Instagram Marketing: The Emerging Powerhouse?

Instagram Marketing: The Emerging Powerhouse?

Social media marketing is now being considered marketing of the future with Facebook sitting on the top of the food chain. As of June 2019, the number of users of Facebook has grown to 2.38 billion, making it the top platform in terms of active users. Facebook over the last 15 years has changed our outlook on how we view social media platforms. It has opened up a new door through which we use social media platforms for businesses. Now things have started to change, with the advent of another big fish in the tank. Instagram though lags far behind Facebook in terms of users, is regarded as the fastest growing platform with over a billion active users and over five hundred million active daily users as of June 2019. One might think by simply looking at the statistics that Facebook dominates the social media marketing platform by simply bulking on its number of active users. But numbers don’t always give us the whole picture. Let’s dig a bit deeper into the story. 

Feeds in our social media platform are controlled by pieces of codes, called algorithms. It determines which posts are seen by users and in what order. These can make or break a business and influence how we view the world. On one side they help to give us a fulfilling experience on social media channels and on the other gives them the ability to gain more control over advertising ventures. The Facebook algorithm has been tweaked several times over the last decade and is now focused on more about relevant, spam-free content, and scaling up the ad revenue for Facebook. In recent updates, click-baiting posts are now being demoted in newsfeeds. The Instagram algorithm is almost similar to Facebook but it has outshined Facebook in terms of organic reach to its users. Besides, the use of proper hashtags in the Instagram posts has a lot of importance as it increases the chances of the post to be seen by users.  Marketers can leverage on the high organic reach only because after getting a minimum of 500 followers the account starts performing better organically. So, this indicates that Instagram stands out in making a higher organic reach and that marketer can boost their marketing by achieving a good organic reach using relevant hashtags.

The organic engagement along with organic reach is a dead rubber in Facebook’s algorithm because it focuses more on sponsored post features by Facebook for marketing their product/service. The engagement rate is the highest on Instagram. Forrester conducted a study on how audiences engage with brands and concluded that a user is more likely to engage with a brand over its Instagram account. According to Locowise, though the Instagram engagement rate has declined, it has still managed to stay at the top in comparison to other social media platforms in terms of engagement.

Though Facebook marketing is best for its visibility, as long as there are paid advertisements and opportunities to funnel users to a third-party site using the scope of sharing links, Instagram is better in terms of direct marketing, customer engagement, showcasing products, comparison shopping, and influencer marketing. Demographics suggest that the larger portion Instagram users are people under 35 which help marketers to interact with a younger target audience over Instagram. Instagram dominates industries like fashion, beauty, interior design, architecture, photography, and celebrity news which paves a new way for influencer marketing and free exposure. Besides the in-app payment feature on Instagram, it has a more cutting edge over Facebook in terms of e-commerce businesses.

At the end of the day engagement rate, organic reach, hashtags, and e-commerce come into play in marketing over the social media platform in which Instagram outshines Facebook and this is why Instagram has been labeled as a favorite for brands. But though Facebook is a bigger entity that can bloom in near future with tweaks in its algorithm, there is no denying that in this day and age Instagram is an emerging powerhouse in online marketing.

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