As I’m fighting sleep trying to wait up on the year’s biggest meteor shower (dreading that 11 degrees chill outside!!!), I went though my nightly routine & opened up my Instagram app on my iPhone to find a surprise that solidified the gut feeling I’ve been having for over two months. Four hours ago, the Obama 2012 staff officially joined Instagram.
For several months now, I’ve been noticing more and more how major retailers and mass media players like the TODAY Show are adding Instagram to their social media marketing mix. At first, I thought this was a fabulous way to just share iPhone photos for free of things like “behind the scenes” activities for the brands while socializing with the Instagram users. Everyone’s an artist, right? I also noticed the benefits of being able to Tweet photos by integrating Twitter accounts from the Instagram app – using popular hashtags to gain recognition and “be search-able” by Instagram users – or share to Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, Foursquare… the list goes on. There’s also the geo-tagging feature which associates images with places.
The more I studied how popular users were gaining recognition, I really started paying attention to exactly what hashtags were being used… there are daily photo contests & numerous popular categories spanning things like #sunset , #smurfs , #snow , #Projectcupcake, #iPhoneonly , #instagood , #instagramhub … AGAIN, the list goes on and on and on. Besides “hashtaging the heck” out of their images (this is a direct quote from a client during a Twitter/Instagram tutorial I was conducting recently), people are also commenting on these photos within the app. Big deal, right? Yes, it is a big deal.
My point is this: Instagram allows people to share images they’ve applied photo filters to out to their social networks on other channels. However, people are doing this, plus NOT leaving the app to socialize. This fact makes the app the newest social network. Still unconvinced? Now onto to the surprise I saw earlier that caused me to slam my fist and scream “I KNEW IT!!” subsequently scaring my poor sleeping pup!
Partisan politics aside, Obama is said to have won the 2008 election due to being on the forefront of social media. He just joined Instagram 4 hours ago and this app has been popular for over a year at least. For the trendsetters, this app is old news. For marketers, this is definitely now the next social network to target. If his staff of social media experts have considered it powerful enough to get on board, then it’s here to stay.
As advertising professionals, we are trained to go where the most people are paying attention… hence many years of Super Bowl television ad’s and in most recent years Facebook sponsored ad’s, for instance. Obama’s staff joining Instagram is an interesting move in their social media strategy for 2012, proving that this iPhone-only app is managing to keep people within it’s confines and is now a force to be reckoned with – so watch out Facebook!! My only word of caution to you is that is will SERIOUSLY drain your iPhone battery (as seen in the screenshot above!)
Bravo to the people over at Instagram. You’ve managed to combine the benefits of Twitter hashtags, Foursquare check-in’s, and Facebook commenting in a more robust mobile app than any existing social network. Too bad it’s only for iPhone and excludes other mobile devices. Even still, I’m eager to see how this continues to grow! Want to learn more about this phenom & how to get on board? Shoot me an email and we can set up a time to talk firstname.lastname@example.org