It’s hard to believe the summer of 2012 is already over. For me, the signs that this summer is officially coming to a close is marked by two things:
1) 22squared has kicked into 2013 planning mode.
2) The Labor Day weekend has come and gone.
As I enjoyed my long weekend filled with pool days and barbeques, something became glaringly obvious: everyone was Instagramming everything (myself included). If someone wasn’t taking a picture and choosing a filter, they were browsing their Instagram feed incessantly. This realization has become even more apparent to me as a social media marketer looking ahead to 2013 platforms.
Since early 2012, Instagram has reported tremendous growth, going from 15 million users to hitting roughly 80 million users in July (yes, that’s a 400% increase in just seven months). What’s more promising? Instagram is still very much in its infancy. With its acquisition by Facebook and its continued user growth, it’s safe to say that these next seven months will be just as promising as the last.
So what does this mean for brands headed into 2013? Consider these factors below to help you decide if Instagram should be included in your social media strategy.
Does your target fall into the Instagram demographic? The largest group of users are ages 25-34 and make up about 32% of the apps user base. The next largest group is ages 35-44 with 24% of Instagram’s user base. Gender breakdown is currently split between males and females. While information like household income and education level is not currently public information, it’s important to consider the media consumption preferences of your target. For example, since Instagram is only accessible via a mobile app; does your target own a smartphone and have high mobile usage? What are their social sharing preferences?
What assets will you share? Instagram is a storytelling service; an opportunity to show the personality and characteristics of your brand through images. Consider the assets available to you to share with your customers, as well as how you’ll engage with user-generated images consumers may associate with your brand before you set-up an official account.
Is your brand already on Instagram? Social Media 101 – listen first. Your customers could already be sharing content about your brand on the platform. Use the Explore tool within the app itself and find how many hashtags exist with your brand name or campaign. If the conversation is already happening organically, establishing an official account and creating additional brand content will allow you to extend your reach and create a two-way conversation with your consumers.
Is your competition there? When you’re done searching for your own content, check out what your competitors are doing on the app. How active are they on their account? What are their followers saying? For every minute your competition is on Instagram and you’re not, you’re ignoring the 80 million+ users that your competitors can interact with.
So there you have it- my social platform of choice for 2013. Will your brand have an Instagram strategy for the coming year? If not, what are some reasons for steering clear?