How brands can succeed on Instagram

Stephen Whiteside

Instagram may be at the vanguard of the social media revolution, but brands advertising on its pages stand to benefit from looking back at traditional, mass-market media for inspiration.

"Getting to a very small number of users is really not the intent of what we're trying to accomplish," Jim Squires, Instagram's director/market operations, told delegates at the Advertising Age Digital Conference 2014. "Think about what you're doing in other mediums like TV, or magazines, or even other digital mediums, where it is true brand [advertising] and you want that broad reach."

Since launching in 2010, Instagram – a platform for sharing photos and videos – has attracted 200 million monthly active users, alongside catching the eye of Facebook, which acquired the fledgling firm for $1 billion in 2012. With 60 million photo uploads and 1.6 billion "likes" now recorded on an average day, the service has rapidly obtained a significant scale.