A picture’s worth a thousand words, right? So maybe that’s one of the reasons why Instagram recently catapulted into social media stardom. Or maybe it’s because when Facebook purchased the visual marketing platform, it grew 500% in one year. Whatever the reason, Instagram firmly planted itself in the professional social media ring in early 2013. As all platforms do, when they first start out, Instagram was a great place to share what you were doing, eating, where you were going and who you were with throughout your daily life — but solely visually.
But as all social media platforms evolve into strategic marketing tools, Instagram has also become an effective social asset for brands. We recommend it as part of a social media strategy if it fits with the overall marketing strategy. Nike, Starbucks and MTV — Instagram’s top performing brand accounts — have embraced this platform and are each leading the way with well over a following of 1M consumers. So how does it work?
With Instagram’s seamless integration alongside Facebook, users saw enhanced web profiles and online pictorial timelines earlier this year. But best of all, and probably the most useful for brands, is the “Photos of You” application which debuted in the spring and allows users to tag themselves, friends, brands, locations, etc in their photos. This, in turn, encourages consumer participation in your brand’s online conversation and creates excellent user-generated content.
But perhaps what everyone is hoping for when they follow and like their favorite brands is a view behind the brand. Instagram offers businesses the chance to show, rather than tell, fans what it’s like to work in your offices, be a part of your brand and give a sneak peek into your brand culture. Visual marketing is on the rise and Instagram is definitely leading the way. Trust us when we say this is one bandwagon worth jumping on.