The Power of Instagram: How Brands Can Leverage the Breakout Photo-Sharing Service
Instagram‘s popularity can’t be debated anymore, not since Facebook bought the company yesterday for a cool billion dollars. Facebook has said that Instagram will continue to develop independently, which is a good thing for those worried about the acquisition. The news has cemented Instagram as a social media site that is here to stay, and will continue to grow rapidly.
If you don’t have an iPhone, you may not know what Instagram is. Instagram is a photo-sharing mobile application available on the iPhone (and Android, as of last week). It differs from other photo-sharing services because of the simple filters offered for users to quickly edit their photos, creating professional looking images.
Its popularity perhaps lies in its diverse appeal: both casual photographers and professionals have flocked to the service, creating a community dedicated to both creating and appreciating art and the world around us. It is also nicely integrated with other social media services like Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. Users can use hashtags (like #nature or #sanfrancisco) to categorize their photos and increase their visibility (hashtags become links, and many people browse hashtags to find new people to follow).
Brands have flocked to Instagram, recognizing the value of photos and images in social media. As we know, images are a great deal more engaging than any other form of media on social networking sites. So with its image-only service, using Instagram can be extremely valuable for brands to increase visibility and begin the process of generating leads. The service can be used much like any other social media site is for marketing, that is: interacting and engaging with the community, through comments, likes, and hashtags. Because of its open and positive nature, it is comparatively easy for a brand to build a following on Instagram, making it a resource that should not be overlooked in the world of digital and social media marketing.