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.


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.


I've been ignoring this until now... But because of your post, I am on it!  Thank you!!!


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.


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...


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.


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.


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. 


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. 


 @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!! 

ginidietrich moderator

 @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 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.


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