I’ve got an Instagram, now what do I do?

I wanted to talk a little further on Instagram this week, why it might be the right tool for some self-promotion. While having a Facebook page is almost essential it might not longer the best way to get attention. Facebook serves as a more of a guestbook or holding space for all the other media available.


This is a mobile based, real time sharing platform gives users a way to combine visual and text to grab consumers. Originally designed to pick up where twitter failed in the image-sharing realm, there is now a whole new tactic to being a super user. What Instagram allows you to do is make visual statement and expand on it with text. For me I might post a picture of post a picture of some students inside of a museum trailer and in the text put something like “Students from @WestMiddleSchool are learning to Think Like an Artist with #DIAaway. Come see us @WestboroLibrary 2/14-2/17”. To create that text I needed to do a quick search to find out if the attending middle school has a twitter or Instagram account, I need to know the event hashtag and search for the event sites Instagram or twitter. In the end all easy steps if you want to create maximum impact.


Instagram primarily uses a square format but now also allows for wider images and helps a user with some simple editing along with pre-set filters. Each filter allows members to add to the overall mood you want to create. For a museum program with kids I want to make sure the image looks bright and colors bold.


Now that I have the image and text ready I will choose what additional forums I want this image to be shared on. This is exactly why Instagram is such a great tool, it creates content for other platforms. I would choose to share this image on the Facebook page that Josh and I have set up for our professional lives (not my personal page), the twitter feed for our professional lives, and possibly foursquare/swarm (this is a geotagging app that would make that image available to anyone looking at the location on one of those platforms). There are even further options as they fit your current needs. The benefits are that you are easily creating content to push out to whatever platform desired users are seeking. Using the hashtag and @user connection you helps a post to reach even further.


The complicated element of Instagram is choosing hashtags, figuring out the right ones to use takes some time. By searching some terms within the app you can hook onto what is popular and will fit your needs. Don’t hesitate to search via a tag you came up with then look at what other terms are used on popular posts. You’ll quickly be able to take part in the discussion.


**For my regular readers this post has a slightly different format, as it is part of my coarse work for SNHU.


Keller, K.L. (2013) Strategic brand management: building, measuring and managing brand equity. Pearson Education, Inc. Fourth Edition

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2008). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Press.


Streatfield, B. (2015, December 23). “Rise of a tech giant: the history of Instagram”. The Telegraph. Retrieved from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/technology-video/12064686/Rise-of-a-tech-giant-the-history-of-Instagram.html



Experiential Impact

Last week I chatted a little about how hashtags and QR codes can be used on the actual surfaces of marketing vehicles, but where are they pushing consumers and why? In the mobile experiential world there are few programs that have the goal of only reaching consumers attending that event. There are exceptions to the rule, but for most it is to create public relations buzz and word-of-mouth sharing. The trouble is deciding which tools to use in moving a message forward. When a program like Coffee-Mate’s Ohio State University finals week campus invasion was being planned, the marketing team wanted a way to engage students who were outside the footprint of the event space. Not only were students using the designated hashtag given branded premiums but there was also a way to have coffee delivered around campus. By searching the hashtag on multiple social platforms, a branded coffee cart delivered to students in need. Participants were encouraged to try and talk about the flavored creamers. This program focused efforts on the message and not the platform; however Jack Daniel’s recently took a different approach. Instead of gathering impressions from multiple platforms they build the campaign from a single source and directed consumers to that platform. Like many tasting events there are a limited number of guests who will have the full experience but there is no limit to how far you can reach via the right channels. Jack Daniel’s created Instagram profile for different “characters” associated with the campaign, drawing users to the imagery even if they aren’t attending the tastings. These accounts each took on an aspect of brand attribute reinforcement.


Experiential marketing has the goal of creating an emotional response to brand attributes. Social media outreach that connects with these type of marketing activities isn’t necessarily seeking an emotional response but instead to convey those same selected attributes. When Lean Cruising added an experiential element to their “weight what matters” campaign their purpose to let consumer see themselves in the statements of others. These contributors were blogger who represented different members of the brand’s target segment.


There are many platforms and methods to social media marketing within an experiential campaign but what is going to work. What is going to have a lasting impact are those whose goal is focused on specific attributes.


