Cathay Engages Instagram Fans to Celebrate the Snake Year

Instagram might have received negative spotlight following new privacy policies announced in December. However, companies in Asia such as Cathay Pacific, Singapore Changi Airport, Starbucks, and Gap are capitalizing on the niche network to roll out photo contests.

Cathay Pacific Snap n’ Share Your Wishes

To coincide with Chinese New Year celebrations, Cathay Pacific unveiled a photo contest encouraging fans to post pictures of their greetings on Instagram using the campaign hashtags #CathayCNY or #DragonairCNY. They would need to tag a friend, share their entries, and seek for votes.

A week since its launch, Cathay has received more than 500 photo submissions and 60 percent of them are coming through Instagram.

Priscilla Chok, Cathay Pacific Airways’ assistant digital marketing manager said her team has been thinking how they could come up with a strategy to connect people with this savvy channel (Instagram) as a “photo speaks a thousand words”.

The campaign aims to reach out to people in Hong Kong and Taiwan as well as those in the U.S, U.K. and Canada.

To sustain interest from participants, two photos with the most number of likes will win a pair of soft toys every Thursday.

The grand prize featuring the best greeting and image quality will get a chance to win two Economy tickets and passes to the Chinese New Year parade in March.

The photo contest is also available on Cathay’s Facebook page, which features a campaign tab showcasing the best-rated and recent photos that were uploaded to its more than 211,000 fans.

The airline’s Instagram account @cathaypacific has more than 950 followers. On its Instagram account, Cathay made it clear that any service enquiries should be directed to its Twitter and Facebook. Instagram users are encouraged to post their experiences with the airline using the #cathaypacific hashtag on the platform.

What I Like at #ChangiAirport

Singapore’s Changi Airport has been one of the more social savvy brands in the region to leverage Instagram since June last year.

The month-long campaign during the school holidays in Singapore incentivised fans to share photos of what they liked about the airport and invited users to tag #ChangiAirport in their Instagram posts. Ten winners were picked and featured on Statigram’s contest page.

Although the campaign has ended, Instagram followers are encouraged to continue to upload their pictures or join its Facebook page to stay updated on the airport’s contests and promotions.


Instagram as a social platform has its limitations to measure campaign performance.

Jansen Lu, associate director, social media and communications at Agenda Hong Kong, says it lacks some essential features such as search capability to manage online communities.

Third-party apps such as Statigram have made life easier for social media managers like him to manage their clients’ communities and even provide a toolkit for companies to promote their photo contests.

Statigram is a web interface that allows brand marketers to view key metrics for their Instagram accounts from the most liked photos to growth monitoring as well as optimization tips like the best time to post to get the most engagement.

“Statigram offers something unique – a statistics dashboard, which lets us understand how our accounts perform and give us insights like which is the best time to post,” he added.

During Christmas, Starbucks Hong Kong invited customers to capture and share images for its “Reunion for Joy photo contest” on the photo-sharing site based on four themes – drink, food, gift, and moments of connection. The contest included a Facebook app with the chance for winners to receive attractive prizes.

Statigram also allows brands to sync their Instagram activities with Facebook, where most companies would already have a presence.

For example, Gap Hong Kong was able to share with its 3.9 million Facebook fans while engaging users to tag them on Instagram to win a Super Heroes coloring book and color set.

Instagram User Numbers

In January, Instagram revealed that it has 90 million monthly active users.

Other stats include:

  • 40 million photos per day
  • 8,500 likes per second

In response to negative media coverage of users flocking away from the service, Instagram officially shared not just the number of registered users but active users on its site.

But it did not break down its figures by region so one can only assume that its reach has infiltrated into Asia Pacific.

One source of Asia-specific figures was from Experian Hitwise last July, which revealed Instagram gained the most visits year-on-year in Singapore.

If you are a research company or know of the latest region-specific stats please contact me so I could update this space.

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