Lowe’s takes on Instagram with #ProudMoment Campaign

Home improvement store Lowe’s looked to app-turned-social-network Instagram for its latest marketing tactic. Dedicated solely to the Instagram platform, the campaign is part of a long-tail marketing effort to reach customers in a wide range of online and mobile environments.

The Campaign

Users are asked to take photographs of a proud home improvement moment, such as updating a piece of furniture, putting in a garden, or  completing a holiday craft. This photograph must be uploaded onto their Instagram account with the hashtag #ProudMoment. Using the hashtag, Lowe’s selects a “winner” each week whose photo is featured on the Lowe’s Instagram page.

Lowes' Instagram page clearly display the week's #ProudMoment winner.

Lowes’ Instagram page clearly display the week’s #ProudMoment winner.

The goal of the campaign is to get consumers involved with the Lowe’s brand and grow a presence on Instagram. Featured winners of the contest will also feel closer with Lowe’s by being displayed prominently on the Lowe’s Instagram profile.

The winner of the week on Instagram #ProudMoment.

The winner of the week on Instagram #ProudMoment.

The Problems
The campaign is a great way for Lowe’s to display its social media smarts, but the company runs into some complications.

  1. There is a severe lack of media and communications driving traffic to the contest’s page. The only social network linked to the page is on Facebook underneath the cover photo of Lowe’s Facebook page. Besides this, there is no mention of the contest on any other social network-even in a single post. The Lowe’s website also lacks not only a link to the #ProudMoment contest, but to the Lowe’s Instagram profile altogether- only Facebook and Twitter are listed. This is a lost opportunity, and an easy one to fix.
  2. Lowe’s only has 2,000 followers on its Instagram page. This makes the contest a very niche one, and without traffic being driven to it, I question how many users are actually entering their photos. Lowe’s must focus on driving followers before launching campaigns specific to one platform, otherwise they are losing out on potential entrants and brand influence. Major competitor Home Depot has nearly 30,000 followers
  3. The hashtag is confusing and not specific. Doing a simple search of #ProudMoment on Instagram gives you pages and page of photos unrelated to the Lowe’s contest. Many are of people showing gym results. I’m sure seeing photos of shirtless gym-goers was not something Lowe’s intended for their contest. Lowe’s should have made the hashtag something specific to the brand, like #LowesProudMoment.
Lowe's promoted their #ProudMoment Instagram contest on Facebook.

Lowe’s promoted their #ProudMoment Instagram contest on Facebook.

Though it is great Lowe’s is testing the waters with different social networks, they need to file some rough edges of their campaign to ensure they see the results they’re hoping for.

-Bryan Nagy