Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Instagram Impact: Waseem Saddique Marketing Services Studies the Impact of Instagram on Business Marketing

As Instagram hits 90 million ‘active’ monthly users, Waseem Saddique Marketing Services investigates how businesses can use the latest up and coming social media tool to enhance online marketing efforts.

What’s Instagram?

Instagram is a free mobile photo-sharing application which has recently reached 90 million active users with this figure expected to rise continuously.

Waseem Saddique states: “Official statistics, released by ‘Instagram’, reveal that 40 million photos are uploaded onto its site every day, it generates 8500 likes and 1000 comments per second via Facebook and Instagram now ranks in the top 10 most ‘actively’ used social networking sites in the world, coming in at number six.”

What’s the hype?

What is most notable about the rise in prominence of Instagram is the sudden surge of engagement that has occurred across the Instagram network.

Previous figures released show that the social networking site only used to generate 81 comments per second, but now it generates 1000. That represents a staggering increase of 1134%.

Likewise the network only used to generate 575 likes per second, but this has increased significantly to 8500, representing a whopping increase of 1378%.

How can Instagram help businesses?

WaseemSaddique comments: “Instagram is a photo rich networking site and ideal for displaying products before a network of 90 million monthly users. The potential in terms of advertising and promoting a product could lead to unprecedented interest.”

The concept of Instagram is most favourable for businesses that have products to promote. Interestingly, large corporate companies such as Argos and other ‘catalogue’ stores, which sell a substantial amount of products, have embraced Instagram and utilised it very inventively in order to entice customers by displaying how products work and how they look.

Whilst Instagram is arguably favoured more by product related businesses, those companies that offer services have also found a use for Instagram, just on a lesser scale, but still with an innovative approach.

Most ‘service’ focussed companies have used Instagram to provide a ‘behind the scenes’ look at their company, effectively putting a face to the name. This involves displaying pictures of employees, the company office and the very creative upload pictures of a typical day in the office giving customers an intimate insight into business operations.

What businesses should be aware of is that Instagram is owned by Facebook, having been bought by the world’s largest social networking site in April 2012. This is also another plus point for companies as any engagement  on Instagram can be linked in with Facebook if a business has a presence on the social media site. Furthermore, the photos on Instagram are also compatible with Twitter providing further exposure across social networking platforms.

Waseem Saddique concludes: “The biggest attraction for businesses that use Instagram is that it allows opportunity for a much more intimate level  of engagement with customers and clients. The fact that it is free to consumers makes it accessible to all and attracts huge levels of attention. Furthermore, as is a mobile app, available on all smartphones and tablets, consumers constantly have access to up-to-date photo feeds 24/7.”

Instagram works as an effective marketing tool for businesses on so many levels. There is a ready-made consumer audience for businesses to target, keeping product images firmly in the customer spotlight whilst they are on the go. As Instagram is a mobile app, a world-wide picture gallery is instantly available in the palm of the hand and images do not expire, once uploaded they are permanent unless removed by those that uploaded the image(s).

The power of the picture is infinite and provokes intrigue and impulse, particularly when it comes to products, therefore making Instagram instantly impactful.