The saying goes ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ – and with Instagram in mind, whoever’s saying it would be right. Now in its fourth year of service, Instagram has established an engaged community of over 150 million users, who on average share in excess of 55 million photos on the platform every day.
With over fifteen times more engagement than Facebookᶦ, Instagram is positioning itself as the go-to app for both consumers and brands. A recent year-on-year analysis of the app from Strategy Eye Digital Media showed a 66% growth from 2013² and this growth is likely to continue.
In 2012 Facebook paid $1 billion to purchase the platform, instantly integrating its functionality into its own by giving members the ability to view Instagram content directly in their news feed. This integration means that 1.9 billion monthly active Facebook users now have direct contact with Instagram content, seamlessly ‘liking’ and sharing images from one platform to the next.
Due to these developments, joining Instagram is a must for businesses. In a report produced in late 2013 by research firm L2, Instagram boasts the most engagement and the highest conversion from browser to shopper. The report also shows that 92% of luxury brands (who post an average of 5.5 times a week on the platform) increase their customer base. The stats echo the increased need for creative content; as a visual generation grows up, brands adopting a personal, creative approach are gaining consumer market share.
Learn From the Best
Brands are realising this potential and joining Instagram on a daily basis, adding the photography based social platform to their wider marketing plan. Want to see how it’s done? Below is a shortlist of four brands currently winning on this growing platform.
With over 2.5 million followers, Starbucks is one of the leading brands on Instagram. Nearly every post features a Starbucks drink, but rarely includes a store. Their approach highlights bringing people together to position its brand. By capturing images from friendly faces to customer drawings, Starbucks uses Instagram filters to soften its product-focused content, creatively amplifying its brand to the everyday consumer.
Using a mix of pro (DSLR) and bespoke (smartphone) photos captured on the platform, Audi not only does a great job with its imagery, its captions are very clever too. The caption shared with the image below reads, “Engineer your obsession #BuildYourAudi”. By sharing every day, relatable objects, Audi engages its audience, without just talking about their product.
Early adopter Nike has been on Instagram since January 2012, with a strategic content plan in place from the start. On its official account and all its ‘child accounts’ such as @nikefootball and @nikerunning, users will only see photos that feel right on Instagram: beautifully shot landscapes and people using the product in context — the kind of real-life feeling that Instagram is all about.
Nike continues to run one of the most successful campaigns on Instagram to date, Nike PHOTOiD. It launched in April 2013 and allows users to design their own Nike shoe online and then place it within one of their own Instagram photos. The results produce personalised content, highly shareable for an engaged and targeted audience, whilst also amplifying the brand effortlessly.
Essentially purveyors of shoe porn, this luxury brand has taken to Instagram to make its products even more desirable, sharing images of shoes in provocative places, behind the scene shots of scantily dressed models and thought-provoking statements like “Can you pirouette in Pigalle?”. Using the channel to engage a growing and influential audience, this brand has utilised the focus of the channel to maintain its marketing strategy very effectively.
Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, used his first major policy speech to embrace the potential of what he calls an ongoing “global medical revolution” that holds out the prospect of patients routinely moving to the very centre of health management and decision making.
He told the annual NHS Confederation conference in Liverpool this month, attended by over 2,000 NHS managers, that the NHS could benefit significantly from what he believes are three fundamental shifts in the practice of modern medicine including a revolution in the role that patients play in controlling their own health and care as well as embracing the coming massive changes in biomedicine and in data for quality and proactive care.
He said “the NHS has to grab these opportunities with both hands, rather than letting them wash over us, or hoping they will bypass us so we can carry on with business as usual.” The NHS should “embrace them and harness them to our cause”.
The speech brought comment from many individuals and organisations involved in patient care.
Nuffield Trust Chief Executive Nigel Edwards said:
“In his speech, Simon Stevens sketches out a radical reimagining of the ways in which GPs, social and community care providers, and hospitals work together. His vision is to move away from the historical delineations that have defined different health and care providers for the past 65 years, driven – crucially – by leaders, practitioners and patients themselves.”
“This is a refreshing departure from the pre-existing ways of working. After years of top down rhetoric about the ‘N’ in the NHS, Mr Stevens rightly recognises that in a country as large and diverse as England, it is not possible to adopt a single approach or plan. His vision could yield real benefits for the quality and efficiency of care.
Read the full article here.
Managing Director 3MC Health + Wellness
BYO – a concept we’ve been talking, reading, seeing (but perhaps not all doing), for a long time now. Who wouldn’t rather use their iPad than an ageing PC given the option? But whilst choice can be a good thing, with the direction of BYO moving to wearables and flashier tech, it’s worth thinking about how the choices being created for employers will affect the employee, in terms of what candidates will be expected to ‘bring’ into the workplace, in order to be chosen for the role.
Last month at HR Tech London, we heard our Appirio clients talking up the digitisation of the workplace; how tools, intranets, apps and – essentially – technological processes that make everyone’s lives easier (HR, employees, line managers), are becoming part of the deal maker-or-breaker in career choices today.
Put simply, would you choose a company whose critical processes (payroll for example), were antiquated, inefficient and time-consuming? Wouldn’t you be more encouraged by a company if it streamlined processes, had social intranets and interactive employee portals where information was accessible any place, at any time?
Tech is now becoming a forerunner for career considerations. Not just because it makes for a better working environment, but because it indicates an organisation that isn’t afraid to invest time and money into what is by and large already the way of the future.
While this all sounds good, what if we flip it and consider what employers will do when faced with a choice of candidates with varying degrees of BYO familiarity. In this context, how would an employer choose between three candidates: one that speaks fluent Google Glass, one that has a Samsung pebble and can send emails from their wrist, and one who can touch type and that’s about it. Is the Googlist more attractive? Whilst utilising one of the most innovative devices available, they don’t necessarily need the enhanced processes that Glass can offer for this job.
What about the pebble watch candidate? They demonstrate interest in new technologies, a desire to be more agile when working, and could perhaps encourage other co-workers to get on-board with the trend and make for smarter working.
But what if candidate three has the best level of experience or enthusiasm for the job, and – all gadgetry aside – would otherwise have been the ideal choice for the role? Will the tech-vantages outweigh the immediate skill set? Which will be considered more beneficial to the company at the rate tech expectations of social business are going in business BYO? Will a new precedent be set on the tech-agenda for workplace 2020?
We are evidently witnessing the onset of BYOW (bring your own wearables) pervading traditional entry points for candidates applying for jobs, and not exclusively in IT/ICT.
With bring-your-own proliferating in enterprise, the mid-market and start-ups alike, if an organisation’s IT infrastructures and hardware aren’t at a high enough level for employees to do their job to the best of their ability, it might then become expected that this responsibility wholly shifts to the employees themselves. So we may see candidates polishing up their wearables as well as their CV’s, which may in turn see businesses scrap in-house device fleets, or alternatively (and more wisely) could stimulate businesses to futureproof their whole IT infrastructures, in order to accommodate the generation-Tech applying for jobs today.
With this direction, when will ‘trend’ leave off and ‘necessity’ begin, for an office culture that respects both innovation and equality? Could tech serve to undermine the coupling of both, or will it engender a closer union? AbilityNet and BT have recently sought to address precisely these questions.
Tech and developer skills have long fuelled the digital debate of the UK jobs market, but with the consumerisation of IT and initiatives such as BYOX (bring your own everything) on the horizon, there may spark discussions of where we actually want the tech story to go, in terms of new expectations for today’s modern[ising] workplace.