Before the seemingly unstoppable rise of Snapchat, Instagram was very much regarded the place to be. The concept of a picture telling a thousand words is far from new, but can it really be used by business to succeed? Certainly, the integration with Facebook’s advertising platform offers no end of opportunities for engaging visual copy to succeed. But can it convert into something worth the investment?

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Consider for a moment, that Instagram didn’t exist. We’d still like to share attractive pictures of ourselves and our surroundings to our friends and the world. Would we text them? Of course not, nobody likes a show off. Plus, only one person would realistically see it. Therefore, what need does Instagram actually serve? The answer is, it provides us the best means of promoting the best possible version of ourselves to as many people as possible. Why were people upset that a Facebook algorithm was set to kick in? Because it removes the chronological chaos. For those unaware, Instagram typically worked like a giant free for all, in which the best photos and content would rise to the top of the pile through the community. When the announcement came that it would prioritise your friends instead of the random force of the Instagram bubble, people were more than a little sad. Before, anyone could be Instagram famous for a day and have their message go viral. Now it needs engineering. Horrible news for the innocent civilian, but tremendous news for the data-driven marketing teams of the world.

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With the recent addition of Google Analytics tracking codes for links on Instagram, they’ve made it entirely clear in the plainest terms that they want people to measure their success on the platform. This isn’t a move that would be made, if people weren’t successful. Indeed, there’s already an industry around individuals being sponsored to post about products – and it’s booming, and growing. Companies like Thuzio continue to grow and find success, connecting the right influencers with the right brand, at the right time to deliver maximum value for advertisers. In many regards, this is where we see Instagram being particularly useful. It offers a means of being incredibly visual, and if content is promoted by the best person for a specific audience, it offers the best way of making a first interaction. Platforms like Instagram, more than many others, allows for the positioning of a brand expert much faster than many others. While someone’s Twitter authority is typically measured by the number of followers held, and a Facebook page by it’s number of likes, Instagram authority is all about your most recent image – presenting the opportunity for anyone to be the “go-to-guy/girl” on any issue.

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The conclusion? Instagram very much offers business value, but in order for it to succeed – it absolutely must be picked up by the right people. The platform, in addition to third party tools such as SoDash, Thuzio, and SoGrow (who have Instagram automation coming soon!), offer an excellent means of identifying the key influencers for your industry. What matters most next, is tailoring your content to meet their needs. And that, is something we’ll discuss very soon!