Instagram has easily been one of the fastest growing social networks since its launch in late 2010. It is estimated that over 90% of the 150 million users on Instagram are under the age of 35. The core target for Navy recruiting is 18-24 years old, which is a sweet spot for Instagram. The objectives of the America’s Navy social platforms are to create awareness and consideration of the Navy as a career choice, increase engagement with Navy-related content, and inspire potential recruits and future and current Sailors to be proud of their Navy. Instagram is a great place to connect with potential recruits and key stakeholders on their images, as well as sharing the incredible photos from everyday life in America’s Navy. It also gave us another tool for social media activation at major events to promote and engage. So the decision to become the first official military recruiting account on the platform was easy. We first launched our presence on 5/24/2013 and since we have seen tremendous organic growth. Without any paid media behind our presence, we gained 4,365 followers. With a mix of photos that includes aircraft carriers, fighter jets, helicopters, Sailors, custom art, exotic locations, and more, we engage with our audience every day. Our account truly gives a diversified look at life in the Navy, from travel, to life at sea, Boot Camp, and much more. Moreover, we actively monitor Navy-related hashtags (#AmericasNavy, #USNavy, #FutureSailor among others) and are constantly interacting with fan photos, finding people who many not know of our presence and keeping our current followers engaged with the brand. On Instagram, we don’t wait for people to come to us, but find their relevant content, engage and convert into followers. We also monitor which images are the most popular and trending on our owned websites to understand what types of photos our fans are consuming. With those insights, we are better prepared when planning future content, whether sharing similar photos on Instagram, our other social platforms, or even our website. One of the biggest strengths of our presence is the integration with events. We attended two major events in 2013, Summer X Games in Los Angeles and the annual Army-Navy college football game in Philadelphia. Sharing on-site photos and videos of Sailors at X Games made our audience feel like they were with us in Los Angeles. At Army-Navy game, our photos and videos roaming the sidelines of the game were some of our best posts of the year. Our Instagram account has been an invaluable tool for events and drastically increasing the reach of our activation beyond the event’s location, as well as a way to invite visitors to our event footprint. The America’s Navy Instagram account has become a tremendous resource for our target to learn more about life in the Navy through photos, videos and direct interactions with the brand page. Moreover, it has allowed us to see and engage with the personal experiences of Sailors, future Sailors and stakeholders (family, friends, veterans) on a more personal level. The page was an incredible success in 2013 and is poised for great things in 2014 and beyond.
Some of best performing images in 2013 http://instagram.com/p/h67-zToRJ5/ http://instagram.com/p/hoGSZYIRK0/ http://instagram.com/p/iJfAr2IRLZ/ http://instagram.com/p/h6bITtIRBc/ http://instagram.com/p/g5muMvIRKn/
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