As you read this, your competitors are Instagramming. They’re carefully filtering photos, sharing videos that are unique to their brand and garnering “likes” for the custom-tailored content they’re delivering to an audience of over 100 million users. For those of you who have aptly adapted to this online photo- and video-sharing/social networking service, you deserve a hearty pat on the back. However, for those of you who still linger outside of the Instagram universe, you’re unfortunately charging toward a very rude awakening.
Why? Because 41 percent of companies now post at least one Instagram photo per week; 98 percent of photos posted by top brands are shared on Facebook (and can be shared via Twitter, Tumblr, e-mail and more); Instagram videos are used twice as much as Vine videos by brands; and in only three years since being launched, almost half of all U.S. Internet users have an Instagram account. In today’s evolving image-centric world, it’s not too surprising that it took Facebook almost 10 years to acquire as many users.
I can personally testify to the influential nature of this ever-growing social platform. As soon as I was able to, I downloaded the app and began eagerly – albeit confusingly – exploring it. In a nutshell, it took no more than a day or two to form a full-fledged addiction to the program. Before I knew it, I was double tapping photos that I liked, learning the art of including hashtags in my posts and understanding the scope of the exclusive new Instagram video filters. I was able to see the beautiful oceanfront view from a restaurant my friend dined at on the weekend, while at the same time, learning more about the charity event my favorite retailer just participated in. Sometimes, I found that the content I was posting would get liked almost instantaneously.
Guess what? Your customers are most likely like me – that is, constantly craving the instigation of Instagram – and if they’re not, statistics show that they certainly will be soon. But you want your customers to be addicted to your brand as well as Instagram.
Bottom line: You need to be engaging your customers on this social network.
Looking for some quick tips for launching your Instagram initiative? Did you know:
- 40 percent of brands’ photos are filtered
- Lo-Fi is the most used filter among all brands on Instagram
- Almost 30 percent of U.S. Internet users between the ages of 18 to 29 use Instagram
- There are now Instagram hashtags for every day of the week (for example, there are over 80,000 posts tagged with #MondayBlues)
- Instagram videos see over twice as much engagement than Instagram photos
- 40 percent of people are more receptive to visuals than to text
This will hopefully serve as a springboard for your brand when it comes to Instagram. Good luck!