August 18, 2015

The Social Lite: Liberate Your Brand + Revamp Your Instagram Strategy

1(Source: Wendy’s Instagram)

We are currently living in a visual-obsessed generation — meaning that brands must now focus on how to create content that’s both visually appealing to their audiences and purposeful to their bottom line. The idea of visuals being more important than ever is not new (it’s something marketers have been yelling from the rooftops for a while now), but the focus must remain on the quality of imagery being produced — not just on the production.

Enter Instagram: the powerhouse social platform for those under the age of 34 that has been built exclusively on the power of imagery.

Today, there are countless brands — big and small, local and international — that are taking advantage of their presence on Instagram to garner engagement and exposure. While some brands create content exclusively for Instagram, others use it as a platform to support more general campaigns.

As the importance of Instagram grows, brands are adapting their strategies based on what they’ve learned in order to stand out in their followers’ feeds.

A big brand you may be familiar with just underwent a major transformation by glamming up its content in order to appeal to their younger Instagram-obsessed audiences. Check out the before and after:


(Source: Wendy’s Instagram)

Up until about a month ago, the Wendy’s Instagram account has been full of cluttered and silly images of the fast food chain’s burgers, fries, and salads. The brand has changed courses drastically and it’s caught the eye of advertisers everywhere. With its new simple, tasteful, and bright images, Wendy’s has even partnered up with Instagram influencer & photog Nathan Michael to shape up its new Instagram identity and help with overall brand transformation.

The change in Instagram strategy is actually part of a bigger revamp, and we’re seeing the company making concerted efforts to change its image and gain popularity with the ever-desirable millennials. In order to do this, Wendy’s had to rethink their look on social media.

“Instagram is the under-34 powerhouse platform at the moment, so we feel it deserves special attention. Our testing has shown Instagram, when we have the right creative, improves people’s perceptions of the brand. Earlier, it wasn’t really differentiating us from anyone else. You couldn’t tell it was us,” said Brandon Rhoten, Wendy’s vice president of digital.

This change in strategy also comes as no surprise when looking at Wendy’s competitors. With 80k followers, the chain lags behind McDonald’s, Burger King, and even Shake Shack by a long shot.

Brands can learn a lot from Wendy’s drastic change in creative social strategy. When lagging behind the competition or not feeling like your social content is true to who you are, take a step back and re-establish the look, feel, and emotions you want to evoke when your customers come across your social presence. It’s never too late to change your strategy in order to stand out. As a rule of thumb, brands must understand that they are sitting between posts from friends and family on their followers’ feeds, so the content being pushed must be of utmost value and creativity.