Instagram Your Summer

By: Marissa Breton Catching some sun on the beach, sipping lemonade on the porch, enjoying a family cookout… Summer evokes strong visual memories. This year, those memories are being captured in a new way. Summer of 2012 will be remembered by many as the summer of Instagram. This summer will be burned in our memories through endless earlybird-toned pictures of a beer under a beach umbrella, sailboats gliding by in the distance, and shots of our favorite bands at an outdoor festival.  Wherever there is an iconic summer moment happening, someone is saying “Wait! I have to post this to Instagram.”

What better time is there than right now to get your brand started on Instagram? The amateur photographers snapping shots of every sun-soaked moment are potential untapped resources and brand advocates.

One of the top brands on Instagram is Red Mango. They encourage fans to share picture of their fro-yo creations, and show appreciation for those that do. Every day Red Mango shares images submitted by their fans on all of their social platforms, even using some images as their profile picture. They also run Instagram based contests throughout the year for the chance to win (among other things) free Red Mango.

Instagram has the potential to create great word of mouth value. Encourage fans to share how they’re using your product this summer, and suddenly all of their followers get visual content generated by someone they know. Instagram creates an opportunity for brands to naturally integrate into this social space, without feeling too promotional.

So this summer, between taking pictures of ourselves laying in the sun, or running that 5K, let’s remember that this is the summer of Instagram.  Fans and followers of our brands are documenting every "toaster-hued" moment of their summer online, and with some creativity, we can be part of those memories.

How do you use Instagram for your brand? What are some of the challenges you’ve faced?