Instagram Helping Big Brands Filter, Share, and Promote Their Message

Author: Andre Bourque
Published: March 21, 2012 at 1:35 pm

One of the things I like about the Signal Conference, held today and put on by Federated Media Group, is that they pack a whole lot of talent into a single day. But just 10 minutes with Kevin Systrom, CEO of Instagram, was not enough time today. The iOS photo-sharing phenomenon was the first social app to have crossed a million users in just three months. Today, over one million users a week are adding the application.

In molecular terms, the atomic unit of Instagram is the “image.” So, it’s no accident that the success of Instagram truly came with the iPhone 4 launch. With photos as the base medium, the phone’s 2x screen and 5 mega-pixel input device enabled the masses to truly use the app the way it was designed. True to practice, Instagram was created with the intention for users to do four things:

1. Image capture

2. Image manipulation (“to make it look awesome,” as Kevin says)

3. Syndication of the image through existing channels (like Facebook and Twitter)

4. Inspire and enable two-way communication about it

27 million users later, it’s working. But what’s particularly interesting, if not somewhat unexpected, is how the product is beginning to affect brands and advertisers. This is what Kevin is particularly passionate about. He cites brands using Instagram as a social media marketing tool in three key ways:


Burberry was one of the first brands to sign-up with Instagram. Their advanced, early adoption of social media has been useful in attracting over 200k followers to their branded Instagram website.

Burberry uses Instagram as a way to show the products they build. So now, more than just tweeting about London fashion show, users are sharing real-time images of the event. Similarly, Burberry takes its own ads through the Instagram filtering process, to create uniquely engaging content that doesn’t feel like advertising.  “It feels like entertainment,” says Kevin.

Continued on the next page

About this article

Profile image for socialmktgfella

Article Author: Andre Bourque

Andre (@SocialMktgFella) is the Managing Editor of Technorati. He's a top-ranked social media marketing and inbound marketing specialist, an advisor to Social Media Today, and maintains his own blog, Social Marketing Fella, focused on emerging social media industry technologies and trends. …

Andre Bourque's author pageAuthor's Blog

Article Tags

Share: Bookmark and Share