Steadily increasing in popularity as a marketing tool is the image-laden platform Instagram. This site is unusual in that posts can only be made using the mobile app. Instagram pages may be viewed online, and users my like or comment on photos, however they cannot put up photos. This can present a challenge for marketers primarily posting online, but makes it very popular for mobile users.
Instagram has over 300 million users who share over 60 million photos every day. It is also experiencing more rapid growth in comparison to other social networks. It has a larger percentage of younger uses, ages 18-29, than either Facebook or Twitter. There are also more female users than male. Brand engagement rates on Instagram are higher than those on other social networks.
This app only allows you to post photos, however there are several customizing options available. Within the app, you can apply several different filters, adjust lighting, and crop photos before posting. Just recently, Instagram changed so that portrait and landscape photos were allowed, in addition to square ones. This was a big advancement for marketing purposes since companies no longer had to create Instagram-specific graphics with the proper dimensions, in addition to their images for other sites. Another new addition is the ability to direct message other users with photos, where initially all posts were public.
In addition to the main app, Instagram has also created other mobile apps to enhance photo and video editing capabilities:
Layout – Combine several of your favorite photos into one Instagram-ready image. There are various layouts to choose from for different numbers of photos.
Hyperlapse – Create your very own time-lapse video with this unique app. Shoot a video of anything and speed it up the way you want. This is a great tool for showcasing a new process with the short video length allowed in the Instagram posts.
Repost – Although this is not for editing photos, it allows you to share other users’ photos on your own account. The app tags the picture with the account that originally posted it as well.
Instagram does not provide the analytical tools that Facebook or Twitter has to offer. You can gather some data off of the number of likes and comments on photos, as well as the timeframe in which you receive the majority of interactions. Some overall analytical data shows that posts that tag another user generate more engagement, and the ability to search for specific hash tags also helps broaden the reach of posts.