**For my regular readers this post has a slightly different format, as it is part of my course work for SNHU.


Keller, K.L. (2013) Strategic brand management: building, measuring and managing brand equity. Pearson Education, Inc. Fourth Edition

Kirkpatrick, R. (2015, November 23). Lean Cuisine scales new messaging with an art wall. Event Marketer Magazine. Retrieved from: http://www.eventmarketer.com/article/lean-cuisine-scales-new-messaging-to-weigh-what-matters/

Kirkpatrick, R. (2016, January 7). Coffee-mate fires up finals with social media deliveries. Event Marketer Magazine. Retrieved from: http://www.eventmarketer.com/article/coffee-mate-fires-up-finals-week-with-social-media-deliveries/

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2008). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Press.

O’Loughlin, S. (2016, January 4). How Jack Daniel’s Motel No.& achieved record social sharing. Event Marketer Magazine. Retrieved from: http://www.eventmarketer.com/article/how-jack-daniels-motel-no-7-achieved-record-social-sharing/

Schaefer, M. (2011). The tao of Twitter. Lexington. McGraw Hill.

Hashtags and QR Codes

Josh and I recently had a conversation about his love of QR codes. He has been an advocate for years to include QR codes on the external wrap of trailers. One of the first things we teach new road staff of the mobile experiential firm we work for, is that the job doesn’t stop when the show ends. That trailer is a rolling billboard and you are always representing your client, even at an interstate rest area. This has fueled his passion for the QR code. A quick snap and we can direct the interested party to any platform desired, a micro-site, a blog, or likely a Facebook Page for the particular campaign.

LOC - Washington, DC - 09.25 (14)_edited-1

A Facebook page for marketing tours has a great deal of value without putting huge resources into it. This one social media resource can house schedules, tour descriptions, and be a source to push forward other information. We have been a part of numerous businesses to consumer projects that gave away a coupon; a tour’s FB page can also link to that same promotion. Interested consumers are engaged to ask questions and leave comments. By gaining that precious “like” the brand has the opportunity to share elements from other social media outlets on the powerful platform. I can’t tell you how many YouTube videos, Vines, and Instagram photos we have shared on a project’s page. As part of the management team for tours it is my job to seek out these gems. My favorite tool for doing this is hashtag searches. This little device originated as a part of programing and has now become a part of most social media platforms. Brands can use these to draw users together, while users can implement one to make a message reach farther. The hashtag is flexible and accepted on multi-platforms. Unlike a Facebook page that will only reaches users who are subscribed, a hashtag can find consumers outside your network.


While Josh likes a QR code I am a custom hashtag advocate, these multi platform functions gives you so many options. A QR code would be the flexible half of this duo. Our client’s have the option to choose where they want to direct traffic. Whether it is a Facebook page, a Twitter account, or my favorite a Tumblr micro-blog; QR codes put users where a client wants them. While traditional blogs and other micro-blogs have their benefits, Tumblr is designed to blend original content, multi-platform posts, multi-media post, and the all too useful re-blog. When I worked with Smithsonian Institute on a program called Animal Connections we would feed in posts that included the guest veterinarians, a little about them and their clinic. There were also many opportunities to grab the content created by guests to the traveling exhibit via a hashtag search. Like the QR codes posted throughout the exhibit there was also an official hashtag. We could grab images off of Instagram, tweets, and Facebook shares for the Tumblr feed. There was also the option to then let these items auto-roll to the Facebook page. The actual Smithsonian micro-site for the program featured a feeder of the Tumblr page. This platform allowed us to add real-time content like you would with Twitter but unlike Twitter the re-blog life is much longer. When we are in the program development phase of a tour these are always elements we work out. Hashtags and QR codes while very different search functions both can build and direct consumers. The QR code puts them on the right path while the hashtag opens a whole new one.


**For my regular readers this post has a slightly different format, as it is part of my coarse work for SNHU.


Bennett, S. (2014, September 2). The history of hashtag in social media marketing. AdWeek. Retrieved from: http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/history-hashtag-social-marketing/501237

Keller, K.L. (2013) Strategic brand management: building, measuring and managing brand equity. Pearson Education, Inc. Fourth Edition

Kirkpatrick, R. (2013, December 5). How Kia accessed a world stage with a hashtag. Event Marketer. Retrieved from: http://www.eventmarketer.com/article/kia-serves-soul-live-feed/

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2008). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Press.

Schaefer, M. (2011). The tao of Twitter. Lexington. McGraw Hill.


Walter, E. (2012, January 13). 10 creative ways to use qr codes for marketing. Mashable. Retrieve from: http://mashable.com/2012/01/13/qr-code-marketing/#2hN9XHn09iqj