New L2 Report Advises Marketers Take Advantage of Instagram’s 100% Organic Reach
When it comes to sharing and consuming great visual content, few other social media sites can deliver quite like Instagram. The social media site now boasts 300 million monthly active users, 2.5 billion likes daily, and 30 billion total shared photos. Instagram is redder than a hot iron poker, which helps explain why Facebook acquired the company in April 2012.
In its new report, business intelligence service provider, L2 (@L2_Digital), stated that they’d predicted four years ago that Facebook “would be the most valuable company in the world and (last year) Instagram the most powerful platform. Both predictions stand. Facebook Inc. has the assets, momentum, and management to be the first media firm to link billions of discrete identities to brand affinity, and then target relevant messages at a scale previously unimagined.”
While Facebook’s cross-device and cross-channel measurement capabilities are unmatched, Instagram plays a vital role in this partnership by using visuals to connect consumers to products and brands. L2 also credits Instagram with offsetting Facebook’s aging user base and reduced “cool factor”. Moreover, L2 credits Instagram with building “aspirational equity and authencity within the Facebook stack.”
According to iStrategyLabs (@istrategylabs), three million American teens left Facebook for “cooler” and more discrete social media sites like Instagram and Snapchat between 2011 and 2014. However, since Instagram’s targeting and direct-response capabilities were still tied to Facebook’s, the latter remained relevant. Figure 1 provides a more analytical view of Facebook’s demographic shift from 2011 to 2014.
The report further notes that since Instagram boasts 100% organic reach, marketers can focus on testing high-quality content types on the platform versus acquiring many followers. This tip is particularly relevant in light of Facebook’s recently introduced paywall that separates brands from their communities.
Unlike Facebook’s new restrictions on heavily promotional posts, content testing and optimization still drive meaningful results on Instagram. Though Instagram has restricted ads on its platform in order to subsidize organic reach, brands and marketers can capitalize on the current settings by applying the following platform tactics:
- Post frequently: One-third of brands that post over 20 times per week maintain above average engagement, with weak negative correlation between post frequency and engagement rate.
- Test and learn, natively: Marketers need to test and refine native content not just on Instagram, but on other platforms they’re using.
- Focus on product: Instagram is all about visual storytelling. In this platform, product stories told in the context of lifestyle garner greater engagement than other types of posts.
- Leverage celebrity: Celebrities can be featured on posts (or associated with them), to drive further engagement.
- Capitalize on user generated content: Don’t forget to encourage your community to produce UGC. Feature UGC on your profile and strengthen your community ties.
- Avoid commerce gimmicks: These can alienate your community on Instagram.
- Assume the worst: Remember that there may come a point when Instagram would also erect a paywall. Develop the assets and skills to help you adapt to such a change.
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