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Target Impression Share, Google's New Smart Bidding Strategy

Before you Instagram ask yourself: are you branding or advertising?

Launched in 2010, Instagram quickly found it’s footing among millennials and hipsters before being digested by the masses soon after. It’s remained true to it’s roots, even after expanding to Android users, and being purchased by Facebook in April of 2012. It’s seen as one of the last true social platforms for sharing with friends and followers without all the clutter of facebook or twitter. So how does a company fit into the landscape of Instagram?

A bad Instagram campaign or account feels like advertising. It feels like the photos are ripped from print advertising and plastered on Instagram with no reverence for the platform. Users know what the environment should feel like, and they’re not shy about it if they think you’re doing it wrong, like when Michael Kors fueled a fire in the comments section.


Many companies are doing a great job using the platform as a way to amplify their brand in a very personable, casual way. Burberry uses their Instagram to share photos of London, where the company calls home, plus scenes from fashion shows and red carpets soirees, giving it that ‘shared experience’ that’s so important to the network followers. Another company of note is Calgary’s Camp Brand Goods. They show their products in the wild, but they’re also sharing a particular feeling which immediately connects you with their culture.

The ultimate question you must ask yourself to consider is how you’re representing your brand. Are you sharing your brand through culture, interests, and people, or are you using Instagram as an overt way to advertise? The best brands manage to do both. Adidas uses their Instagram to both show off the feeling Adidas cultivates, but also to show off their product, striking a balance between sharing and selling. It’s a fine line to walk, but if you get it just right it’s a very lucrative enterprise.

Wanna get the skinny on instagram? Here’s an infographic that sums up the history to 2014.