Society’s fascination with social media is only expected to grow over the next few years, and if there is any indicator as to the trends likely to come of it, we can look to some of the younger contributing members of society.
The Internet analysts at Piper Jaffray were able to conclude from a survey of 5,000 teens that Instagram was not only the preferred social media platform for teenagers, but it was also blew other social media platforms out of the water. For the first time in the history of the survey, Instagram has overtaken Facebook and Twitter as the most important social network for teens.
What can we learn from this? Well, these teens make up a solid demographic in society. While the age bracket has always been considered as a legitimate audience, the fact remains that teenagers, by nature, aren’t reliable in the eyes of marketers. Very few have steady incomes, their decisions are typically leaning in the direction of irrational, and they are stubborn; all completely natural hallmarks of being a teenager.
But what the popularity of the network, especially amongst teenagers, says is that the future of social media lies with Instagram. With just over 200 million users to date, 90% of which spend their time on the mobile Instagram app, making it the most of any social platform, Instagram is the perfect avenue for reaching a young, very active consumer base ripe for the picking.
Visual content is more in-demand than ever before, and as a platform based almost entirely on its visuals, Instagram is uniquely placed to build on its massive popularity.
Marketers are just beginning to realize this.
Like all examples of social media marketing over the years, marketers using Instagram are still mainly in the trial-and-error stage. Simply put, they’re not quite sure what can work. They do, however, have the viral-friendly platform, and the successes of celebrities on Instagram to go off of.
Firstly, it’s important for a company to use Instagram for its strengths: showcasing products or services in a creative way is the first step in doing so. Consistently doing so will eventually lead to the establishment of a sense of brand identity, where–ideally–consumers will associate the brand with the product/service, and vice versa. All of this can be made easier with the use of hashtag campaigns, which come in quite handy for cross-platform social media campaigns. Because Instagram is NOT indexed, no keywords are necessary. This allows profiles and posts to be as minimalistic as possible.
Define Your Brand
For an eyeglass retailer like Warby Parker, it can be difficult to define just who their target audience is. What they do realize, however, is who Warby Parker is, and their Instagram reflects that perfectly. Whether it’s photos of 30-somethings sporting a pair of sophisticated sunglasses, or a pair of glasses next to a notebook on a table, Warby Parker sets out to define their brand through simplicity. They use Instagram for perhaps its strongest asset as a marketing tool: it’s passive call to action.
Be Passive About It
Spend even a brief amount of time on Disneyland’s Instagram, and you’ll see a truly eclectic mix up nostalgia-inducing photos, user submissions, and glimpses of the future. Find a person who doesn’t have a special place in their heart for Disney, and you will have found a true human anomaly.
Disney uses this knowledge to craft an Instagram strategy based around aesthetically-pleasing images meant to prompt sentimental thoughts. After all, they want to get you to book a trip soon. How do they do this? By asking their Instagram followers to on for photos from a specific decade on the Disney blog. What’s more, the call to action is as passive as it can get: a banner across a vintage image, and a link in the description of the image. That’s it. What does it take the viewer to? The Disney Resort blog.
And that’s it: a marketing strategy in action that’s cheap, effective, and requires little effort on Disney. The best way to have your posts resonate amongst followers is to have them tell a cohesive story. Whether your photos are featuring your products, your personality, or your customers, having them dictate a message about the brand will resonate best with your target audience.
Accepting that Instagram is the social media marketing tool of the future is easy to do. It allows its users a degree of creativity that works remarkably well, and its popularity reflects this. Embrace the viral-friendly freedom that Instagram allows its users, and start your visual marketing campaign today.