This September, the popular image-sharing social network service Instagram officially announced that it had achieved an active user base of over 400 million active regulars per month. This rapid growth is quite impressive, especially considering its close rival Twitter can only boast around 320 million regular users despite a four-year head start.
What is the secret to Instagram’s success, especially with younger users? Much of its appeal lies in its unique emphasis on sharing visual content, such as photos and videos, rather than the largely text-based approach taken by other social media sites.
By focusing on sharing photos and videos, Instagram encourages its users to construct and share their experiences as vivid media-driven narratives that emphasize authenticity and creative whimsy. “A picture is worth a thousand words,” as the old saying goes, and Instagram offers a platform for people to share their life stories in pictures.
How Brands Use Instagram
Instagram’s content delivery system offers incredible brand marketing opportunities to canny marketers. An excellent example is Hyundai’s Instagram Quiz, which made use of a series of cleverly cross-linked photos to tell its audience which Hyundai SUV would most likely be suited to their particular lifestyle.
You may not have the capacity to fund an advertising campaign on quite the same scale, but through creative use of Instagram’s ad formats and partnering opportunities, you too can create an intriguing and eye-catching marketing campaign for your brand that reaches a young, globe-spanning audience.
Just don’t overdo it; transparent or overbearing attempts to pitch your brand will come off as inauthentic and only hurt your image with potential customers. Approach your audience as though you’re seeking a relationship, not just another sale, and your brand’s image will flourish.
Instagram passes 400m users as young shun tweets for photo op, The Guardian
Hyundai’s Instagram Quiz a Clever Use of Social Media, AutoGuide.com