Gini Dietrich

Instagram Web Profiles Provide Excellent Marketing Opportunity

By: Gini Dietrich | November 14, 2012 | 

I realize we are nine days behind the news of the Instagram web profiles, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t talk about them!

First, let’s get this out of the way… I LOVE THEM! Not as much as I LOVE PINTEREST, but it’s pretty cool we can point people to our Instagram streams online now.

With that out of the way, we can talk about what they are and why they’re cool.

On November 5, Instagram announced profiles on the web.

In the blog post about it, they said:

Your web profile features a selection of your recently shared photographs just above your profile photo and bio, giving others a snapshot of the photos you share on Instagram. In addition, you can follow users, comment & like photos and edit your profile easily and directly from the web. It’s a beautiful new way to share your Instagram photos!

Not only is it a beautiful way to share your photos, it gives you a very dynamic page. The photos change in the header so people can see what you’ve uploaded without having to scroll (I know, I know…scrolling is such hard work!).

Find Your Profile

By now, everyone who already uses Instagram likely has the web profile. You can find it by going to For instance, mine is As a side note: I kind of love Jack Bauer’s face is front and center in the largest box on my profile.

However, if your mobile profile is private you won’t have a web profile. If it is, and you want the web profile, you have set it to public via the app on your phone.

While using Instagram on your phone is an awesome experience, being able to edit, move things around, comment, love, and play with photos on the web makes it easy to create another experience…and one that you can show off by providing a URL.

Unfortunately, you cannot upload photos so you’ll still have to do that from your phone. But it sounds like that may change in the near future.

So What?

As we know, Facebook Collections is making a play for Pinterest. Facebook has one billion users. Facebook has the masses. And Facebook owns Instagram.

Now there will be very little functional difference between Instagram and Pinterest.

The big play for Pinterest has been its incredible ability to drive traffic to your website, ecommerce page, or blog. Now Instagram can do the same.

With the money, experience, and leverage Instagram gets from Facebook, Pinterest could be in trouble.

Marketing Opportunity

I know, I know. Don’t let the marketers on Instagram! It will kill the experience!

But, let’s be real. If your business sells something that is visually appealing, the ability to drive people to your site and buy is a marketer’s dream.

Some really good examples include: Red Bull (they give you wings!), Starbucks, Innocent Smoothies (this one is awesome), Nike (if you have a body, you’re an athlete), and GE.

Just remember: It’s about them, not you. Make your photos engaging and interesting. Use the comment space to have two-way conversations. Keep it social.

The point here is to motivate people to share your photos. And the only way they’ll do that is if you post images that are interesting and compelling.

With these changes, how will you use Instagram as a tactic in your marketing program?

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • Businesses really need to start taking a more serious look at  Instagram and Pinterest. The visual, sharing, and user generated content elements can really be quite important.

    • @KenMueller The push-back I always get is, “We don’t have anything visual to show.” But that’s just not true. Even our oxidizer client has something visual to show.

      • @ginidietrich not to mention for the umpteenth gazillion time, it doesn’t have to be all about you. Not everything has to be you and your product.

        • Lisa Larranaga

          @KenMueller  @ginidietrich I love this point, Ken. I read an excellent post by Tom Fishburne ( has SO MANY great posts! And cartoons!) that said “Marketing is not about convincing consumers how awesome we are. Marketing is about helping our consumers become more awesome.”
          A lot of people have said this in other or similar words, but it’s evermore important now that we have many sites to engage and share. On our Instagram page (cisionglobal) we focus on sharing a little bit of our office culture & values. Plus, some fun items we that hopefully give our audience a smile. We rarely – if ever – directly promote our products and services on any of our social sites. We’re in it to better ourselves and the industry & share our knowledge to help others. It really is a fun community.
          Thanks for the great post, Gini! We have a cake pop on our instagram ‘cover.’ Sounds about right 🙂 YUM YUM YUM!

  • belllindsay

    I agree with @KenMueller – if you’re a tourist area, have people send photos of themselves enjoying the beauty and wonder of your locale. Clothing company? People showing off cool ways they’ve used your (pants/scarves/shoes/tops) in an outfit! Restaurant? Well that’s an obvious one, but you could then do “pic of the week” from people who have visited and posted pics of your amazing food? Or maybe even have tried to recreate your dishes themselves at home. The possibilities are endless! But you have to engage the consumer, and make it about THEM.

    • @belllindsay @KenMueller Agreed, visual is Even if your product isn’t visually stimulating, I love seeing “behind the scenes.” I think it’s a great way for customers to connect with the brands they love. Lindsay, did you see the restaurant that made an Instagram menu?! Genius!!

    • @belllindsay  @KenMueller Agreed. When I spoke at a PRSA conference a few months ago, I was asked what trends I thought people should look out for and I said all things visual. Pictures are becoming a default mode of sorting and understanding the large amount of information we’re exposed to every day. Even if your product isn’t visually stimulating, I love seeing “behind the scenes.” I think it’s a great way for customers to connect with the brands they love.
      Lindsay, did you see the restaurant that made an Instagram menu?! Genius!!

