Instagram. What’s so special about Instagram? Well, it’s the biggest photo-sharing social media platform for users all around the world. Australia has over 5 million active users to date and is ranked the 4th largest social media platform (source: Social Media News). It is also the home to a large number of top brands that have generated their fame and fortune through Instagram and probably the only platform where your own cat is more popular than you are (follow my cat on Instagram @fat_neko #shamelesspromo). But besides that, what’s so special about Instagram from a business point of view?
1. High engagement
Instagram is put in the same category as YouTube and Pinterest as the most engaging social media platform. This is because studies have shown that humans can process images at an incredible speed of 13 milliseconds (Source: Anne Trafton, MT News Office) as well as a recall rate of 65% (Source: John Medina, Brain Rules).
2. Business friendly features
Instagram recently rolled out different ways you can insert visible call to actions in your bio as well as your individual posts. To do this, change your profile to a business account as opposed to a personal account and a contact button will pop up in your bio as well as a clickable link to your business location. For individual posts, you can choose a variety of call to action buttons similar to the ones featured on Facebook as well as clickable links for your sponsored, video or carousel ads
3. Constant Innovation
A new update implemented by Instagram saw a Snapchat like feature, formally known as ‘Stories’, integrated into Instagram’s newsfeed. Although it’s still in the early stages a few major brands have found an increase in viewership and engagement.
4. Social influencers are the next brand ambassadors
The power of social influencers has been a prominent asset to the success of Instagram and many businesses to this date. Why use social influencers? Well simple, social influencers are advocates of your brand and they live and breathe your brand on a more humanised level which is exactly what the audience wants to hear and see. It also opens up greater opportunities for brands as it enables the potential to reach to consumers that might otherwise be difficult to market to. A good example of this is the collaboration between Qantas and Australian influencer Nicole Warne (@garypeppergirl). Warne recently became a brand ambassador for the airline due to a shift away from traditional marketing spending and more towards digital and social marketing. Qantas’s head of marketing stated that the collaboration between Warne and Qantas enables Warne’s not-so traditional Qantas audience to engage with the brand on a whole different level (Source: Elysse Morgan, ABC News)
5. Measuring results
Instagram has recently integrated an analytics feature on business profiles allowing brands to track the performance of their posts as well as gathering information on their followers. Before this integration, Instagram analytics were all sourced from third party analytics sites with a majority only showing post insights as opposed to information on followers.
6. Visual identity
Pictures have the potential to convey more about a brand like a company’s culture than simply describing it through text. Attributes that go unnoticed such as the filter you apply through your images, the placement of objects in your picture, colour palette etc. all help define your brand identity.