We grammin’—and Spark wants to gram it with you

Spark is continuing to utilise its younger, cooler post-rebrand persona by venturing into target market territory. Its most recent effort is its summer Instagram campaign, developed with its PR agency Sherson Willis, which rewards the most creative fans with credit (or as Spark calls it, ‘social currency’) if they capture and share Instagram shots (based on trending images on the platform) with the correct hashtag. And halfway through the campaign, the telco has already given away thousands of dollars of credit, increased sign ups and seen a growth in its Instagram following.

‘Hotdog legs’, ‘heart hands’, ‘angel wings’ and ‘follow me’ are the kind of Instagram tropes Spark fans have been encouraged to share on the platform this summer. The telco set up ‘#SocialTopUp’ stations, aiding grammers to get that perfect, shareable snap, and also encouraged fans to experiment with their own.

#SocialTopUp‘ posts lets Instagram users cash in their social currency, earned by re-creating and sharing one of Spark’s top ten featured Instagram shots, for $100 Spark credit. 

“Social currency is what social media users ‘earn’ when they capture and share trending content on their networks, and our thinking was simple: our customers love ‘doing it for the ‘gram’, so why not recognise and reward this,” says Spark social community engagement Frith Hughes.

She says the telco is only halfway through the campaign but is already blown away by the response, with more people participating every week and the calibre and creativity of entries improving all the time.

“We’ve seen an 11 percent increase in our Instagram following and almost 600 ‘#SocialTopUp’ posts by customers to date Sentiment has been really positive overall, with keen customers entering week after week and some showing up to every ‘#SocialTopUp’ pop up activation we’ve held. Customers are loving how easy it is to enter, and they get genuinely excited when they’re featured in our favourite shots at the end of each week.”

Hughes says Instagram was the perfect platform due to its increasing popularity. “ … It’s one of the fastest growing [platforms]in New Zealand and popular with one of our key target audiences, prepaid customers from 13 to 24. Lifestyle brands – particularly in the food, fashion and design space – are traditionally successful here, so it’s great that we’re relatively new to it and already have a large and engaged following.”

Many of Spark’s customers created Instagram accounts just to be able to participate, she says. “And it’s also good to see our Facebook and Snapchat fans starting to follow us on Instagram and getting involved.”

Spark has already given away thousands of dollars of credit. “We expect to give away thousands more over the next five weeks.”

The telco has also seen a steady increase in the use of data from last summer. “ … as more people purchase smartphones, and behaviour like sharing holiday snaps or videos over social media becomes standard – this is no longer the realm of young people, we’re seeing mums, dads and grandparents do it more and more. The data consumption increase varies according to where you are in the country, with holiday hotspots seeing a spike over the break.”

She says the telco will definitely create another campaign like this in future. ” It’s been a fantastic way to encourage Spark customers to use their devices and data in a creative way over summer, to generate great content and reward them for what’s already a natural behaviour. Although the campaign is open to all Spark mobile customers, it’s been really helpful in spreading the word about Spark Prepaid and topping up online, as the $100 voucher code takes customers through the top-up journey online. It’s also a nice way to encourage customers to use some of the 2GB daily WiFi we’re offering over summer.”

Spark social media marketing manager Jessica Moloney said in a release earlier, that to attract followers on Instagram, brands must share beautiful content that reflects an understanding of how customers use the platform and what they like to see.

“Brands have to work harder to get engagement on Instagram because we’re judged by how we make our customers feel, not the products or services we sell,” says Moloney. “Our customers should identify with us as a lifestyle brand first, and telco second.”

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