Why the Latest Social Media
Trail Leads to Instagram
The use of Instagram, already outpacing Twitter, will surpass
Facebook in three to five years. What are the reasons for Instagram’s rapid
rise, and is it possible that we are just seeing the tip of the social media
By Marsha Friedman
Whenever I think I've heard the
last word on ways social media can give an added boost to how we market
ourselves, new information arrives that leaves me wondering: Are we just
starting to see the tip of the social media iceberg?
I was reminded once again of this ever-evolving situation when EMSI social
media strategist Jonathan Sellers made one of his regularly scheduled
appearances on the local NBC affiliate news show. Jonathan and the host, Stacie
Schiable, engaged in a lively conversation about Instagram, a mobile photo and
video-sharing service that's moving up quickly as the new social media darling.
In fact, the ever-bold Jonathan gave this prediction: The use of Instagram,
already outpacing Twitter, will surpass Facebook in three to five years.
If Instagram is where the potential customers are going, businesses and their
marketing strategies will need to follow. So, if you don't know much about
Instagram,Jonathan suggests you start learning posthaste.
Jonathan's observations about Instagram didn't end with his chat with the TV
host. He also penned a blog post about Instagram, and it's so chockfull of
insightful information that I decided to share it with you.
Here's what Jonathan says: Instagram is the hottest social network around these days.
People are joining the network in droves, and according to statista.com, they
passed 300 million monthly users in December of 2014. For perspective, Twitter
currently has 284 million active users.
So why are people so intrigued with Instagram?
- It's visual. Social media
has been moving to more visual content for a couple of years now. The
pictures and videos are easy to scroll through and don't require much
effort. A user can scroll through recent pictures posted by the
individuals they're following or view all the pictures in a conversation
by searching for hashtags on the topic. This is a great way to find
interesting new people to follow.
- It's mobile. The entire
network is designed to be used with a smartphone. The vast majority of
social media users are walking around with an Android or iPhone in their
pocket. The powerful cameras on these phones give everyone the capability
of capturing interesting, timeless photos. Combine this with the ability
to have quick, simple communications with people on Instagram, and you
have a perfect place to post all your photos in real time.
- It's interactive. Recent data
compiled by Socialbakers shows that Instagram posts get engaged around 50
times more often than tweets. That's right: 50 times more. This
information was compiled from a comparative study of the top 25 most
engaging brands on social media. These results were analyzed based on
interactions with a tweet versus interactions with an Instagram post, average
profile interactions, and total profile interactions.This is big
news for associations with products or services that can be shown or
demonstrated visually. Creativity drives engagement, but access to a
creative platform that encourages engagement gives brands a chance to
become a leader in their market. Instagram is still a new corner of social
media for most associations; however, those that take the time to invest
in growing a presence now will likely reap the benefits over the coming
- It's social. This point
is really at the core of social media. You can easily like pictures that
are interesting to you and even leave messages with the person who posted
the pictures. Instagram encourages — and almost creates an environment for
— casual connections. You don't have many functions to figure out with the
network, so you can quickly catch up on the latest photos, comment to your
friends, and get along with the rest of your day. You'll get a
notification if someone likes your photos, comments to you, or follows
little surprise that Instagram has become so popular. The network checks off
all four of the critical factors for social networks above with flying colors.
Oh, and it doesn't hurt that Instagram's owner is Facebook.
Associaitons, if you're frustrated with Facebook's lack of reach for your
pages, consider following many of Facebook and Twitter's former users over to
Instagram. They can't wait to see what you've been up to.
And, I think Jonathan's points
serve as excellent reminders for all of us: When marketing tools evolve, we
need to evolve, too. Otherwise, the world — and potential member and customers —
move on, leaving us behind.
Marsha Friedman is the founder of pay-for-performance public relations firm