Instagram – Activity

This activity during week3 is all about the use of social media to engage with an audience. Anna-Marie’s assertion is “Instagram is the most effective platform for self promotion.” For me I have a problem with that statement because it is not supported by sound academic research. I decided do some of my own research to validate the assertion.

I found research from Pew Research published on the social media examiner website (Redsicker, 2017) that suggests that the picture is much more complex though Instagram could be an interesting marketing platform. Facebook continues to be the dominate social media platform with 71% of people in the survey putting the site as favourite Instagram was number 5 behind LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter. Though most people would view Facebook as a friends and family social platform even though Facebook continue to develop features to transform it into a business platform.

Instagram was second behind Facebook in terms of user engagement with 63% of people using Facebook on a daily basis compared to 57% on Instagram. This could present an interesting opportunity for a photographer to provide brands not on Instagram with images to drive an Instagram social community.

The research data from Pew identified that LinkedIn is dominated by High-income earners greater than $75K and college graduates. Finally the site is popular with the 50 to 64 age demographic.

I accept that this research is not comprehensive but it does suggest the assertion that Instagram is the best platform is not fully supported by my initial research. Instead the picture is more complex and that your strategy needs to reflect your target audience or support a specific marketing strategy. Are your trying to build a very large audience because to attract brand who want to use you as a vehicle to engage with your followers. Though careful consideration would them need to the brands you you partner with as this could alienate your audience and damage your own brand.

Maybe you want to engage with potential customers directly that might drive you to select a different social media platform. For example if I am selling fine art images with a high price point I might want to use a different challenge with a higher percentage of users in my target demographic which could drive me to bias my social media strategy to a different channel.

Personally I have been on different social media platforms for many years: LinkedIn(2008), Facebook(2009), Twitter(2010), Youtube(2010), Instagram(2015) and Tumblr(2015) though I have never been an active participant for a number of reasons. Firstly maintaining an active following takes time and effort posting information that is engaging and aligned to brand. The second is that as an employee of large organisations with social media policies I have to be careful about the information I post. Each of my employers has had very clear social media policies that I need to follow as an employee and in the past I have erred on the side of caution and therefore been a consumer of social media content rather than a producer.

Now as I am looking to build my photographic brand I am reviewing that position but in a very considered manner. For this weeks task I have decided to experiment with a few different strategies for increasing the number of Instagram followers. I decided at the start of the week I would combine this weeks task together so that creating viral messages would also increase my number of Instagram followers. This approach did result in a small increase in followers 5, instead each image generated likes but mostly from existing followers. In the second half of the week I change strategy on trying to increase followers by following Instagram accounts for art publications galleries which. This revised strategy resulted in a significant boost in followers gaining 15 new followers within 60 minutes. 

To keep those followers and drive new followers is going to require me to post more content on the account on a regular basis something to explore during week 4.

References

  • Redsicker, P. (2017). Instagram Platform Ripe for Marketers Shows New Research. [online] Socialmediaexaminer.com. Available at: https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/instagram-platform-ripe-for-marketers-shows-new-research/ [Accessed 14 Oct. 2017].
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