If you’ve been paying attention to social media marketing over the last year or two, you’ve probably seen the growing wave of advice; get on Instagram. The mobile-only social network centered around pictures and short videos has been expanding rapidly, and it was recently identified as the single most engaged audience on the web. That alone should be enough to convince you to join, but if not, here are a bunch of other good reasons.
It’s Growing Fast
All the way back in early 2014, Instagram hit 200 million users. This major milestone number comes just three and a half years after the platform was launched. This is half the amount of time it took Twitter, and a third less than Facebook. In fact, only one social network reached 200 million faster, and that was Google+. If you know anything about the history of Google+, you’ll recognize that much of that growth came from the forced conversion of YouTube users, and could hardly be called legitimate.
Instagram is still growing. Businesses are flocking to the platform. Users are still rapidly adopting it. It’s still developing innovative technologies to build interest. It’s not a massive, nearly obsolete juggernaut like Facebook.
There Are Tons of Tools
Instagram may be new, but app developers have been working on ways to enhance the platform since its inception. That’s nearly four years worth of developing analytics tools, interface tools, scheduling tools, search tools and integration apps. Also, because Instagram is primarily focused around photos, any tool ever made that makes it easier to create compelling graphics will work for posting on Instagram. You have a nearly endless choice of apps to use, from Instagram integration on your website to photo manipulation tools of the highest caliber.
- 3 Tools to Grow Your Presence on Instagram
- 20 Instagram Apps to Enhance Your Photos and Videos
- A Super-Simple Tool to Search Instagram by Time and Location
Instagram Supports You
Instagram is not reticent when it comes to business adoption. The company is not playing hard to get, and it’s not shying away from the business influx in an effort to maintain the sanctity of its audience. Quite the contrary! Instagram is making great strides in business integration, from analytics, APIs and tools to a blog dedicated to helping marketers and businesses succeed on the platform.
The only thing Instagram doesn’t do to make your life easier is release a platform that works on a desktop PC. It’s made for and centered around mobile; you have to use a third party program to work from a PC.
Engagement is Sky High
When people talk about the high engagement on Instagram, it’s hard to get a sense of just what that means. Thankfully, Forrester is here with the research to back up the claims.
- Facebook maintains an average engagement of .07%; or 7 out of every 10,000 users performing an engagement metric, such as liking or sharing a picture.
- Twitter maintains an even worse average, of just 3 out of 10,000, or .03%
- Instagram blows both platforms out of the water with a 4.21% engagement average. Where 7 Facebook users are commenting, 421 Instagram users are.
Just take a look at Red Bull; they posted the same short video on both Facebook and Instagram. On Facebook it received 2,600 likes. In the same amount of time, on Instagram, it received 36,000 likes. It’s not even a factor of audience; this was out of 43 million Facebook fans and just 1.2 million Instagram followers. To save you the math, that’s a .006% engagement rate on Facebook, and a 3% engagement rate on Instagram.
The point of all social media is to humanize your brand. It’s the attempt to put forth the impression of personality, so users don’t think you’re a soulless corporation that looks at them and sees dollar signs, not people. However, on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, the marketing science has been pared down to the most extreme, lean methods, and so everything begins to come across as disingenuous.
On Instagram, you have a much better chance of pulling in that human perspective. Perhaps it’s because the smaller, more intimate audience still maintains a perception of community. Perhaps it’s because no committee-designed and focus-grouped image would come off as human. Perhaps it’s because you’re able to be casual and offer inside looks with your content. Perhaps it’s all of this and more.
It Links With Everything
Want to share an album of interesting images? Post them on Instagram and link to them on Facebook. Want to embed an image in your blog post? Post it on Instagram and use a widget to embed it. Want to make a short video commercial? Upload up to 15 seconds on Instagram and embed it. Every social network and your website besides will integrate with Instagram in some way or another.
You Can Geotag
Primarily for use by local businesses, geotagging helps local users gain a sense of the familiar, or long distance users gain a sense of the exotic. You can add locations after the fact, or tag the location of the picture when you take it and upload it. Don’t forget to use local hashtags to further spur the conversation and pull in local users.
It Works For Everyone
Are you a large, nation or global corporation with an audience of millions or billions? Instagram works just fine; see Coca-Cola. Are you a small, local business with four employees and a product in development? Instagram works perfectly to advertise your brand. Are you a freelancer making pins to sell on Etsy? You can gain an Instagram following sufficient to sell out your shop within hours of restocking. The point is, no matter how large or small your business is, you can find a place on Instagram.
Visual Dynamics are Incredibly Attractive
Graphics draw the eye. A site built around graphics, around artistic pictures, is insanely attractive to certain demographics. Sure, some people don’t appreciate the power of art. Those others, those who do, make excellent fans on Instagram. Sometimes, a bit of praise from one of them can make it all worthwhile.