Woman in Marketing – Kay Hsu


(Photo credits: Fearless Media)

Instagram has evolved so much since its early days and it has more than 1 billion monthly active users. We have seen it from just a square-only photo publishing social media platform to a diversified platform for businesses, individuals and influencers. Not only can you publish real-time photos, but you can use Instagram to share ephemeral content, photos, videos and even live videos.

In today’s article, we look at how this creative marketer, Kay Hsu helped curate Instagram’s Creative Shop strategies and her advice for brands to “Play more”.

About Kay Hsu

Kay Hsu is a Global Director and Instagram Lead of Instagram’s Creative Shop. She started out in market research at MKTG, has a M.A. in marketing and communications from Cal State Fullerton. She focuses on strategic, scaled storytelling and building a world class advertising experience on Instagram. She first joined Facebook after previously working at agencies like Iris, Huge and LBI where she curated strategic media plans to sell their products. Since she was inspired by ethnography, she has always been drawn to learning why people do the things they do.

She is also an award-winning advertiser with experience in creative, brand, communications and digital planning. She has partnered with brands such as TOMS, Sony, Diageo, Seamless.com, J&J and Nike. When she was working at LBi, she won a Jay Chiat for achievement for best new brand for the brand relaunch of Seamless.com, as well as a Webby for the Sony Xperia Creators Program, gaining industry-wide recognition. (Source: One Club)

At Instagram’s Creative Shop

Kay Hse is responsible for the strategic positioning and approach to creative product development and storytelling on Instagram. She works with product designers to ensure what they are building is right for agencies and brands. She also writes narratives on where Instagram is today and how it can inspire others to use it, while constantly brainstorming new products that they need to roll out.

She believes that analytical skills are important in understanding consumer behaviour of her target audience. At Instagram, they focus heavily on community. She mentioned in an interview, “We exist to serve our community and connect them to the things they love, so people is at the heart of that. I think that being a planner has been critical in understanding that when we build products it’s about people first.”

She identifies the problems and opportunities for their users and links it to their advertising aspect. Hence she it’s all very purposeful, and by utilizing her planning skill sets, it helps her understand the market, the audience, and how to strategize with UX researchers. (Source: Little Black Book)

In an interview with Adobe, she said that the biggest challenge she faced while working at Instagram is to get brands and creative agencies to experiment with her tools. She found it difficult to convince others to experiment and use their platform, especially “Instagram stories” to do their storytelling to market their brand.

Her advice for brands to “Play more”

“There’s new formats every day,” she says in an interview. “I empathize with brands. It’s difficult. One day you have learn abbot square, then you have to learn about vertical. Then you have to learn about ephemeral.” (Source: Ad Age)

She encourages brands and agencies to “not be afraid to play”. She believes that not over-thinking their social media strategies and be daring to put out your true, authentic self will allow brands to be more relatable to their audience. She said that successful social media marketing is all about being agile, experimental and taking risks.

She says that the problem is when brands do not put out anything. The longer they wait and work on something, the more they’re investing in something. She said that brands should adopt the revising mentality and realise that it is reasonable to put something out that isn’t perfect, because you never know if it will be the next big thing.

She said in an interview, “sometimes the things that aren’t perfect make things way more interesting and open way more creative doors.” (Source: Little Black Book)


If you would like to know more about social media marketing and how influencers and social media strategists have tapped on social media to target millennials, do join us in our next LearnXNetwork session on 13 Feb as we bring together local influencers – Sally Yeo (@VerySallyish) & Yong Wei Kai (@Sgcafehopping) and the Founder of Singapore Guide Book – Tatiana Gromenko, for a sharing session on understanding the consumer behaviour of millennials and how they converted their followers into sales leads.

For more information, visit our event page @ https://herlearnxnetwork-feb.peatix.com

Psst! It’s free for our members and we have a special discount code for our Facebook followers –  key in “HERFb8” when purchasing your tickets. Early bird tickets end on 8 Feb 2019.

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