Turning Instagram on its head – Our top four creative uses of Instagram

With 90% of the one billion active accounts worldwide monthly following at least one business, brands can shine as fast as they can fade into the background on Instagram.

Battling for attention, constantly innovating to tell their stories in new, creative ways,  we put together a list of our favourites that really pushed the envelope.

The New York Public Library used stories to, well…tell stories

Fighting back against those who saw smartphones as a harbinger of the death of literature, the library published literary fiction, from Alice in Wonderland to A Christmas Carol to Instagram Stories – a format typically reserved for fleeting moments.

The disruptive move caused waves, earning the library 13,000 new followers in 24 hours and put classic literature in the hands of millions.

Libraries exist to make books, research and other curated content widely accessible. The New York Public Library stayed true to its purpose and re-invigorated it for the 21st century.

A Ukrainian optician used Instagram to treat poor vision

Leveraging the democratising power of social media, local Ukrainian optician Luxoptica launched an eye testing Instagram story.

Luxoptica took to Instagram to address the resistance amongst Ukrainians in getting their vision checked. Depending on how you saw the letters in a story, and which way you swiped, the test made a recommendation to send you off to the optician for a professional diagnosis.

Almost 7000 people arranged an eye test as a result. With phones proven to harm people’s vision, Instagram’s functionality was deployed to address the problem in an ironic and clever twist.

Swinburne Online exchanged six words for education

We know the key to great communications is the ability to write succinctly. Hemingway testified to this when he penned the following:

For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.

Swinburne Online followed suite when they created their six-word scholarship application .The university gave students the chance to apply a six-word story in the comments of a social media post.

Speeding up a typically long and complicated process, Swinburne engaged directly with its audience and knowingly with a generation that longs for instant gratification.

Starbucks used stories to help deaf people be heard

In an historic step for the deaf community, Starbucks opened its first all-signing store, in Washington D.C. near the deaf-friendly Gallaudet University.

Starbucks used Instagram to spread the message and involve their customers. The campaign took to  stories to teach people how to ask for their favourite menu item using American Sign Language.

Social media is often criticised for the downfall of real-life social interaction. Walking into a coffee shop is the perfect example; people engrossed in their phones instead of a conversation. In this coffee shop however, phones were used to break down significant cultural divides, and bring people together.

While we’re promoting innovative uses of Instagram, we would be remiss not to mention our People and Culture Manager’s account. Our resident poodle Louis represents us on Instagram, and when he’s not napping or chasing skateboarders, he’s offering thoughtful industry insight and sharing exciting news.

He’s just kicked off a series of posts inspired by the human animal bond, with a post dedicated to his favourite human, Barbara Pesel.

Follow him here: https://www.instagram.com/p/B5lkDajFLuq/