Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of Instagram is a blessing for brands.
Love the deal or hate it (I’m talking to all you early adopters and hipsters), it is time for brands to start building a strategy for the photo-sharing and story telling application.
Yes, I know—another social media platform to worry about? But unlike with other platforms, this one is plugged into the Facebook community, which is still the largest social media website (one in 13 people on the planet are on it!).
While having a Facebook page is crucial for communicating with consumers, Instagram provides brands the opportunity to communicate with consumers in more in-depth ways. Because Instagram is a delightful, easy and curated application to consume and share (as Pinterest is), it could be a pivotal platform for brands.
Here are four reasons the new Instagram acquisition is good for brands:
- Instagram is simple. Take a picture, write a short caption, put a pretty filter on it and you’re done. As Pinterest has proved, less is more. Brands that have photography should upload them to Instagram’s straightforward format. Let your photos on the application do the talking for you, and people will follow and comment naturally.
- Visual storytelling is key. New studies are showing that consumers are changing the way we see brands with Facebook’s Timeline. When EyeTrackShop recorded eye movements of participants scanning Timeline, where did eyes gaze first? On the cover photo, especially ones with faces versus objects. Photos are important to tell a brand’s story, and Instagram does it in a beautiful way. Furthermore, consumers engage more when photos are involved. Posts including a photo album, a picture or a video generate about 180 percent, 120 percent and 100 percent more engagement than the average post, respectively.
- Brands have found ways to advertise in a nonintrusive way. Brands such as Red Bull and PepsiCo have been on Instagram for a while now, engaging with customers with campaigns, like the “daily awesome” image (Red Bull). The thinking is that if people are taking cool pictures anyway, then why not take pictures of their products. Letting consumers spread the word with their photos through their networks is a much better way to spread your message without inundating them with your ads.
- Instagram was made for mobile. With all the complaints of Facebook’s mobile application, Instagram was made for mobile, thus making your brand even more visible on today’s most important touchpoint.
Facebook’s purchase of Instagram really is worth all the hype it has received over the weeks. It’s only a matter of time before brands learn their stories through the photo-sharing application—because a picture really is worth a thousand words (or in this case, a billion dollars).