Over eight years ago, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger launched a photo-sharing social networking app for iOS devices. Within the first three months, the app had one million users, and the investors came pouring in. A year and a half later, the app had 27 million users, it was finally available for download on Android devices, and the company was offered $1 billion in cash and stock by Facebook. The app has continuously added new features such as hashtags, new filters, video posting, direct messaging, explore feed, photo galleries, stories, and so much more. Today, the app has over 1 billion users, and it is only continuing to grow. This incredible app is Instagram.
Now that you’ve had a brief crash course history lesson on Instagram, let’s talk about why Instagram is so popular.
- Instagram is easy to use, and even non-tech-savvy users can still enjoy posting and interacting with others. The ability to connect with your followers in addition to people across the world is incredibly simple, and you don’t even need to speak the same language to understand someone’s post.
- The app focuses on visuals, rather than long texts. Even though Instagram allows for a whopping 2200 characters in the caption, most people use those characters to hashtag their photos rather than having a descriptive caption. Some people don’t even caption their photos at all! Photos and videos have a higher rate of engagement and are able to hold the user’s attention better.
- It’s a moneymaker. Users aren’t annoyed with the sponsored ads they see because those ads are tailored towards the user and are relevant. The ads fit seamlessly into their feed, rather than being an obtrusive pop-up ad. Additionally, profiles with a lot of followers are often sought out to be influencers for brands, products, or services. Influencers are a type of marketing strategy similar to celebrity endorsements.
- Instagram works well on mobile. It actually works better on mobile than it does on a desktop browser (probably because that’s how it started). The mobile capabilities allow users to access the app from anywhere, making it an in-the-moment experience.
- Its functionality and updates cater to a wide variety of users, and allow them to keep things interesting! Bloggers have a platform where they can share everyday photos and give live updates about fun things they’re up to. Retailers can share their products and easily announce promotions and deals to a large audience.
So where is Instagram going with its ever-growing popularity? Many marketers and social networkers predict that Instagram is going to be bigger than Facebook, given the fact that it already has surpassed Snapchat and Twitter in popularity. When Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, bought Instagram, he agreed to keep Instagram independently managed. The independence has allowed the app to grow and be what it is today. Here are some stats you may want to know to help boost your brand’s Instagram!
- There are 1 billion monthly active Instagram users, and 500 million daily users.
- Nearly 60% of Users are Under 30 and another 33% of users are between 30 and 50 years old.
- 400 million users use Instagram stories every day.
- Since its inception until today, there are over 50 billion photo and video posts.
- Photo posts with faces get 38% more likes on average.
- There are more than 2 million monthly advertisers and 25 million business profiles.
- Over 80% of users follow at least one business account.
- Most influencers would prefer to use Instagram for collaborations and some major influencers might even charge thousands of dollars for a sponsored post.
- Posts published on the weekdays in the afternoon typically get the most engagement.
- Videos generate up to 21% more interactions than photos.
Instagram’s statistics are quite impressive and have proven to surpass other social media platforms. Many brands and businesses are investing their time and money to enhance their social media presence. The digital world is not slowing down, and chances are if you’re not keeping up, you’ll fall behind. Here are a few tips to boost your Instagram profile and presence.
- Remember that Instagram is all about the visuals. Photos and videos that are clean and in focus will stand out more when users are scrolling through their feed. Additionally, if you have a branding guideline, use those colors to create a thematic feed.
- Short, simple, and to the point is best. Your Instagram is not a blog nor is it an essay. Keep your captions concise, but if you’re running a social campaign, it’s okay to be a little wordier as long as you also have a call to action.
- Having a call to action allows you to be a little wordier in your captions, but you need to define what the purpose of your social campaign is. Are you trying to do a giveaway? Are you having a flash-sale or have an amazing promotion? Or maybe you’re simply wanting feedback and just want to ask a question. Your CTA is what will boost your post’s engagement, but people won’t participate if they don’t understand your purpose.
- Use the right hashtags. Instagram allows 30 hashtags per post, which seems like a lot but it’s easy to get carried away. Do your research and learn which tags are the most relevant, and which ones will get you the engagement you want.
- Post at the right time for the most engagement. Although weekdays in the afternoon usually get the most engagement, it varies according to the audience. Business profiles with over 100 followers can see when their best posting time is by checking Profile > Menu > Insights > Audience.
- The more you post and the more you use its features, the better. Instagram users receive fresh content every day and the more you post, the more likely Instagram users will consistently see your post and think of your brand. Instagram allows you to post more than just on the feed. You have stories, IGTV, and even live videos. Take advantage of it!
- The most important thing is to discover and explore for yourself. This is a simple way to engage with other profiles, and also get discovered by others. Take the first step in interacting with other profiles (follow, like, comment, and/or message) and they are likely to engage back with you. Additionally, this allows you to spy on what your competitors may be doing, which can inspire you to outdo them!
There is still SO MUCH that we could tell you about Instagram, and how important it is to get your business on it! If you’re looking to improve your Instagram game and need a little help, just give us a call. IDG Advertising specializes in all types of digital marketing (including Instagram), and we are here to help you reach and exceed your business goals.