Social media marketing today is considered a marketing channel and activity - or set of activities - that marketers use to connect with fans, customers, prospects, and partners, according to Marketo.
The social media landscape is evolving, with updates on platforms from YouTube to Pinterest promising greater engagement opportunities for brands being released almost daily, and none more so than Instagram.
What began small is now mighty. Originally Instagram was purely a photo sharing smart phone application, but Facebook’s little sister is all grown up and is becoming one of the most powerful tools for brands.
Instagram now offers diverse modes of communication including short form stories, geolocation, image filters, insights and analytics, carousel image capabilities, live video, boomerang and targeted advertising. The statistics speak for themselves;
As at September 2017 Instagram boasted 800 million monthly active users, 41 per cent of which are under 24 years of age, according to Statistica, and 31 per cent earn more than $75,000 per annum, according to social media management platform Hootsuite.
Almost 60 per cent of Instagram users access the platform daily, and 35 per cent say they look at the platform several times per day, with more than 95 million photos and videos being shared daily according to Hootsuite, giving you direct and regular opportunities to engage with your audience.
Hootsuite also informs us that Instagram posts with at least one hashtag averages 12.6 per cent more engagement than those without. Using hashtags enables you to place your content in front of new followers who are actively seeking out relevant posts relating to a specific topic, theme or location.
For brands it’s important to know that 60 per cent of users say that they have learned about a product or service on the platform and 75 per cent of users visited a website, got directions, called, emailed or direct messaged to learn about a business from an Instagram post, according to Hootsuite. These conversion rates are stronger than most social media platforms and evidence that when used well, Instagram is a game changer for businesses who can take their local offerings and put them in front of a global market with just a few taps on the app.
According to Omnicore Agency there are more than 25 million business accounts worldwide, including potential collaborators for businesses to work with, as well as competitors.
Now knowing the breadth of Instagram and its influence on consumers, can your business afford not to be engaging with this innovative social media platform?
This article originally appeared in the Business Insight section of the Gold Coast Bulletin newspaper in 2018.