Unafraid of Greatness: New Ways to Market with Social Media

By: Sam Chan

Marketers have learned how much social media matters in a marketing campaign, and companies are starting to learn too. We all know the most popular and trusted platforms to be on: Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Linkedin. But other platforms pop up like weeds all the time. Which ones have staying power? Which ones should we, as marketers, jump on? The answers to these questions may not be as difficult as you think. Jumping on every platform at once is not a good idea. But neither is ignoring everything new that comes by.

The answer is a balancing act. It’s important to find the right platforms for your outcome goals. Getting involved with every platform out there is costly and usually ineffective. But using the right platforms at the right time for the right reasons and committing to a consistent schedule of authentic, organic or cultivated content will lead to a community built on trust with the consumer. Each thoughtfully chosen platform will grow your community, brand awareness, and brand trust.

One platform with some very interesting beginnings is Instagram. As a visual platform, they had much to contend with by the way of content, but they flourished and Facebook bought them up.

An Entirely Visual Platform

Instagram has proved its “cool factor” and seems to be here to stay. The platform has gained massive popularity, boasting 75 million daily active users. This came as a surprise to many who believed the platform wouldn’t be successful due to its pictures-only post limitation. What they failed to realize is that an entirely visual platform would unanimously do well because of the overwhelming results of much research stating that people respond better to visual content.

Engagement

One of the greatest things about Instagram is that the engagement rate is extremely high, 58 times higher than facebook, and 120 times higher than twitter. This is extremely useful for building brand recognition and providing brand loyals with stimulating content. Likes and follows exist in abundance on Instagram.

Reach
With a platform like Instagram, you’re reaching enormous amounts of people at a time. Not only are you visible to your own followers, but through the thoughtful use of hashtags, you’re seen by everyone searching that specific tag. Using hashtags can draw the right audience for you. Instagram has thousands of subcommunities. People with wide ranging interests are on Instagram. No matter how niche a product or service, “IGers,” as they’re called, have built a community.

Ads

Ads on instagram are now a great feature to elevate your posts, reaching thousands more people than organic content. One of the nicest things about this feature is the seamless way the ads are integrated into a feed. Users almost seem not to notice, which is key since poorly implemented advertising on social is annoying and disruptive. This feature is mainly a result of their Facebook buyout which means you get the power of a FB & IG double team. While Facebook may not be as “hip” as Instagram, it’s still an incredibly useful tool in driving traffic to your website.

How to Instagram

Just as you would approach marketing on other platforms, use Instagram the way people already use it. It’s like foreign languages; you want to speak the way the locals do. Embrace the hashtag. Love emojis. And, considering that visuals are everything here, make an eye-catching feed.

Instagram Success Stories

Asos

Asos is great at combining artistic shots of product with fun and vibrant lifestyles. People who love fashion and don’t take it too seriously are big fans of this aesthetic.

Staples

Staples creates fun and quirky posts using their products, and adds captions with relatable hashtags and ideas. They’re appealing to a DIY audience and it’s working very well for them.

Ikea

Ikea is a natural fit for Instagram. The brand simply uses its own products to create beautiful home settings to make a huge splash with interior design fans.

The one thing all of these distinct brands have in common is the knowledge of their audiences and the understanding that content is everything on Instagram.