      • belllindsay

        @yvettepistorio  @KenMueller Ohhh, that’s a GREAT idea!!

        • @belllindsay  @KenMueller Mouthwatering too…

    • @belllindsay  When I wrote the blog post, I was looking for brands that use it really well and Nike was one that kept showing up. I know I would totally post pictures of myself in my Nike gear while riding or doing pilates.

      • belllindsay

        @ginidietrich You would…..????

        • @belllindsay TOTALLY!!!!!!!!

        • belllindsay

          @ginidietrich That’s cause you’re fit. No one would be seeing my sausage thighs. 😀

        • @belllindsay You kill me! LOL!

  • Overt “marketing” is tricky on IG. However, once you’ve built a fan base, they tend to be VERY loyal and supportive of your causes. Obviously, IG will be better suited toward companies who can create visually appealing content (as Ken said). Although, since there’s no way to link your posts, it’s highly unlikely instagram will seriously threaten your beloved Pinterest.

    • @TonyBennett I think this is the way it’s going to go, though. Facebook is looking for more ways to monetize and this is the lowest hanging fruit.

  • Your qualifier is key -IF. I’m following an old favorite recording artist on Instagram, as well as I product which, quite frankly, I wasn’t that into until I saw their mostly unrelated Instagram pictures. If people keep in mind the differences in the new media environment, it can work.

  • Love the concept…have been a very peripheral Instagram user so far but  I’m going to give it a more serious try.  I always love trying out new ideas that grab people’s attention.  So FB and Twitter friends, be forewarned….testing one two three…

    • @SocialMediaDDS You must have office time today. I see you’ve commented on several Spin Sucks posts! I love Instagram, but like you, I don’t use it very much. I maybe post something once a week.

  • One of the first things I noticed is how the larger viewing area makes quality a much bigger issue than it was before. On a small screen you don’t notice some of the “wrinkles” but on the bigger one…
    I am curious to see if this impacts how people use it.

    • belllindsay

      @Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes Great point Josh.

    • @Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes That is a great point. One I hadn’t considered…or noticed.

  • I really want to get into using Instagram, and those new profiles are pretty dang cool. I just need this phone contract to expire and quickly so I can finally transition from this stupid, stupid dumb phone.
    And once I do, It’ll be one of my goals to start integrating Instagram into our marketing program so we can bring the prospect of foster care adoption and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption to a much younger crowd. After all, younger people are starting to think about adoption as a way to start families because of their outlook on the future of our planet.

    • @Anthony_Rodriguez YES!! And the best way to get people to adopt? Photos.

      • @ginidietrich If you mean photos of kids that is something my Foundation doesn’t do. We instead search for the best family for the kid rather than the other way around. So we have to get creative with how we would use Instagram.

        • belllindsay

          @Anthony_Rodriguez  @ginidietrich I was a little concerned about the creep factor.

        • @belllindsay  @Anthony_Rodriguez Really? Most adoption agencies and DCFS post photos of kids on their websites.

        • belllindsay

          @ginidietrich  @Anthony_Rodriguez I know, it’s terrible that the first thing people think about these days is the creep factor, eh? What have we come to.

        • @ginidietrich  @belllindsay Yep. Our recruiters are at adoption agencies, but the kids they work with are not listed as being in the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program.

    • belllindsay

      @Anthony_Rodriguez I love that idea.

  • I’ve been ignoring this until now… But because of your post, I am on it!  Thank you!!!

    • @geoffliving It’s kind of cool. YOU will love it!

  • ThibautDavoult

    Hi Gini, I’m as enthusiastic as your are about these profiles, and the future of Instagram as a marketing tool too. The cool thing with Instagram is that:
    1. Content that is created by brands on Instagram tend to be quality content (beautiful, original photos) Do I want to see another ad for Red Bull? NO! Do I want to see a Formula 1 next to a guy riding a horse? You bet your ROI I do! (And they did just that: )
    2. Fans (who either follow the brand on Instagram or don’t) also create compelling content. It’s a great opportunity for brands to gather quality earned media that is appealing to the eye. For example, through their #myuniquetoms hashtag, awesome Toms Shoes are doing just that.
    There are great opportunities on Instagram for non-bothering brand marketing and I think we’re at a very exciting place in the evolution of Social Media right now. This is why I’m working with http/// to develop a platform for brands and companies to really make the best out of their Instagram account and embrace good practices there.
    Have a great day Gini!

  • It seems like Instagram was the hottest apps this year. They started off being the most talked about once they were bought by Google and they have continue strong throughout the year. Especially with this new Marketing opportunity now unveiled.

    • @patrickwagner (They were bought by Facebook). It isn’t a surprise Facebook is using them to make their mobile app better. And they are using Facebook to gain more mass appeal.

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