With the race to social media supremacy being a never-ending battle, Instagram has officially overtaken Twitter in terms of monthly active users. With Twitter announcing that it had 271 million active users in July of 2014, Instagram jubilantly announced that as of December, it has officially over 300 million monthly active users, overtaking the social media giant.
Of course, Facebook remains right on top with 864 million users. And with Facebook now owning Instagram after a $1B deal in 2012, it seems that there’s just no stopping the image and video sharing site. In fact, Gary Vaynerchuck, co-founder of VaynerMedia and social media expert, thinks that Instagram is following Facebook’s footsteps quite closely. He believes that in a couple of years, everyone will be using it, just like how Facebook has grown today.
What remains to be a constant challenge for Instagram is the number of spam accounts that plague the site. However, Kevin Systrom, the site’s chief executive, says that they have started removing spammy and fake accounts to enhance Instagram’s user experience. This is why users have noticed some decline in their number of followers as Instagram bots work on clearing out the trash.
Instagram also proves to be a challenging medium for the social media marketer, considering the fact that it is not possible to post live links on it. This makes it very similar to traditional print media, where each single post would have to be maximized to create the highest possible value and impact to its users.
Making the Most Out of Instagram
Despite these challenges, the fact still remains that Instagram is fast growing, and these hurdles would have to be crossed to make the most out of the amount of activity that happens on Instagram every single day. Here are a few tips you can follow to fully utilize the amount of exposure that Instagram could give to your brand:
- Make your followers famous. Did you know that Starbucks is one of the top brands on Instagram with over 3.5 million followers? And if there’s one thing they keep doing right, it’s their relentless effort to give back to their followers by acknowledging their customer’s photos and featuring some of them on their other social media pages like Facebook or Twitter. This makes followers feel that their opinion truly matters.
- Make your brand personable. Who represents your brand better than the key people behind it? Instead of focusing too much on your products, post a few photos of your CEO and other big names in the office having fun at work, goofing off with employees, or just doing random stuff. This gives the brand a face that people can relate to, and could allow them to have a more personal connection with you and your brand.
- Make your posts interactive. Don’t just post an image and wait for people to like it. Ask for some interaction by asking followers to tag a friend who they think would appreciate the post, or to comment if they agree with your sentiment. You can launch promos and contests that require them to repost your image to other social media sites as well to maximize your reach.
With these steps, Instagram truly shows so much potential as an effective marketing tool for your business or personal brand. It also promises to expand your reach as it continues to grow and create better ways for you to give your followers so much more than they expect.