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March 13, 2018

SXSW: How Businesses are Using Instagram to Inspire

BY: Instagram Business Team

San Francisco, CA

Every year, the most innovative minds in music, film and interactive media descend upon South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, TX, to celebrate the convergence of these influential industries. Like Instagram, SXSW is one of the world's premier destinations for discovery. It's the go-to experience for creatives and marketers looking to explore the next big things in their industries and beyond. Featuring breakout sessions, product showcases, private screenings, unique exhibitions and a variety of networking opportunities, SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when people and passions come together.

Because SXSW sits at the center of innovation and discovery for these leading creative industries, it was the perfect environment for Instagram to showcase our unique possibilities as a platform and what's possible with mobile video.

Inspiring Businesses at SXSW

At this year's SXSW, Instagram was in full force with one of our largest presence to date. Demonstrating our evolution as a platform from a destination where businesses are discovered to a place where business is done, we were able to share how Instagram continues to inspire action for businesses1 and help them visually connect with the audiences that matter.

From our event HQ space at the Facebook Austin offices, we hosted a series of immersive activations, onsite Facebook Live and Instagram Live chats, insightful workshop sessions and engaging panel discussions that focused on the growing demand for video and the vertical format. Here, we were able to connect with attendees in a way that felt inspiring and organic to the Instagram experience.

Facebook Live Studio

Our onsite Live studio at Facebook HQ in Austin, TX, gave our partners the opportunity to share their own Instagram Stories, creative approaches and insights with the SXSW community and beyond (via bite-sized content). Watch here for Instagram's #NOFILTER session with Glossier and Whole Foods Market.

People want the real stuff. They want to hear what's happening in your everyday. Whether it's you or a business.
Alexandra Weiss, SVP of Marketing, Glossier
Workshops + Sessions

Scheduled workshops brought to life our unique products, while showcasing how-to content and best-in-class examples.

Story School & Story Showdown: Facebook creative strategists demonstrated interactive ways to use the various creative tools that live within stories, while two Austin-based creators Will Bryant (@willbryantplz) and Jackie Lee Young (@jackieleeyoung) were invited to battle each other on the vertical format through Instagram Stories.

Instagram Stories is allowing us to pivot in a creative perspective and customize the creative for our engaged audience.
Lisa Grimm, Director of Social, Whole Foods Market
Building Brands

Marne Levine, COO of Instagram, sat down with The Paper + Craft Pantry (@thepapercraftpantry), Bumble (@bumble) and Whole Foods Market (@wholefoods) for an educational and inspiring conversation about Instagram best practices. Made up of leaders from small, medium and large businesses, the panel focused on how these three different brands use Instagram to drive their own business growth and connect with their community.

I love seeing the incredibly creative content coming from businesses on our platform. We brought this panel together because we wanted to learn directly from the people and businesses who use Instagram and Austin has some great brands who are doing this really well. Pei, Alex and Lisa shared some great strategies for cultivating and engaging loyal communities through Direct messaging, audience targeting and hashtags.
Marne Levine, COO, Instagram
Looking Back

If you were unable to attend this year's SXSW but would still like to see all the great panel discussions, activations and workshops that Instagram hosted, then make sure to check out the recorded Facebook Lives on our Instagram for Business Facebook page.

BY: Instagram Business Team

San Francisco, CA