Food and Drink - Spring 2014 - 13

social media

T

The app that launched the "foodie photographer"
became an even bigger sensation in 20 So, what can
13.
the platform do for food brands in 20
14?

To say Instagram has had a big year
would be an understatement. Over the
last 12 months, the mobile-based app
achieved the following:
> Added video to its core functionality;
> Reached and surpassed 150 million
users who share more than 55 million photos to the app every day;
> Recently rolled out a private messaging feature called Instagram
Direct ; and
> Posted its first advertisements
through five initial brand partners.

In December 2013, The Pew
Research Center's Internet & American
Life Project reported that a staggering
71 percent of online adults now use social platforms and 15 percent of those
users are on Instagram, up from 4 percent in 2012. More than half visit
Instagram at least once a day and 35
percent check their Instagram feed multiple times per day.
But individuals have nothing on
brands when it comes to Instagram, because 71 percent of the top 100 brands
(ranked based on market, brand, competitor and financial data) are on
Instagram. It's the fastest-growing social network among marketers worldwide. When Instagram announced its
first five advertising partners, those
marketers rejoiced and users braced
themselves for the appearance of "native" ads in their feed from brands such
as Lexus, Levi's, GE and Ben & Jerry's.
The first ad, from Michael Kors, ap-

brands post at least once per week, but
of the top 10 brands, five of them post
30 or more times per month.

Advertise on the Platform
peared in November. Although nearly
half of the comments were negative, a
report showed that subsequent negative
comments on the following ads had petered out just one month later. In the end,
it seemed to take only a few iterations
for Instagram users to get used to the
sight of advertisements in their feed.
With enhanced content features, a
young and sizeable audience and their
solid footing in mobile, Instagram is
primed to create more fruitful relationships with brands in 2014.
Few verticals have as much to gain as
the food and beverage industry.
Mashable recently reported that the top
hashtags used on Instagram last year
were #love, #friends, #fashion, #selfie,
#tbt (Throwback Thursday) and #food.
The trend of posting food photos in
Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook has
become so prevalent, in fact, that it inspired a study from Brigham Young
University on its effects on the appetite
and satiation.

Gain a Following
Last year was a good year for
Instagram, and by all indications, 2014
is going to be a very good year for
brands. With a few key moves, food
brands can maximize their presence in
no time.
According to social analytics platform Simply Measured, the top brands
on Instagram post often, because when
engagement and activity increases, follower count increases, too. Most

It's just weeks into Instagram's nascent
advertising program and the numbers
are counting in their favor. The message: if you want more followers, advertising on Instagram is a solid start.
Following the posting of its first ad,
Michael Kors saw a gain of 54,000 followers in just 18 hours.
Use hashtags like a brand, not like an
individual. When individuals post photos to Instagram, they flood their post
with any and all possible hashtags. But
a recent study revealed that the top
brands on Instagram use hashtags more
sparingly than other brands. Use them
wisely and only if they suit the content.

Know the Purpose
Embrace what draws users to
Instagram. Instagram has not just become a place to share, it's become a
place to look or a window into peoples'
lives. The use of filters and light can
contribute to the user's particular story
or mood. Is a photo of a product with an
Instagram filter telling the right story
for your brand? Make sure that it's giving Instagram users the "inside
glimpse" they're seeking.
There is a home for food photography and food-related iconography in
Instagram. In 2014, it looks like there's a
home for your brand, too.

Judi Cutrone is a senior social media
strategist at The VIA Agency, a
Portland, Maine-based advertising
agency. She can be reached at
jcutrone@theviaagency.com.
food & drink * spring 2014 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com

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Food and Drink - Spring 2014 - Cover1
Food and Drink - Spring 2014 - Cover2
Food and Drink - Spring 2014 - 1
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Food and Drink - Spring 2014 - Contents
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Food and Drink - Spring 2014 - Cover3
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/fd_2014fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/fd_2014summer
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