INITIALLY PUBLISHED IN CLOUD 961′s Issue 1- June 2013
There’s no need to introduce the social network that nurtures ones addiction to sharing life around you and can send one into hours-long scrolling stupors. Nevertheless, a few brands in Lebanon are committed to making it a core channel within their social media presence. Let’s find out why you are losing out if your brand is not on instagram yet:
1. The square is the new “it” format.
Have you noticed how the square is the perfect format to:
- View anything on any screen with any resolution
- Ensure your message always remains on top of the fold on any screen
- Post something facebook. Any photo post is automatically summed up on your timeline as a square.
Within the past year, the square has become the new standard format for images around the web and even in real life, all thanks to instagram. This is the best proof of how viral the platform is.
2. It all looks good if its been “insta-ed”
You do not need to hire a professional photographer to shoot your products, because when it comes to social media, you do not need high res images, you need appealing images. And this is what anyone, with basic point and click skills and some eye on which filter to apply and where to blurr and crop can do. The outcome is always great photos that grab people’s attention in their timeline feeds due to their good balance of candid content/grabbing visuals with a professional feel. And this is exactly what people are after, no one trusts these photoshoot photos anymore, because we have all been burned by how different a Big Mac looks to that in the ad. With instagram your audience knows that its seeing your products as is.
Even with its limited range of filters, you can also use many more insta-compatible apps that allow you to create collages, get extra filters, frames and much more and then share it all around the world.
3. Capitalize on crowd-sourced content
Let us face it, although social media is free, creating great shareable and visually appealing content for social media is not – it is hard work. If you have a great product though, your customers/clients will makeyour life easier with their instagram presence. Just learn some simple intagram search techniques, encourage your clients to tag you in posts and you would be surprised by how much amazing photos are created with the help of instagram’s amazing filters that have the ability to make anything “sexy”. And an added bonus for sharing instagram photos of your brand’s users is the embedded brand credibility that you get.
4. Get maximum visibility for your posts.
Instagram is the platform where everyone is equal, so far. Your posts on instagram are not under the mercy of facebook’s edge rank just yet and everything you post gets seen. A post on average has the lifetime of at least 24 hours (depending on how far back your followers can scroll back into their feeds), on twitter it is less than 10 minutes and on facebook its hard to get seen by your fans without ads . And if you add the right hashtags to your posts, they quickly garner likes and get you new followers.
5. People still have the passion to follow and interact with brands.
Instagram users are users who like to be visually stimulated. They love content! If they find you sharing interesting visuals, especially around food and style, then you are set for success. What can get you more followers as well, is following people who are potentially interested in your products, liking their posts and using the right hashtags to make your content discoverable.
6. The users are your target customers
You must keep in mind users of instagram by default are:
- A young demographic
- Middle to upper class
- Smart phone users
- Have an internet data packet on their phone
- Are open to conversations about their life, the brands they like, the things they do…
- People with an active social life
- People with some sort of a visual perception
Now don’t tell me these aren’t people that you would like to see buying your product. What is more, a few hours of search within the hashtag/geotag land and you can narrow down the exact people you are interested in and follow them, hoping they will follow you back.
7. The ultimate “big brother tool”
With Instagram you have the real privilege to see how people are using your products, when are they using it and with what sort of sentiment and nothing can be better than that for a brand. It’s distilled consumer insights that brands pay a million dollars to know about. And by simply following back the people that mention your brand in their hashtags you can discover their world. You can learn what sort of things, brands and places they like and be part of their day to day lives.
8. The best free competition platform for photo competitions
In case you have not noticed, people on facebook are not into downloading photos to win competitions anymore. But its all different when it comes to instagram. If you are an instagram user you are someone who craves to create content for your followers and you would love to post some meaningful and creative image on instagram, hashtag it and wait for these likes and comments to pour in. This user behavior is what makes instagram competitions so sticky. Also don’t forget, so far the platform does not have any restrictions for brands or competition rules, so your brand is bound by your creativity and the creativity ofyour users. One more bonus is that cheating is also not “in” in instagram competitions yet.
9. It’s integrated all round.
Whenever you post something on instagram, you can automatically add that content to your brand’s facebook page (limited to iOS users for now), twitter, flickr, and foursquare, saving you time while posting and improving your brand’s online footprint.
10. It’s facebook new adopted child
I don’t believe this requires a comment!