Social Media Mayhem: Instagram 101

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Instagram is the final network we will be covering in our social media series. We will explore different aspects of this platform, including audience demographics, different advertising options, and various engagement tools. Instagram has gained a significant following from its start in 2010 and could take your marketing campaign to the next level.

Audience: As of September 2017, Instagram had 800 million monthly active users and, even more impressive, 500 million daily active users. Below is a breakdown of the users you will find present on the platform.

  • 59% of online 18-29 year olds
  • 33% of online 30-49 year olds
  • 18% of online 50-64 year olds
  • 8% of online 65 and older
  • 38% of online females
  • 26% of online males

 As shown by the statistics above, Instagram hosts a younger audience, the majority of whom are 18 to 29 year olds. If your brand is targeting a younger demographic, Instagram is an effective way to reach them, especially with the high rate of daily usage. The split between female and males present is the most drastic when compared to the other social media platforms analyzed before. This division is something to consider when planning what content to post.  

Advertisement Opportunities: If you feel confident that Instagram fits the demographic you would like to target, the next step is to explore the different advertising options that are available. Instagram is owned by Facebook, so the opportunities are similar, as explained in the Facebook 101 post. Below is a breakdown of the ads your organization can run on this platform.

  • Photo Ads: Single Image Ad
  • Video Ads: Single Video Ad with video or gif
  • Carousel Ads: Multiple image/ video ads allows user to scroll through
  • Stories Ads: Offers single image/ single video ad, up to 15 seconds long

To create your campaign, you will first select your objective. There are a variety of options for your brand to focus on, such as awareness, consideration, and conversion. Within each category are additional options - areas of focus for your brand to localize its advertising efforts. This approach offers your company a targeted marketing approach and a way to measure the effectiveness of the advertisement based on what you would like to achieve.

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After choosing your advertising objective(s), the next step is to select your target market. Instagram offers businesses the opportunity to customize their target market based on location, age, and even interests or behaviors. The final step is entering your budget, which will impact the rate at which the advertisement is shown, depending on your selected objective.

Organizations also have the opportunity to contact influencers directly. This was previously mentioned in the Youtube 101 post, as there is a similar group active on Instagram. Influencers are individuals such as David Dobrik (@daviddobrik), who have over 4.5 million followers and thus a very large reach. Researching the influencer’s audience is essential before you reach out for a collaboration, as it is important to find out who your target market would be following.

Engagement: Your presence on Instagram is similar to Facebook; there is a science to what appears in users’ feeds. The actual algorithm is too complex to articulate here, but here are some tips to help your post reach your intended audience.

  1. Use a business account: To do this, you simply link your Facebook business page to your Instagram account. This also allows your organization to view and analyze statistics.

  2. Limit the spam: This includes avoiding an overwhelming amount of hashtags (for future reference, it is best to have no more than five). It’ also ideal to use a variety of hashtags for each post, instead of repeating.

  3. Engage: Use the Instagram story feature and respond back to comments on your posts

Another Instagram feature is Instagram Live, which allows you to connect with users in real time. Similar to Facebook Live, this feature allows your organization to show a behind-the-scenes view of your organization and respond back to viewers instantly. To make the most of your Instagram Live event, it is important to give viewers an advanced notice so they will be prepared to view. It is also important to have a plan or script of what you will say to avoid any drawn out pauses or awkward moments.

An Instagram Story is an informal way to update followers on new promotions and current events happening with your company. Once posted, it only remains available to followers for 24 hours and then expires and cannot be seen. Instagram Stor[ies] are a great way to create a stronger brand identity, allowing you to show more than just products. Instagram offers users the option to save a specific story for a future “revisit.” This feature is helpful if you post about a current promotion going on that you would like followers to come back to and, ideally, follow to an external link for the promotion, event, or purchase.

The last engagement strategy worth mentioning is the use of Instagram contests. This is a way to encourage user engagement on your account. For example, if you want to increase your number of followers, you can make a contest for one of your products where users must like your photo and follow your account to enter.

We're wrapping up our "Social Media Mayhem" series, but if you have any other questions regarding social media and how to use it effectively, please contact us at Conscious Collaborative. Our team can help you build a comprehensive strategy for advertising on one or all of the networks mentioned in our blog series, ensuring that you reach and impress your target audience.