Changi Airport Taps the Power of Photo-Sharing via Instagram

Singapore’s Changi Airport recognized early on the majority of smartphone users are likely to post pictures on social sites such as Instagram and they need to develop a visual social media strategy to engage fans on the platform.

Changi joined Instagram in May 2012; today its following has grown to more than 2,300. The airport claims that on average, each photo it posts generates about 250 likes.

Eugene Wong, assistant manager, corporate and marketing communications from Changi Airport Group shares his experience using Instagram as well as third-party social analytics tools below:

ClickZ Asia: Why did Changi Airport decide to use Instagram?

Eugene Wong: The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” has never been more apt in this instance. Photos are the new “text,” or the new “word” – a new way of communicating, whether through Instagram or simply through the photos we capture on our smartphones, and share with our friends. Technology and social media platforms have also empowered us to engage more effectively.

Therefore, we developed a visual social media strategy that plays (literally) to the majority of people who are visual learners. As community managers of the Changi Airport brand, we are empowered by the ease and ability to create and share pictures. Coupled with a camera built into almost every mobile phone manufactured, many can now capture moments with more ease and less cost than that of a sole-purpose camera.

As part of the team managing the world’s most awarded airport, we wanted to tap on this platform – in tandem with our other social media assets – and use the power of photos to communicate more rapidly and effectively, beyond the boundaries of language.

CZ: Do you find Instagram an effective platform to promote your brand compared with other social networks like Facebook or Twitter?

EW: Through Instagram, we strive to inspire travel and ignite the love for Changi Airport using the power of imagery. Photos of the airport terminals, airlines, travel destinations, and not forgetting… food (who doesn’t take photos of what we eat?) are the simplest, quickest, and most entertaining ways to connect with our followers.

CZ: Will Changi Airport continue to use Instagram?

EW: Changi Airport started our presence on Instagram in May 2012. In nine months, our following has now grown to almost 2,300 strong.

Using the Instagram platform, we found that a compelling mix of imagery and succinct copywriting appeals to our fans, generating an average of some 250 likes per photo. We will constantly think of new innovative ways to grow the community and continue to engage with our fans on Instagram.

CZ: Describe your experience using Statigram.

EW: Statigram was an effective tool for us to monitor the “What I Like at #ChangiAirport campaign.” At a glance, we could easily see the latest photos submitted as well as the most popular images. Fans were also able to vote for photos easily through Statigram or via Facebook.

CZ: Any other insights you would like to share about using third-party apps such as Statigram?

EW: Other than Statigram, there are several third-party applications that also work seamlessly with Instagram. As we will continue to explore and innovate on this front, the platform has been effective in sharing with our fans the highlights, beauty, and warmth of Changi Airport.

Editor’s note: Changi rolled out the “What I like at #ChangiAirport” Instagram campaign during the June vacation for school kids in 2012 to incentivize fans to share photos of what they liked about the airport and use the #ChangiAirport tag in their Instagram posts. Ten winners were picked and featured on Statigram’s contest page. More Asia Instagram case studies here.  

ClickZ columnist Darren Yan also shared how companies can engage and effectively measure mobile photo campaigns here.  

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