Media.” Imagine a world where the customer will share a photograph of their food, their sneakers, their hotel room, their camera, their clothing and more with their friends and community without payment or any expectation of payment. They are driven by love. On any given day, millions of people are sharing their love for a product, service, food, TV show, movie and more with their communities on Instagram. The amount of sharing is growing. And as 2014 nears the end, it is all about love.
As a marketing professional, your challenge is to find a way to leverage the love from your customers into something meaningful. Figure out how to best approach this and Instagram can be a great marketing channel for future product rollouts. The success of Instagram is disruptive to marketing strategies, which are passive. The idea of building bottom up community is still foreign to many. Yet in 2015 community will have an even bigger role. Use Instagram to build your contacts and as a channel to connect to your customer community.
These days I am working with a number of owners of restaurants in Manhattan on their Instagram strategy. These are restaurant owners who recognize that an active Instagram strategy is more important than begging for reviews on Yelp. This is the profile of the kind of person I prefer to work with since they intuitively understand Instagram is where the buzz is. And Instagram is where they need to be.
Inside of the food industry, Instagram is magical. Imagine discovering a new dish tonight because one of your Instagram friends scored a reservation in the hot new gluten free vegan spot in the Lower East Side. Imagine being able to click on the location inside the photo and see 25 other mouth-watering dishes. Food discovery via Instagram is viral and a game changer for foodies and business owners.
In a world of 140 Characters, Twitter continues to be a powerful platform. But in a platform where a picture is worth a thousand words, adding a story in the description of a photo turns each Instagram post into a short form novel. And something meaningful for the future.