Building Business Brands with Instagram

rexfeatures_9077541b_preview[1]By Amanda Moses

Last month, the Spring Creek Sun attended Advertising Week—a premier event for marketing, brand, advertising, and technology professionals taking place in only five major cities: New York, London, Tokyo, Mexico City and Sydney.

Originating in New York City, Advertising Week hosts an annual series of seminars and panels (for the past 15 years) in Times Square, featuring new technological tools, revolutionary branding methods, and business-building models.  The common theme throughout this event was linking businesses with social media to reach a larger audience, interact with customers, and test out products.

The Instagram Effect: Where Business and Passions Meet, was one of the most down-to-earth informational panels that showcased successful businesswomen using Instagram to build their specific brands.  Instagram is a photo/video based social media application that allows users to share their products or their life-story one post at a time.

Moderated by ABC’s Rebecca Jarvis, the panel invited Instagram’s Chief Operating Officer Marne Levine, actress and businesswoman Sarah Jessica Parker, and internet beauty brand Glossier’s Emily Weiss to discuss the role of Instagram in their businesses.  The four speakers gushed about their love, and sometimes, addiction to perusing through various Instagram posts.  Compared to Alice in Wonderland’s rabbit hole, these women admit to falling down the hole of looking at post after post, losing track of time because of all the interesting stories, pictures and people they are able to learn about.

Levine believes that some people are able to find success with Instagram, whether that is quantified in likes, views or followers, by remaining true to your brand.  For example, if you are the type of person who is a fashionista who posts pictures of fabric, shoes and designs, then you have found your niche.  Do not add random posts of food or coffee on your Instagram account because your followers will feel like you are being disingenuous.  Levine advises that Instagram users should be true to themselves.

Connecting with followers is one of the highlights of Instagram for Sarah Jessica Parker because she can find out what her customers like and dislike.  She also admits that she has more interaction with people who buy her product (shoes) through this platform, than being in one of her shops.  In addition to connecting with people, Parker is also able use her fame as an incentive for customers to come to her store.  She uses both her business and personal account to share when she will be at her stores so that fans and consumers can stop by to purchase items and ask questions.

Emily Weiss is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Glossier, a website run by beauty editors.  Originally, Glossier was launched on Instagram and was built in real-time with customer feedback.  Their website highlights their Instagram posts “Beauty in real life,” where they showcase people wearing their products and upcoming items that are just being launched.  In addition, Glossier’s Instagram features makeup artists applying the products and explaining why they like it. Weiss shared that Glossier’s facewash was launched through Instagram because they asked their followers what was their dream face wash and who would play it in a movie

All four women agreed that Instagram could be a beneficial tool for business as long as the company stays true to their brand and keeps their priorities in order.

Photos courtesy of Advertising Week