Instagram As A Social Marketing Tool
Instagram recently celebrated its third birthday (launched October 2010), which follows Facebook’s acquisition of the App for approximately $1 billion (April 12, 2012). With an average of 40 million photos posted daily the App has quickly become more than just selfies, cat pictures and photos of our dinner. This brief survey of how designer/illustrator Shepard Fairey is utilizing the App demonstrates how the photo/video sharing social platform can be an important marketing tool.
Best known as the creator of the OBEY Giant brand (via a sticker campaign in 1989) and the designer of the Barack Obama “HOPE” image, Fairey’s team uses Instagram to advertise new art and on-sale dates, preview event openings, give behind the scene looks at past and future designs, create awareness for charities and overall make followers feel like they are simply keeping tabs on a talented friend. @obeygiant has amassed more than 214,000 followers, keep in mind these images also link to his 500,000+ Facebook followers. The cost of all this marketing? Nothing, other than the effort of his team, it’s FREE. Lets look at how @obeygiant is using Instagram. Here, they post an image of what’s happening in the studio, creating OBEY sticker packs. What the post is really saying; “hey, did you know we sell stickers? You should buy some!” You can see by the comments, followers are ready to buy.
The next post displays a new piece and alerts followers that the prints will go on sale 9-15-13 at a random time on www.obeygiant.com - which is also a great way to send traffic to their website. Three days later they post the image of Fairey signing the prints, serving as a reminder that they are now for sale.
The below image and post create awareness for another artist (not Fairey), an exhibit opening, a video, and serves as an amazing advertisement for this piece at 42nd St & 8th Avenue in New York. A perfect call to action to make followers actually visit the mural.
This one creates awareness for one of Fairey’s own murals in downtown Los Angeles as well as giving the opportunity for fans to show up in person to see the work an possibly meet the man himself.
Here we have a teaser for a new image, helping to create demand and discussion and hash tagging to create awareness for fans of photographer #glenfriedman along with 80’s punk bands #blackflag and #cirlcejerks. The second image is again a good follow-up. The message, “In case you forgot, the Keith Morris prints are shipping, get one before they are gone…”
Below, they post an image of an artistic collaboration along with a link to a video. You can see the comments, “how can we get one of these” and “I’d love to get one. Where??” Creating demand by posting a simple image.
Finally, two posts that help create awareness for BNE Organic and their clean water campaign in Ethiopia – and Fairey’s corresponding print. It’s great cause marketing; educating on an issue and creating awareness for a charity/auction.
See Shepard Fairey’s Instagram posts or just follow him on Instagram at @obeygiant. You can follow me on Instagram at @mstarrr. Just for fun, here’s an image of Shepard and me at this years SXSW conference. -Mike B. Want to learn more about Madison Media Institute's Entertainment & Media Business Program? Click HERE!123