by Paul Slack
Facebook finally views Instagram as grown up – what happens? Well, of course.
We all know that social media sites are cool, fun and terrifically entertaining. We also know that the goal of any business, including yours, is to make money. Naturally, the goal of social media giants (Facebook et al.) is also to make money and they do that through advertising – which you then use to make your money. With social media advertising being pretty much a must, changes in the social media advertising world are big-time important.
Instagram has been a lot of fun but of limited use for advertisers since it was only a minor part of Facebook’s plan. That is changing, starting right now – not a big surprise after the news that Instagram passed Twitter in number of users at 400 million actives. Facebook sees that Instagram has “grown up” and is ripe for advertising.
Facebook has the best spread of user demographics, reaching nearly everyone on the Internet. It is also by far the most popular social media site with a reach of 7 billion people of all ages but Instagram has had the teen market kind of locked up. Even though 87% of social media users in the 18-29 age group have a Facebook account, there are 79% of teens saying they prefer Instagram over Facebook – which is only the 4th “fav” for those teens.
Facebook has been clear about its intention to become “the” Internet. With the introduction of personalized news streams, better targeting of page posts and advertising campaigns, and a better advertiser’s platform, it is no shocker that Facebook wants to capitalize on Instagram’s social footprint, especially since they don’t have a good hold there.
Instagram users are prolific sharers with 80 million photos and videos shared and a whopping 4.5 billion (yes Billion) “likes” every day. People also use Instagram for different “purposes.” While Facebook is for letting others know how you are doing – and finding out how they are – great for the “I’m not a kid” group but blah-blah-blah boring for those teens who text at light speed. In addition, Instagram is more of an “inspiration” site, allowing visuals to portray messaging.
Facebook advertising changes periodically, but the format is pretty much set – words, text, call to action and all. Now businesses can tap into the “inspirational” messaging of Instagram with the ability to show a “different” side of a business. May take a bit more creativity but businesses can persuade people to action with the emotion of visuals. They can still be designed with a “call to action” button just like other ads and will appear in Instagram users’ feed – just like Facebook ads are targeted.
Instagram advertising allows businesses to create ads using Facebook’s familiar Power Editor and Facebook Ads API platforms – you just need to specify an ad objective that supports Instagram. Businesses can create the ads to run on Instagram without an Instagram account….but it doesn’t make a lot of sense to do it without one, since sign up is easy. Once you sign up, you can connect your Instagram and Facebook accounts through Page settings – or to a Business Manager….but if you are going to use Instagram for yourself, best get used to using it from a mobile device (another reason why it is popular with teens).
The Instagram ads are still rolling out (started in September) and may not be available in every area – but it can take your advertising to a whole new level and it is sure worth keeping an eye on.
Something else you need to consider regarding more pictures / less text – certainly this means that other mainly “entertainment” sites (i.e. Pinterest) will come up with a good game soon.