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Should we use Instagram?

Social Media
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Social media is still a relatively new but incredibly fast moving industry that is growing all the time. According to Statista 2.46 billion people currently use social media with this number expected to exceed 3 billion by 2021.

As is the case with many sectors, growth will be largely fueled by emerging markets, with 650 million additional users expected from China and approximately a third of a million from India. So it is no surprise that social media is a highly effective form of marketing and PR.

Regardless of the size of your organisation, theoretically, you have the ability to reach anyone who is a prospective client. It’s also an incredibly effective way of engaging with clients, which in turn facilitates brand loyalty.

But as I say, social media moves at an astonishing rate. New platforms pop up all the time, new apps, widgets and functionality are added to existing networks while what was an innovative trailblazer can fall by the wayside in the blink of an eye (anybody remember MySpace?!) As a result, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest trends and know which social media platform is going to be most effective in building up a loyal following.

Should we use Instagram?

This is a question that I have been asked many times by clients. It’s a good question to ask. Instagram is one of those platforms that has seen its user base soar. Between October 2016 and November 2017 the number of daily Instagram users has exploded – from 100 million to 500 million.

So who wouldn’t want to tap into that potential source of new customers? However there are several questions that you need to ask yourself first.

Are my target audience on Instagram?

According to Social Media Today 90% of Instagram users are under 35 and are predominantly female. So for a FinTech firm launching a banking service aimed at female professionals, Instagram could be a highly effective tool in connecting with your target audience.

However for a technology firm looking to increase its presence in the capital markets space (which as this report shows has a shocking lack of female representation at all levels) it would be hard to justify investing in an Instagram strategy.

So if you are thinking about adopting any kind of social media strategy first you need to know what platforms your target audience are using.

Do I produce enough content for Instagram?

The main differentiator between Instagram and other social media platforms is the visual aspect. By using the range of filters available you can create spectacular eye-grabbing visuals. Which raises the question – is your product or service one that can be demonstrated visually and in lots of interesting ways?

For restaurants the answer to this question is yes and you may not be surprised to learn that food is one of most shared objects on Instagram (with pizza and Sushi the most popular food types, in case you were wondering).

However, for a technology provider in the capital markets industry there may not be as much opportunity for sexy visuals. A core part of a social media strategy is consistency and regularity. So if you are only sharing the odd picture from financial conferences or seminars, they may be best shared as part of your Twitter strategy.

So what social media platform should I use?

There are a number of factors that you should take into consideration when deciding which platforms to use. As described above, the type of content you are sharing and finding out where your customers are will dictate your decision.

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