We’ve all seen pictures posted online with artistic and highly saturated colors. Though photo touch-up may not be a new idea, applying sometimes heavy handed filters to our photos was introduced by apps like Instagram with the introduction of the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Instagram is not just for teens, however. Instagram allows you to invite all your Facebook friends. Then you can communicate with people through pictures and find a targeted audience of people and brands by searching by hashtags or by user names directly. Depending on how you use Instagram it can take you for a nice journey and promote your business.
Instagram was purchased by Facebook for over $700 million in the fall of 2012. At the time, it was the largest app acquisition ever, and has proven to be a shrewd investment by Facebook as the active user base of Instagram is, by some estimates, larger than Twitter with over 300 million active users. All these users mean a huge number of potential eyes on your brand and your message.
Instagram is an excellent opportunity for businesses because the wealth of users, the engagement of those users with one another, and the creativity it allows brands to express since the platform is almost entirely reliant on pictures. Some brands have been rumored to have spent over $1 million for a single ad campaign with active users. Rumored only because the exact details over such deals are sealed. Instagram began as an Apple exclusive app and had a devoted following of users. When the company announced an Android version was to be released, that following revolted and claimed they would desert the app they loved simply because it would not be exclusive any longer. If there was such a revolt in actuality, it was a small one because Instagram has enjoyed sustained growth since its creation.
This sort of growth, loyal audience, and visual presence is exactly why businesses are flocking to the platform. Some brands use it only as an advertising platform, some use to test consumer reaction, and some simply engage with their customers as they might on another platform. Doing so, however, might be missing the point as each social media platform is unique. A business’ approach to social media should be tailor fit to that platform. A Twitter user will engage with a brand differently than a Facebook user who will respond differently to a brand’s engagement on Instagram. Not every brand will have a presence on every platform, but that should be an informed choice based on research of the targeted audience. Not doing so means missing out on potential customers, and sales.