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Article by Kate Newman, Account Executive at Social@Ogilvy in Chicago.
Does your brand’s CMO consider Instagram a powerful player in the social mix? The answer should be “yes,” but his or her answer is most likely “no.” Instagram is no longer the child following behind its parent company. Engagement levels have hit organic numbers unseen on Facebook (and Twitter). Not only does Instagram boast 200 million active monthly users, 50 million of them signed up within the last six months. At that rate, there could be at least 300 million active monthly users on Instagram in 2015. You might think it’s a no-brainer that your brand should be on Instagram, but how do you convince the c-suite?
Making the Case
Balance Diminishing Facebook Post Reach
Organic reach on large Facebook pages (>500,000 fans) hit an all-time low in February 2014 with levels at 2%. According to Social@Ogilvy’s recent report, community managers can expect organic reach to hit zero in the foreseeable future. At that point, posts will require paid support to see any kind of reach and that reality is rightfully alarming.
While Instagram is not an end all be all solution, it requires little to no paid spend to see high engagement levels. In fact, engagement on Instagram is roughly 60 times higher than Facebook, and Instagram ads have seen 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter. Additionally, most brands are not allowed to advertise on Instagram, so paid support is not essential for success on the platform. There are only 15 approved advertisers for sponsored images because of Instagram’s sensitivity with whom they let advertise. Brands with no established presence on the platform are not even considered. Therefore, if your company is teetering on whether or not to launch on Instagram, it better start soon if you plan to advertise.
Engage An Active Mobile Audience
Instagram is a mobile social platform by nature. The only way to post content is via a mobile device. While community managers have the option to follow, like and comment on images from their desktop, they can only receive notifications through the mobile app. If search or purchase behavior through mobile devices is high for your brand’s audience, then it’s likely that your consumers are using Instagram.
A new study by Forrester looked at 3 million user interactions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and found that Instagram had the highest engagement for any given brand. For every 1 million Instagram followers, branded content received 40,000 interactions – Facebook only saw 700, and Twitter was 300.
Provide an Authentic Portrait Inside Your Brand
Instagram pre-approves every sponsored image for authenticity. They look for images that “capture a lifestyle, not just a product.” Only brands that do this have a chance of being granted access to sponsored images, which preserves Instagram as a place where users expect to be free of stock and studio images. One brand that does this well is GE. Through #GEInstaWalk, fans have access to a real-time tour of GE’s advanced technology facilities as seen through the eyes of popular Instagram photographers and GE’s most avid fans. Unlike other social media platforms, Instagram allows for an authentic viewpoint of your brand. The best way to connect with your consumers on the platform is by showing them what they cannot visualize from a simple Google search.
What’s stopping you from telling your CMO why your brand should be on Instagram?