Instagram: Becoming The New Forefront of Social Media
Over the past couple of years, there has been an immense growth in popularity among social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, just to name a few. Even though it feels like social media has been around forever, it is actually just getting started.
Whether you are a local business owner or the CEO of a global corporation you know one thing to be absolute: Your target market is online.
Social media provides a vast window of opportunity to make connections and build relationships with your customers which will in turn create the foundation for a long lasting relationship and authentic brand image.
Now we all know that Facebook is the largest online social network founded in February 2004, Facebook now has 1.11 billion people using the site each month. Out of those 1.11 billion users, 15 million are companies and organizations. Though, Facebook is in the lead, there has been talk that most people are transitioning to social networking on mobile devices. The app responsible for this shift Instagram. With its immense growth in popularity ,and to avoid from becoming obsolete, Facebook made the conscious decision to buy Instagram for 1 billion dollars in April of 2012.
Launched on October 6th of 2010, Instagram grew to 1 million users by December. Through many updates and add-ons of filters and features, Instagram eventually grew to 150 million users on September 6th of 2013.
Seeing the impact and opportunity of Instagram, companies and corporations began to use the app as another channel of promotion and in October of 2013, Instagram made it official and announced sponsored photos and videos.
Instagram gives users something that most social media sites lack, simplicity.
The app is not complex by any means and is dependent highly on visuals which can serve as great promotional tool for your company.
We humans are visual thinkers; in fact 75 percent of the sensory neurons in our brains process visual information. Just think about it. Someone can spend hours and hours explaining something to you and it wont have nearly as big of an impact as supposed to looking at a picture for just five seconds. Visual content is crucial for your audience. It draws people in and allows for them to better understand your brands identity but more than that, it drives engagement. A prime example is a month after Facebook introduced the timeline feature brands reported an increase in engagement by 46% per cost.
Not only do photos and videos help consumers relate to your brand, but also it creates a human connection between a company and the consumer.
A key asset of social media is that it allows the customer to be involved with the brand by leaving comments and feedback.
Dunkin Donuts turned to Instagram and played up their slogan America Runs on Dunkin and asked customers to post photos of them enjoying their Dunkin Donuts. Not only are consumers interacting with your brand but also doing the promoting for you.
In regards to marketing, there is a huge target market available considering the fact that 89% of 18-29 year olds are on social networks Giving that demographic a platform to convey their opinion and personalize your brand creates culture it further defines your brands image and has the potential to further solidify brand loyalty among your consumers.
Some companies that have figured out the grand potential of Instagram are:
- Taco Bell
- General Electric.
Yes, General Electric.
When you think of the content of General Electrics Instagram account what do you see? Light bulbs or videos of washing machines?
Try fighter jets.
The team behind @generalelectric does not use Instagram as a means to push their appliances. Instead they use the platform to tell a broader story of building, powering, moving and curing the world which just so happens to be their company mission.
Now obviously most people don’t know that. But with Instagram, General Electric saw an opportunity to shift perceptions by showing a different side of their brand.
We do so many things, something we were looking to solve is how to explain that to people, says Katrina Craigwell, Global Manager of Digital Marketing at General Electric. It’s about developing an understanding for what GE does, beyond what you think it does we like to be unexpected and to add value. Instagram is place where we can do that.
Other companies realize this potential available to them through Instagram and have created several unique and entertaining campaigns through the app. As you take a look at some of the posts, here are some stats to keep in mind if you are thinking of creating an Instagram account for your business…
- 200 Million Monthly Actives.
- 65% People outside of U.S are active on Instagram.
- 20 Billion photos shared.
- 1.6 Billion likes daily.
- 60 million average photos are posted per day.
- 25% of Fortune 500 companies use Instagram and the most common day to post is on Thursday.