*Disclaimer: This post is part of my University marketing communications assignment.
Although the functions of Instagram are limited compared to other social media networks such as Facebook or Twitter, restricting the amount of interactivity that can be created, it is important to remember that "a picture is worth a thousand words". Instagram have recently introduced a lot more effects that can be used to edit photos that users upload, thus providing the potential to display a high quality image of a product, increasing its attractiveness to potential customers.
In particular, nail polish brand; Models Own, use their Instagram account to encourage customers to share images of their nail art designs, which they have created by using Models Own nail polish and nail art products. The best designs are then chosen to be re- posted on the Models Own Instagram account to a massive 52K followers, allowing them to showcase the potential of their products. This is something that Models Own could not do themselves, and is particularly important in showcasing their products, as all the brand can show you is a pot full of colourful liquid, whereas customers can show other potential customers what they could do with the product, inspiring others to buy the product the replicate the design themselves. Thus, marketing generated by their customers help to effectively market their products. In return for this, customers try to create the best designs so that they are in with a chance of being featured on the Models Own page, which increases the amount of likes and followers they may receive, which is perceived as an indication of popularity and credibility on the site.
Not only do those chosen to be re- posted effectively show the product in a more effective way than just a picture of a nail polish bottle, but with a large amount of customers using the Models Own hashtag, and tagging the brand in each post they create, this creates high exposure to for the brand, as not only do all of their followers see this, but also anyone who views their profile or searches for the hash tag. This allows the audience to browse through a catalogue of amazing and beautiful nail art designs. From the image above a huge 103,491 posts were created using the models own hash tag, not to mention the other posts which have also been created using a similar hash tag.
According to Chris Fill (2013), the creation of consumer generated content requires three core conditions to be met. Firstly the content must be published on a social networking site or publically accessible website, in this example; the platform is Instagram. Then, the material must display creative effort, for Models Own, this is the creation of nail art designs. Finally it has to be created outside of professional routines. In this case, the creators of the content are brand supporters and advocators of the Models Own brand, and those who have a passionate interest in nail art and nail polish products.
It is important to reflect upon the fact that consumers are becoming increasingly important in creating and generating more engaging brand communications, this is a vital factor for any company to ensure their products are promoted more effectively.