People are very attracted to images, and that is what Instagram is all about.
Readers always scan pictures first before they even commit to reading the text. Instagram has grown immensely due to its fun platform of beautiful images and entertaining videos. Even though Instagram is owned and integrated with Facebook, the app is very distinct and carries different characteristics from other social networks. Marketing on Instagram gives many companies an opportunity to present their brand as innovative and proactive.
The History of Instagram
Instagram started in 2010, and it is a mobile app based platform where users can create their accounts, post pictures, and videos and get followers to their profiles. Instagram became popular very fast catching the attention of other media companies. In April of 2012, Facebook bought Instagram. Instagram users were scared that Instagram would change drastically, but Facebook vowed to keep the platform for what it was intended, photo sharing (CNN Money, 2012).
The Instagram Audience
The Instagram audience is a young and passionate audience. The total users on Instagram in 2017 were at 800 million users, and 90 percent of those users are between the ages of 18-29 years old. Instagram has over 250 million users active daily, and its growth is predicted to be even bigger in 2018 (Smart Insights, 2017).
Marketing on Instagram
Instagram has become an excellent chance for businesses that cater to the predominant age of users in Instagram and that offer products or services that can be presented interestingly through photos and videos. Instagram is not about quantity; it is about quality. Creativity is a significant skill required for a business to succeed with Instagram marketing, therefore being personal, proactive, and authentic on Instagram can go a long way. The final goal is to grow the number of followers and drive traffic to the company’s website or place of business (Zimmerman, 2017).
Instagram Marketing Technologies
According to the Instagram Help Center, Instagram also has a web version available, but most of its features are only available through the mobile app. Bellow are the features by Instagram Help Center that are also useful for businesses:
Instagram offers only two types of formats uploads which are images and videos. They show only to followers if the account is private or they show in the explore page feature if the account is public. Instagram offers many video and photo editing features for posts making it fun and engaging. Posts can also have its location tagged, and users can also add hashtags to make their posts more relevant.
Search & Explore Feature:
The search and explore feed feature is one of the biggest attraction on Instagram as it allows users find and explore other images and videos from people they do not yet follow. Instagram tailors the search feed to the user based on people they follow or liked posts. It also introduces popular posts. This feature is an excellent opportunity for businesses to grow their followers’ community.
Stories are a quick way to share something about the user’s day, and it only lasts for 24 hours. After that period the story disappears from the account’s profile. Followers can send a message to the user through the story post. However, the search and explore features does not show stories.
Instagram for Business
One of the advantages of switching a regular profile to business profile is that it becomes integrated with a Facebook business page, hence posting on Instagram and a Facebook page can be simultaneous. Instagram for business offers a user-friendly analytics platform to show post engagements, profile visits, website clicks, locations of the audience, stories views and participation. Instagram offers sponsored ads and stories for businesses to show on their target audiences’ feeds but do not show on the search and explore feed.
My Experience With Instagram
Loving photography as much as I do, becoming involved with Instagram in 2013 made me fall in love with the platform and the enthusiastic audience right away. On Facebook, I always feel self-conscious when posting a picture or video and feel scared that nobody will like it. This feeling is not a problem when I post on Instagram as I know my followers will always love it and comment. Sponsored posts and stories on Instagram do not bother me as much as ads on Facebook. I believe it is vecause even the ads on Instagram have beautiful images. I have clicked or followed companies a lot more on Instagram than on Facebook.
Features I Use on Instagram
Currently, I have a personal WordPress blog about my traveling adventures, and Instagram is the perfect platform for my blog. I like the analytics features because it shows me precisely the factors I need to know. My opinion is that marketing on Instagram has a more significant return to companies. As long as the company has relevant information to share in a creative way to the unique audience of Instagram.
Segall, L. (9 Apr. 2012.). Facebook acquires Instagram for $1 billion. CNN Money.
Wade, J. (8 Nov. 2017.). Instagram Statistics 2017. Smart Insights.
Instagram Help Center (n.d.). Instagram.
Zimmerman, J. (2017.). Social Media Marketing All-in-One For Dummies. Google Play.