By Tess Pajaron - April 1st, 2015

Article Event Banner

While Instagram is a very visual, buzzy, and unique social channel, there are more things you can do for your business on this platform than you might have assumed.

A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center revealed that Instagram is the social network with one of the highest growth margins—between 2013 and 2014, it grew by a smashing 9%. Still, the platform is relatively new and therefore sometimes poorly understood by marketers. Here are five of the prevailing misconceptions about using Instagram for digital marketing that everyone in the sector should be aware of.

1. Instagram is a consumer-driven network

This is simply wrong. During the last couple of years, we witnessed many organizations recognize the importance of this visual social platform for digital marketing and branding strategies – L2's Intelligence Report shows that 92% of prestige brands already owned an Instagram account in 2014. 
The interesting feature of Instagram is that personal and brand accounts look the same. And that's where the power of this network lies—brands are offered a chance to leverage this unique connection to boost consumer engagement, inspiring their audience to spread its visibility by the means of @ mentions and hashtags.

2. Instagram is for brands with visual products

This is an important point stopping many brands from setting up an Instagram profile. Even if a brand is a service provider or sells decidedly 'unsexy' products, running an Instagram account simply becomes a more creative challenge.
Since these companies cannot show pictures of their products, they can document other things instead—company culture, employees and their personalized workspaces, employee activities that bring value to the community, awards, celebrations and merchandise—anything that helps express their brand. 

3. Instagram doesn't offer many opportunities for interaction

Some marketers believe that Instagram is just about posting, liking, and reposting pictures—but that's just a part of the story. Think about comments and their potential for brand-consumer interaction. This study revealed that Instagram users leave thousands of comments per second, so saying that Instagram is just about pictures is a massive understatement.
Brands can further engage their audience by hosting Instagram contests. New York City did just that—in their #LoveNYC contest, the organizers encouraged Instagram users to post photos showing the things they love about this city. Top ten pictures were then displayed in Times Square, as well as the city’s social media channels

4. Instagram is just another social network

Some marketers consider Instagram a meaningless addition to their social media strategy, which is usually focused on giants like Twitter or Facebook. This is a huge mistake. If used with a strategy in mind, Instagram can greatly enhance any social media campaign.
Users can quickly share their Instagram photos on Facebook and Twitter. They'll always come with relevant hashtags that simply do wonders to brand visibility. Brands can use Instagram pictures as a visual reinforcement to their tweets or Facebook posts—clicking on the picture, users will be directed to the company's Instagram account and by extension to its official website.

5. Instagram activity is hard to measure

This is very far from the truth. Even though Instagram lacks a built-in insights tool, there are several apps that can help marketers monitor and analyze all the activity on Instagram.
Iconosquare is a classic tool created with Instagram in mind. Simply Measured also released an Instagram analytics freebie, which shows how engaging is your brand on the platform and which photos generate most traffic. Websta Instagram Web Viewer will also show you metrics on the most popular photos, keywords and hashtags.  
Which brands should incorporate Instagram in their social media marketing efforts right now? Those, which address young audiences—according to this report, over a half of Instagram users is located within 18-29 age bracket. If this demographic applies to your audience, there’s nothing standing in your way to creating your brand's official account on Instagram and leveraging the potential of this social network for your digital marketing.
Tess Pajaron is a Community Manager at Open Colleges, an online learning provider based in Sydney, Australia. She has a background in Business Administration and Management. 
The Incite Summit East 2015

November 2015, The Marriott Brooklyn Bridge

The USA's best brand-focused marketing conference. Featuring CMOs, SVPs and marketing leaders from Dell, Citi, Chobani, Activision, HSBC, Mondelez and many more.

Brochure Programme
comments powered by Disqus