Instagram is a photo sharing tool building community, conversation, and content through photographs in real time.
Like other social media tools, it offers the opportunity to be able to engage, build relationships, and tell a story with prospective customers, candidates, and current employees. Like other photo sharing or pinning tools such as Pinterest and even Fickr, these tools offer the ability to reach an audience purely through pictures and portraits that tell a story by evoking emotions and memories through the power of photography. Like social media, these tools offer the average user and individual the opportunity to build relationships quickly and relatively easily sharing their lives and in real time.
Employers can also use these tools the exact same way, and Instragram offers a dedicated and cult like following that is increasingly engaged on other social medias. One of the reasons I enjoy Instagram as a user, is that I can quickly take and share a photo, make small tweaks and customizations like filters and blurring without professional editing tools like Photoshop. These photos are fun, interesting, and customized to my particular tastes. I shoot the photo, add filters, publish the photo to my Instagram and automatically share the photos to my other social networks including Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and even email.
A relatively new Instagram account with 122 photos, they are using the site as a way to reach customer as well as candidates. One of their more recent photos takes about an UK airshow and the types of engines on display. This is a new innovative gives the collective insights to new audiences of the interworking of the projects and programs at GE.
Another new Instagram account with just 45 photos, Marriott and their recruiting team are fully entrenched in social recruiting and using Facebook and Twitter mediums to share with job seekers and provide insights into what makes the their company and culture different that other hotels locally and globally. This is a good example of how to start, and I am excited to watch it grow.
Their instagram is more customer and engagement driven not necessarily with the purpose of recruiting and hiring employees. Instead of choosing to share photos of solely new product some of their recent photos include ice cream bars and fun sights in New York. The community contained within their Instagram is very engaged. You can just tell that it’s a fun, funky, and exciting place to work. Where do I apply?
Rather than simply celebrating shoes, Puma’s Instagram highlights all the cool places that their product (shoes) take you. Puma’s been known to send influential Instagram users to big events across the globe and take pictures. Puma even sent some very lucky and influential Instagram users to Abu Dhabi so they can Instagram the Volvo Ocean Race. Without the initial following of some other brands (like Red Bull), this strategy of employing influential users to photograph events was a good way to grow.
Tiffany’s adopted Instagram as part of its campaign about true love. They employed a well-known fashion blogging couple to take snapshots of love stories in Paris and New York and them on Instagram. Tiffany’s also gave couples the opportunity to submit their own photos using the their own downloadable Instagram filter. Beyond just incorporating Instagram into their true love campaign, Tiffany’s also used the photo-sharing app to give fans an inside look at how jewelry is made.
Starbucks uses their corporate Pinterest account to share stories about the culture and life of employees at the company both in the corporate and store environment. Their photos demonstrate the fun and funky culture that appeals to Millenials and those looking for a change of pace. With 454,000 friends on the platform, Instagram has resulted in a number of hires and has proven successful at helping to reach their candidate audience in a different and very personal way.
The recruiting team at NPR has been very active in the social space as of recent launching their #NPRlife helping to drive conversations and communications around a very strong culture of fans and employees. They’re Instagram account also supports their employer branding on other channels helping to drive influence and increase their candidate and fan base.
From the average social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, to the new and uncharted social apps like the popular video sharing app, Viddy, Red Bull is definitely an industry leader when it comes to online marketing – and their Instagram presence is no exception. Red Bull posts a “daily awesome” photo, and maintains the tradition of “Flying Friday” to keep fans and followers engaged. However, Red Bull doesn’t stop with just posting engaging content, the brand has also been known to “Like” other users photos as well.
Instagram’s popularity and the fact that they are a solely mobile platform offering a downloadable app takes advantage of the real time engagement that make social so fun and effective. It’s also why Facebook purchased the company earlier this year for over $1 billion. They offer apps for iphone and droid phones. Download, snap your pics, and get started. I guarantee you’ll be hooked; your brand will be better for it.
Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a HR consultant, new media strategist, and author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. Jessica is the host of Job Search Secrets, an internet television show for job seekers. Photo Credit Norrebo.
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