hirozzzz takes some of the most amazing photos of Tokyo and posts them to Instagram. I follow him.
One day, hirozzzz starts posting photos from Janipur, India instead of Tokyo, all tagged #louisxiiireveal. It turns out, Remy Martin was running a part of their marketing campaign on Instagram, inviting two of the most popular instagrammers to document the press event for a liquor launch. See screenshots below:
My interest was immediately piqued. Did this mean that Instagram was finally moving towards monetization, perhaps by letting brands rent hashtags that they would have full control over? Wow, these Facebook guys are fast!
Only one way to find out, right?
In a spark of excitement, I quickly scan my phone for a randomly trollish to test my hypothesis. This is the result:
Within 24 hours, samhorine (the other instagrammer invited by Remy Martin) comments:
Would be great if you could delete the comment w/ the hashtag as this is a collection of photos taken on a specific trip and you know this isn’t one of them…thanks
Basically, someone quickly saw what I was doing and reported the two participating instagrammers @hirozzzz and @samhorine, one of whom in turn asked me to remove it. In other words, I messed up someone’s marketing campaign in a few seconds, with them not having any way of fixing it but asking me nicely and waiting for my response. Luckily for them, I was just testing something out, and had no intention of any sabotage, and quickly removed the photo.
Popular instagrammers’ photos can command thousands upon thousands of likes. With this in mind, a campaign hashtag containing 100+ photos will get quite a few clicks. Marketing on Instagram can seem lucrative, but you’ll have to plan it more thoroughly. With all the “get free followers” spam and trash accounts on Instagram going around, one can’t simply assume that everyone is going to play nice.
Instagram/Facebook: There are massive untapped revenue sources on Instagram, some of which can be implemented without sacrificing user experience. In fact, I would argue some implementations may even boost user experience. For instance, I would pay for renting a hashtag for a campaign. Think about it.