Use Instagram to Create Visual Engagement

Instantaneous mobile photo sharing is becoming increasingly popular. The Facebook-owned mobile photo editing and sharing network Instagram has been around since October 2010 and by April 2012, the platform had 30 million users worldwide. A couple of weeks ago, Facebook launched their own ‘Facebook camera’ bringing smartphone photo editing to the social network that first made instant photo sharing go a mainstream.

Today, we see an increasing number of brands jumping on board to create visual engagement with their fans by showcasing their products, services and events through mobile photo sharing on Instagram.

How Threadless Engages its Community on Instagram

The community-based t-shirt company Threadless is a crowdsourcing business whose design is created and chosen by the online community. Thousands of designs are submitted every week, and about 10 designs are chosen by a public vote and sold in the online shop. Threadless’ customers are therefore co-creators, which makes an outstanding starting point for engagement.

Threadless is also a great Instagram success with more than 180,000 followers. The cause of their success is their capability of using the platform to involve customers and co-creators in what’s going on behind the scenes, the designs and events. Especially the behind-the-scenes photos and exclusive sneak peeks of the t-shirts in productions invite followers to be a part of the company and feel more connected to the brand.

Threadless post regularly but without spamming their followers’ feeds. The photos are interesting as they tell a story and show the brand identity. Showing previews of the production of upcoming design launches gives followers something to look forward to and also drive traffic to the online shop, as people will check in to see if the t-shirt they want to buy has been released.

With Instragram, you have the possibility of mentioning people with the @ symbol like on Twitter, and Threadless uses the function to interact and engage with their community and draw attention to certain people. Also, Threadless uses the hashtag (#) function to start conversations about different subjects relevant to their brand and indicate the theme of the photo, such as #tshirt or #threadfans.

The funny behind-the-scenes photos showcase Threadless as a creative and innovative brand, and it also has a employer branding function, as they present Threadless as a cool and fun workplace.

Additionally, Threadless is one of the first companies to run a Pinterest campaign – check it out here.

Read more about visual communication in Sara’s blog post and check out this interesting article about Threadless and its business model.

 

Why Oreo’s ‘Daily Twist’ is one of our all-time favorite social media campaigns

Few cookies have reached the same level of iconicity as Kraft Foods’ Oreo. Its round shape, blackish color and white cream stuffing have undeniably added to its success but as a social media agency we wonder: where would the crowd-pleasing, twistable cookie be today without effective social media marketing?

Let’s zoom in on one of their global digital and social media campaigns that reached millions of hearts (and mouths) and delivered proof that even cookies can provide endless food for thought. We are talking about the wildly successful ‘Daily Twist’ campaign that saw a 110% growth in fan interaction per social-media post only a few months after the campaign was launched. Even though the campaign dates back to 2012, in our view, it earned a spot among the best food branding campaigns on social media ever. Here’s why…

It used milestones and pop culture events to create engagement

2012 was the year that America’s favorite cookie turned 100. Needless to say, it was a cause for celebration.

Every day for 100 days, the Oreo was given a different “twist” – styled to look like Elvis, a panda bear or like the surface of Mars after the Mars Rover had driven over it. On the ‘Daily Twist’ site, users could suggest their “twist”. The campaign was driven on Facebook and also featured on Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest.

The Oreo twists were especially created to spark conversation and sharing, referring to milestones or pop culture events that people could relate to and share their thoughts about.

It had timely and shareable content combined with an element of surprise

While some of the cookie designs were planned ahead like the Olympics or Labor Day, others were more agile, tapping into events like the premiere of ‘Batman: The Dark Knight Rises’, the release of the iPhone5 and the birth of a Chinese panda bear. Monitoring trending topics and utilizing current events ensured the content was always relevant and timely. Couple that with the surprise of what each day would bring, and you’ve got a campaign worth tuning into.

They exercized strong brand values

The campaign kicked-off with the Gay Pride rainbow cookie in recognition of the LGBT community, much to the chagrin of conservative crowds.

The Facebook post set off a heated online debate that even led opponents of gay marriage to call for an Oreo boycott. But while supporters and opponents were fighting their online battle, the rainbow cookie doubled Oreo’s fan growth.

By having a strong stance and sticking to it, Oreo established itself as a courageous brand amongst its more liberal fans.

The campaign had an integrated marketing approach, combining the offline and online worlds

The campaign finale took place at Times Square in New York. They set up a pop up agency there, from which they designed the last ‘Daily Twist’, based on suggestions from fans. Earlier that morning, the brand had asked its Twitter followers and Facebook fans to offer ideas, which were going up live on a billboard. Creatives would select the best ones and three of them were then put to an online vote. The winning cookie, celebrating the anniversary of the first high five, was designed on the spot and was displayed on a big billboard.

A seamless flow between the online and offline worlds, and the mix of social and traditional marketing allowed for a greater experience and showed that Oreo mastered the integrated marketing approach.

It put the product in the center – without being self-centered

Oreo’s ability to put their product at the center of the campaign and still make the content relatable and entertaining for a massive range of users is (in our opinion) the most important factor in the success of the ‘Daily Twist’ campaign. The content was heavily branded, yet still relevant, timely and shareable – without ever begging for likes, comments and shares.

Lessons learned

The ‘Daily Twist’ campaign set an example of how important it is to create content that resonates with your audience. There are many ways to find out what moves your fans. For Lurpak®, we identified what kind of recipes the audience was searching for. As a result, we created content that we already knew people wanted to engage with. Read how we did it here.