The Facebook Fuel for India 2020 featured sessions based on ‘Fuelling Creative Expression With Instagram’, which emphasised on how the community became more social post the pandemic, all through Instagram. It highlighted how creators are pushing culture and creativity ahead, through Instagram’s platform in India.
The event saw sessions where marketers from different brands spoke on how Instagram is a home for expression to reach audiences and move business outcomes. Rajdeepak Das, chief creative officer and managing director, Leo Burnett, said that Instagram actually has helped him be a part of the multiple universes, be it following a musician, an illustrator, a graphic designer or an influencer. He spoke on the initiative of ‘Whisper Allies’ that they carried out by bringing gynaecologists online on Instagram to speak to girls who couldn’t go out during the lockdown.
It also saw Anjali Krishnan, senior manager media, Mondelez share how Instagram has not only helped them build digital ROI but also has helped in building brand love. She spoke about Mondelez’s Valentines’ Day series that was launched on Instagram called ‘Silk first’ which did so well that the brand came out with part two. Krishnan also shared how the brand collaborated with creators and influencers across the platform for creating content around recipes. She lastly spoke on how the brand is working with Instagram on trying to move lower funnel metrics and partnered with Instagram to drive sales online through Instagram shopping.
The creator from Instagram @themermaidscales (Krutika), spoke about her Instagram creator journey and her creative expression through Reels. She shared how she was uncertain about the concept of Reels initially since it was a new feature on the platform. But slowly she started receiving love and support from the audience on Instagram and to which she said, “Everyone was literally throwing love on my face.” She also shared how she plans to shoot her Reels and the reactions from her friends and family.
There were also content creator Scherezade Shroff and marketing consultant Pri Shewakramani, who shared their story on how Instagram allowed them to marry compassion and creativity for a cause. They spoke about their initiative of ‘Quarancharity’ that they started during the pandemic, which basically provided support to both people and animals suffering during the lockdown. Shroff said that instead of going through the lengthy procedure of setting up a website to attract donations, they preferred using Instagram’s platform to do the same. Shewakramani shared how they started off with just 10 creators which then spiralled really quickly to reach 80 creators, speaking for the cause and helping raise funds.
Another session saw four popular content creators from Instagram – Ankush Bahuguna, Sakshi Sindwani, Sonaksha, and Agasthya Shah who chatted candidly about breaking stereotypes and the power of self expression. Bahuguna shared how 2020 brought about a change in his thinking and led him to believe that he was much more than just a comedy content creator. Shah said that he started making videos casually as a form of self expression, which later gathered a lot of momentum and impacted people in a positive way. Sonaksha shared how she reached out into the community to speak about mental health, body image and many more issues in general.
Young Leaders and Active Citizenship or as they are widely known YLAC’s Aparajita, and a young changemaker, Shreya, spoke on why using art for advocacy online is powerful, in the next session. Aparajita shared how YLAC works with young people across the country to help them develop the capacity to lead change. “Active Citizenship doesn’t necessarily mean everybody goes on the road and does Dharnas. For us it means taking responsibility for things that you really care about. It could be bullying, it could be mental health or it could also be gender”, she said. They also spoke on the need of counter speech, safe spaces online and art for advocacy.
Aparna Mulberry (@invertedcoconut) shared her experience of finding her community in Kerala, 7000 kms from home. She also shared how she has been a part of the LGBTQIA community in the West, and how Instagram helped her come out in Kerala. “I was a little bit hesitant to come out to my Indian friends, even though I grew up with them. When I did, on Instagram, I received so much support, it was overwhelming”, she said. She shared how creating content for her followers, for Reels etc. has helped her to pinpoint what it is that people like to see and what it is that she liked to make.
Sujata Biswas and Taniya Biswas, co-founders of Suta Bombay shared their new age entrepreneurship journey, wherein over the years they did not spend any money on marketing, instead they made the products and uploaded on Facebook and Instagram and got all the customers from there itself. They said that on these platforms, the biggest advantage is that people talk and share a lot, which then helped build a connection between the people and the brand. They lastly spoke about their reach even in the international market, only through Instagram and Facebook.