For the past year Instagram is becoming more and more popular. The number of users is constantly increasing together with the different applications it can offer. People use it to share photos of their everyday life, but the platform can be used for other purposes as well. For example, businesses can use it as a part of their marketing strategy to successfully promote themselves. Curious to find out how? Read the post and you will learn things about Instagram you didn’t suspect.
How it all began
The application was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger and it was launched in 2010. For only 2 years, Instagram managed to become one of the most famous apps with over 100 million users as of April 2012. The app is available only for mobile phones and it can be downloaded through the App Store (iOS users), Google Play store (Android users) and Windows Phone Store (Windows users). Instagram was first released for iPhone and other iOS users (iPad, iPod Touch) and in 2012 for Android users. Since then, the app was rated more than one million times on the Google Play Store and its popularity and number of users kept growing. In April 2012 Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stocks.
How to use it
Instagram is a fast and fun way to share your life moments with friends through a series of pictures. It’s very easy to use: you simply take a picture with your phone, crop it, choose a filter and share it! Some new updates allow you to change the brightness, contrast and warmth of the photo, sharpen it or change the angle. After you are done editing your photo, you can also share it on the other social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare or Flickr. Besides taking and editing photos, you also have the opportunity to make short 15 seconds videos and apply the same filters!
Instagram and its marketing opportunities
It is a super expressive social network, where you can not only show the best of your surroundings, but everything related to your business. Recently the app is showing more and more interest and usage from different brands, which are not missing the potential of Instagram. You can create your own account, where you can upload photos and advertise your business. You can also add details like name, email, phone number and website. Your Instagram account can be connected to your Facebook profile or other social media profiles you have. This enables you to momentarily share the photos you post on one platform to the other. Currently more than 20% of the Instagram users are also using Facebook on a daily basis. When you connect the two profiles, your Facebook friends will immediately get notification and, hopefully, will start follow you.
Using hashtags is very important and useful, especially if you to promote yourself, gain more popularity and customer base. Hashtags were added to Instagram in 2011 with the purpose to help people discover each other as well as photographs. The social instrument encourages its users to make their rags more specific and relevant to the content they post, because this way their photos will be easier to find and it will make them look more appealing, but also attract new followers. As a company using Instagram as a part of its marketing strategy, the hashtags will be nothing more than a plus. They will help you make your posts more popular, which in turn will result in more likes and followers.
According to some researchers, timing is also important when posting on Instagram. An analysis of 46 users and of 1000 photos at Statigr.am shows that Monday, at 17:00h is the best time to post a photo. This is considered to be the time that you are most likely to receive comments and likes on your pictures. Of course, this shouldn’t be perceived as a universal truth, so it would be a good idea to experiment a little. The research also showed that every photo, after it has been posted, is active the most during the first 3 hours. 46.1% of the comments happen during the first hour and 69.23% of all the comments happen during the first 3 hours. To sum up, the first 3 hours after posting a photo are crucial. If you don’t receive enough “attention” in this period, probably you won’t receive any afterwards.
As of 2014, Instagram started offering some tools that are specifically aimed at businesses. Those tools will offer your brand more insights and analytics, related to the use of
image-sharing. Apart from this, the social network will also offer its business users tools that will show reach and impressions as well as engagement and the performance of paid ad campaigns.
A special dashboard interface will be developed for the purpose of tracking your performance. It will have tabs that will allow you to see your account or ad insights. This would be very useful for your business as it will show you things like reach and frequency of ad campaigns or individual ads. The purpose of all this is to offer those tools to all available advertisers, which will eventually lead to over 200 million Instagram users worldwide.
Instagram is pretty easy to use and once you master it, nothing can stop you. It is a simple social network platform that will give you the possibility to promote your brand, engage your current customers and earn some new. By posting photos or videos and using the benefits of Instagram, you are adding a treasure to your marketing strategy that will bring you success and increase your popularity in the simplest way.