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Brands on Instagram: Don’t be Last to the Party

Carata | Instagram | Social Media | 08 September 2015

As a business you are on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn. Do you really need to be on Instagram too? The answer is yes (in most cases, anyway).

18% of Irish people are on Instagram and 47% of these people check it daily (the second most accessed social platform next to Facebook). These figures are growing each quarter.

Globally, there are 300 million monthly users on Instagram, and did we mention it is owned by Facebook? In the US ,23% of retailers are using Instagram, although we can’t verify the figures our assumption is fewer Irish brands are using the platform.

So what is the value to a business in using Instagram?

Instagram is not about selling (yet!), although e-commerce features are to be rolled out this year. The platform newsfeed is still relatively algorithm free meaning that a user’s newsfeed shows images from those they follow on the platform. Therefore there is a window of opportunity for brands to become familiar with the platform and understand how their customers engage with them before competition for their attention heats up.

Working in media, the advancements of advertising on Instagram are incredibly exciting. Layering the advertising formats on Instagram with Facebooks rich targeting capabilities means that you will be able to reach customers and potential customers in a way that will be highly measurable and will be based on a wide variety of demographics and personal classifications.

Opportunities already exist for businesses to be creative and capture user generated content on the platform, for example by adding a hashtag to a photo’s caption. Every hashtag has a RSS feed attached to it, making it easy to capture content associated with the feed. Handy if you have an event coming up.

Some early adopter retail brands are using the platform as a means of testing what products they will use to front their mass market communications. For example, those that get the highest engagement rates are being translated into outdoor, print and digital ads.

That said, you do need time to manage your Instagram account, content that you may use for other social media platforms won’t always translate over. Instagrammers are passionate about the platform. After all – a picture paints a thousand words!

Kudos to the Irish brands who are using the platform well. One of our clients, Brown Thomas, uses the platform to showcase fashion previews and the restaurant industry in Ireland is thriving on the platform. Don’t search under #instafood if you’re feeling hungry.

Our advice is…Get on it, engage with your customers and get snapping. Embrace Instagram and use it to tell people about your business, who you are, where you are and what you are offering. Thanks to the multiple photo filter options available even the most inexperienced photographers find it easy to produce a masterpiece. There really is no excuse to get testing.

Advertising on Instagram will make its way to our shores very soon and we aim to be one of the first to the party. Hopefully we will see you there!

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