The popularity of various platforms has shifted over the social media age. If there's any app that has stepped up its game over the past five years, it's Instagram. Facebook maintains its users by acting as a population directory to find anyone and everyone, but Instagram and Snapchat have emerged as prime sources of social media entertainment.
Instagram was the first application to launch the idea of facilitating communication through images. It hit one million users after only two months of existence. People love to talk about themselves. In fact, 282,417,581 #selfies have been posted as of the end of 2016. That's exactly why marketers are flocking to Instagram.
Every basic marketing class teaches the appeal of self-interest and every consumer's subconscious evaluation of "what can this do for me?" Facebook allows companies to tailor their Instagram ads to specific audiences, so when an online boutique pops up on a college student's feed, it doesn't seem like an ad at first glance. Instead, it looks like just another post she chose to follow and most likely gets a like (hopefully a click-through).
About 49 percent of brands have an active Instagram account, and that's projected to rise to around 71 percent by the end of 2017. Why? Because Instagram is an easy outlet to showcase the personality the business wants to portray. The website of a brand highlights sales and why one company’s product or service is better than the next, but Instagram defines the corporate culture, ideals and personality. Most importantly, it generates brand recognition.
Consumers are responding. Fifty percent of Instagram users follow at least one business on Instagram. Sales-wise, five percent of users take actions on posts, such as clicking through to the website, visiting the profile or following the company. Five percent may not sound significant, but with 600 million users total, that's 30 million consumers taking the first steps toward a purchase via Instagram.
Women make around 85 percent of the buying decisions in the household, and 31 percent of all female Internet users are on Instagram. Put two and two together, and it looks like we've got the right platform to target female audiences.