As a marketer, you may feel like you’re riding a two-headed dragon by managing social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Why add another fire-breathing head like Instagram into the mix? Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all present their own unique challenges, but here’s why you should implement Instagram as a marketing tool, even if you’re already leveraging the channels of Facebook and Twitter.
1. Instagram puts visual content first.
Sources show that visual content is key to a successful marketing plan. But Twitter doesn’t always make uploading pictures easy. The photo takes up part of your already-short character limit, and Twitter will resize or cut off the image if it doesn’t fit its dimensions and ratios. Facebook gives you room to play with images, but if you want to describe your image, it puts the text before the picture, which the viewer has to wade through to see if they want to consider liking the picture. With Instagram, it’s simple. It’s all about the visual. Instagram is built for engaging, pulling the viewer in with visual content, and now that it doesn’t limit you to proportional, square dimensions, the world on Instagram is your visual oyster.
2. Instagram is less cluttered.
Instagram, as addressed above, is a medium where the format of posts is predictable. You don’t have to sort through your Facebook feed of text posts, shared articles, check-ins, etc., to be able to engage with visual content in a way that’s as simple as double-tapping. Instagram makes it almost effortless. The bottom line is that getting more views and more engagements can translate into real-world likes and purchases. A great illustration of this concept is the service http://liketoknow.it/ This site teams up with fashion Instagrammers – if you like one of their posts on Instagram, LIKEtoKNOW.it will send you an email with where you can buy the pieces the person is wearing.
3. Character limits aren’t a factor.
Visual content is key, but but having enough words to describe it is vital, too. It’s happened to all of us – you go to write a Tweet, but that pesky character limit keeps you from expressing all you want to say. With Instagram, you can type all the description you want. Instagram’s overall character limit is 2,220, and Instagram lets your viewers see way more than 140 characters before they get to the […] mark in the text under a picture that indicates they have to click to see more.
4. Algorithms won’t hide your content.
Have you ever been on Facebook and said to yourself, “Wow, I feel like I haven’t seen a post from (insert name of friend/brand) in a long time!” That’s probably due to Facebook’s ever-changing algorithms, which determine how often and when you see posts from certain users. Facebook’s organic reach is declining, says the 2015 Instagram Intelligence Report – in other words, just posting content without paying to promote it may not be enough to ensure that it gets seen. In the meantime, the only place Instagram utilizes algorithms is in its ‘Explore’ tab. Thus, if someone follows a brand, that brand’s content has the same chance as any post in theory of being seen. With Facebook, you never know what you’re going to get.
5. Instagram has unique features.
Instagram has features that are distinctive to it – the ‘Explore’ and ‘Search’ tabs can be used as great marketing tools. Explore’s algorithm helps you find relevant content based on what’s trending with hashtags, and what followers are liking. You can look up hashtags on Twitter, but Instagram has tried to streamline this feature and improve upon it. The Search tab can help you find what content is doing well in locations you’re interested in.
6. Mobile dominates, and Instagram was born as a mobile app.
A recent study said that 90% of U.S. mobile users’ internet time is spent in apps. It’s safe to say that apps are a key part of how consumers interact with content. Instagram was born as an app, while Twitter and Facebook were designed as browser-based platforms. That’s not to say both companies don’t have tremendous mobile applications as well, but Instagram’s design has been conducive to being successful as an app from the beginning – which is where the mobile internet market appears to be heading. In fact, mobile usage seems to be overtaking desktop usage – period. And you want to be riding that dragon.
Have any suggestions about why you love Instagram for your business and always recommend it to other marketers, or why you still don’t want to add Instagram to your plethora of social media marketing options? Drop a comment below!
Image credit: Adweek