In 2012 Facebook surprised the world by making a $ 1 billion dollar purchase of one of the best up-and-coming social networks on the market, a network that had virtually no revenue to speak of and an extremely isolated demographic. We’re speaking of course, of Instagram. Experts have argued over the reasons behind Facebook’s billion dollar gem, but the fact remains that they own it and have been marketing it as the latest and greatest photo-sharing site on the net (next to Facebook itself, of course). But with Facebook’s obvious importance to modern marketing techniques, where does Instagram fit into the mix? Take a look at a few of these facts and you’ll be able to decide whether or not hopping on the Instagram wagon is right for you.
Instagram Users Are Super-International
At last count, Instagram’s user base has topped 300 million people all taking pictures and sharing them with one another, but what most people don’t know is that over 70% of those users reside outside of the United States. For some companies that have a target market focused on other countries and cultures, this is a huge benefit to taking their brand and expanding it in the social media cybersphere. For the average American small business, however, this means that out of every ten people that might choose to follow a business’s Instagram account, only 3 of them will respond to those American cultural connections or viral trends. To that end, local businesses focused on a county, state or even national marketing campaigns should shy away or else risk wasting resources.
Instagram Users are Young
We just mentioned how 70% of Instagram users are outside of the U.S., but taking that a step further, it’s also true that most of those users are between the ages of 16 and 25 years of age. A business that is looking to market itself to young children or middle-aged adults would not find Instagram very useful not only because of the small number of people within their target market but because said business’s content will most likely turn off users that fall outside of it. It’s true that Millennials are rapidly becoming the next-biggest demographic besides baby-boomers, and Instagram is right up their alley, but if your business does not cater to these folks, it’s best to leave this network alone.
Instagram Competition is Fierce
Facebook marketing is still king when it comes to online photo sharing, in no small part due to the interactivity and communication features built into the social network. Many business analysts even believe that Facebook’s primary reason for purchasing the Instagram application was because it saw the fledgling photo-sharing company as a threat to its social media power. Beyond Facebook, however, sites like Pinterest, Snapchat and Flickr are still going strong, meaning that your Instagram feed has to get past these giants before hitting your customers. Depending on your business or industry, this could mean great or terrible things for your online resource-spending plan.