Over the past year we’ve seen all kinds of brands swarm to Instagram, from Starbucks to Playboy and Gucci to Red Bull. It’s increasingly becoming the ideal platform across a lot of different sectors, whether you want to give the community a sneak peek inside your business, showcase your products or services or just add an injection of personality and humour to a big, faceless corporation.
As we’ve been researching Instagram more and more over the past fortnight we’ve come across a few examples of brands, tourist boards and destinations using Instagram to share photos of places as part of a number of initiatives and campaigns.
We spoke with some of the teams behind two of the most interesting examples, from tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire and travel company bmibaby to find out how, why and where they’ve been using Instagram.
Welcome to Yorkshire
Welcome to Yorkshire (welcometoyorkshire on Instagram) is the official tourism agency for the good ol’ county of Yorkshire and the team has been taking photos while they’ve been out and about to show off the best bits of the area. They decided that Instagram would be an ideal platform to share these photos and get feedback from the rest of the community as well.
We spoke with Sam Brown, digital marketing executive at Welcome to Yorkshire:
“As you’d expect, strong imagery is a key factor in inspiring people to visit Yorkshire. Coupling this with how proud Yorkshire people are of where they live, Instagram has helped us showcase Yorkshire in every possible guise including many of the hidden gems that make the county so special.”
The team are also searching for the #yorkshire tag to like and comment on photos that other people have uploaded as a way of engaging with those already a part of the Instagram community (although a LOT of people like to share photos of their Yorkshire Terriers apparently, which we imagine would get a bit frustrating for the team!)
Welcome to Yorkshire hasn’t been using Instagram for long, but due to how proud people are of the area and how good the photos have been so far, users are already actively liking and commenting and have apparently been making lots of queries about where specific photos were taken, which we imagine will make them want to go and visit for themselves at some point too. Mission accomplished WTY.
A big part of bmibaby’s efforts has been supporting and engaging with Instagramers all over the world. Although all users could call themselves Instagramers in a way, its actually the name for regional groups of Instagram fans who regularly meet and collaborate to share their photos. You can check out more information about them at instagramers.com.
One of the specific initiatives bmibaby has been focussing on over the past few months has been #mycountry, which is a campaign to crowd source visual destination guides for key bmibaby European destinations and those who submit entries with the hash tag can win flights.
The campaign has had various different stages, the first being all about Italy where Instagramers had to tag their photos with #MiaItalia and then it went on to #MyGermany and #MyHolland with more than 10,200 photos being entered in total. Wow.
According to bmibaby, both the German and Italian Instagramers are STILL using their respective tags even though the official campaign is over, so it’s really interesting to see the guides have taken on a life of their own despite the actual competition closing, which is probably a big testament to how well it worked.
bmibaby’s managing director, Julian Carr, explains why Instagram seemed like such a good fit:
“Everyone enjoys taking photos when they’re out exploring Europe’s wonderful cities and everybody enjoys sharing their images and memories of holidays with friends and families.
“Here at bmibaby we wanted to take this love of sharing your experiences and fond memories to the next level. We wanted to help people to find new and exciting things to do in cities and who better to learn from then the people who have been there and experienced a holiday destination or even lived there themselves!”
It’s interesting to see that two pretty different companies are actively using the same platform to share and curate brilliant photos and ultimately raise awareness of their brands in a way that seems natural and at the same time truly engages with the active and passionate Instagram community.
To celebrate Instagram week we’re running an easy to enter mobile photography competition with our friends at Orbitsound. All you have to do is take a photo with an Autumnal theme and share it on Twitter along with the hash tag #ShinyAutumn. It can be of a leaf or a Halloween costume, we really don’t mind. The winner will get a fabulous T12v3 speaker bar from Orbitsound and 19 runners up will get random iPhone related goodies.
Visit the #ShinyAutumn competition post to find out more.