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Instagram Contests: Benefits for the User Too!

Guess who won first prize in the Energizer Ultimate Instagram Photo Contest – yours truly. Thank you to all who helped vote! It really is possible to win an Instagram hosted contest and here is proof. And it didn’t even require any effort – just snapping a picture with Instagram. Has anybody else won any contests?

Win a Car with Instagram! European Instagram Contests

It’s great to see how US companies are using Instagram to market their products and services. We wondered if European companies were doing the same, and if so, if their campaigns on Instagram were different. Here are a few examples of how companies in Europe have used Instagram to build brand awareness and further develop customer relationships.

1. Ford Fiesta of Europe , headquartered in Germany

Ford Fiesta of Europe used Instagram in conjunction with Facebook for its #Fiestagram campaign. The rules were easy. Interested participants were asked to register on Facebook and submit a photo related to that week’s challenge, six in all, with the hashtag #Fiestagram. A photo was chosen for each week and given a prize, but the overall winner was awarded a brand-new Ford Fiesta! Sorry, the contest has ended and only EU residents could participate.

Wow, a photo a week for six weeks and you could have won a Ford Fiesta! Amazing.

2. AirFrance, headquartered in France

AirFrance has been using Instagram as a supplement news medium to update passengers on AirFrance news. They recently posted a sneak peek of the airline’s largest airport lounge to date at Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris. Sharing news isn’t the only way AirFrance has used Instagram to connect with customers. They launched #SpotAirFrance, which asked Instagram users to submit “a quirky picture representing Air France (plane, onboard, airport, magazine, advert…)” with the hashtag #SpotAirFrance and @airfranceuk in the caption and finally upload the pic to Twitter. One lucky winner would be granted two tickets to the AirFrance destination of their choice. Sorry again, contest is over.

Those are some pretty easy steps to take toward potentially winning your dream vacation.

3. nH Hotels, headquartered in Spain

The #wakeuppics campaign was initiated first locally in Spain by the nH Hotel Marketing team in 2011. Instagram users were asked to upload pics of things indicative of a fresh, positive attitude to wake up to,  with the hashtag #wakeuppics. Surprisingly, not every pic was of a sunrise. Many were of day to day life, but all were “Instagram artistic”. Within two weeks, the campaign received 600 photos. A temporary display of 30 photos was set up at the NH Palacio de Tepa in Madrid. Instagrammers were continuing to upload photos with #wakeuppics, so the company launched an International campaign. An exhibit will take place in Berlin. There is even a display website for those interested in viewing submissions. nH Hotels is always taking submissions of “wake up” worthy pics.

It appears the campaigns do not stray in terms of participation requirements compared with US firms. One thing about Instagram contests that amazes me is their simplicity. Although there are some restrictions such as geographical location, Instagram contests are too easy to not participate in.

Have you participated in an Instagram contest? Did you #win?

Instagram Contests: A Winning Idea?

Now that Instagram supports #hashtags, companies can capitalize on the social media app for their marketing campaigns. A perfect example is the campaign Brisk, the iced tea brand owned by PepsiCo-Lipton did last year for SXSW. Brisk asked for participants to tag their pics with #Briskpic for the opportunity to have their pic featured on one of 4,000 cans of Brisk available at the event. The company received 2,425 pics in response to the campaign. They also had a dedicated website for people to learn more about the contest.

Was the campaign a success? Yes. I think so, here’s why:

The Right Audience
SXSW is an annual music, film, and interactive conference and festival held in Austin. The event hosts many tech savvy, trend conscious, entertainment focused individuals. Brisk’s target market is young adults, particularly males between the ages of 19 and 29. According to the website traffic stats of the SXSW event, visitors were evenly split between males and females and the majority of visitors came from the 25 to 44 age range. While not completely within Brisk’s target market, their effort definitely served to raise awareness beyond it’s target demographic.

Exposure is Key
Tying the promotion to a popular event was the perfect finale to the initiative. The 2011 SXSW event was visited by over 20,000 people. Not only was exposure significant at the event, but searches on the SXSW website for ticket information and schedules also increased the opportunity of exposure for the Briskpic campaign.

Cross-Promotion
The level of cross promotion with this campaign was huge. SXSW linked to the dedicated Briskpic.com site, the site also linked to the festival, Instagram and Instragram on the iTunes App Store. Cross promotions for this type of event was a win for all involved. People who already were planning to attend and submitted a photo would most likely seek out the Brisk booth to find out if their pic made the cut.

My Pic on A Can
The incentive to participate was unique. How many times does the opportunity to have a pic featured on a can of tea present itself? Not often.The contest also had few rules making it easy to participate in. All one had to do was take a pic, hashtag with #briskpic and upload. Done. No forms. No long disclaimers. Easy.

Drawbacks
The contest was only available to iPhone users, since at the time, the app did not feature an Android version. It would be great to see another attempt at this type of contest now that the app is available on both iPhones and Android devices.

While I am not privy to the metrics PepsiCo-Lipton uses to measure campaign success, it appears hosting a contest is a great way to generate awareness and interaction about your brand. With the installation of hashtags and the addition of Android users, this type of campaign will easily become mainstream. It’s important to consider your brand audience, tying the campaign to an event and whether the opportunity for cross promotion exists to maximize exposure.

What other companies would benefit from an Instagram contest?