The power of social networks: a new kind of marketing found on Instagram
In the last two years, social networking sites, due to their easy access through mobile apps have taken over the generation. A lot of people have started their own business or have exceeded sales due to their presence on these sites. Brands who ‘crack’ Instagram see a significant increase in their sales, as it becomes a sort of window-shopping done from the warmth of the consumer’s bed. You can literally sell an item through a good picture. The Newsday newspaper even spoke of an Instagrammer who uploaded a picture of a customer from her salon wearing their extensions, which went viral and led her to build many more customers.
The simple app that allows you to upload pictures and ‘like’ other users pictures. The number of daily Instagram users is 75 million! Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, who went on to sell Instagram to Facebook for $1 billion in 2012, found the app in 2010. Since then it has increased in its workers, showing its expansion. Certain aspects of the application give it power in gaining support and followers. The power of hash tagging along with a convincing caption can really launch an individual or a business, the hash tag allows users to search certain words so that your picture would come up. For example many fashion bloggers like to hash tag ‘OOTD’ which sands for ‘outfit of the day’ once this is searched, thousands of images with fashion outfits will come up. In terms of business, this is very convenient, for example a popular account ‘Bahirahboutique’ has around 35, 445 followers. They sell Asian clothes for weddings and party wear. Through Instagram they were able to gain even more recognition, and therefore boost sales.
By typing OOTD on Instagram search 35, 646,713 posts came up for this hash tag alone. I proceeded to search for Asian clothes, and with this 21, 213 posts appeared. From this I scrolled on to a picture of a dress that caught my eye, by Goludesigner located in Birmingham. See how simple it is to access these businesses? In a few steps, consumers are able to access and view exactly what they are searching for. Even individuals who want a bit of income and profit have used the social network platform to launch their talents. Arabic calligraphy artist Sarosh Arif whom I again found through the hash tag sells and advertises the canvas designs having even launched a website for the art. Instagram is a massive growing platform used to reach audiences, who are in majority the youth.
Charities are also benefitting in raising awareness and donations through Instagram, people posted images for example of the ‘Cakesforsyria’ campaign during Ramadan, in which they order a cake and the money goes towards Syrians in need. When they post the image of the cake it gains recognition through captions and hash tags, allowing more people to follow the trend.
With the easy access and the generation’s attention span itching for something more ‘in your face’ to avoid using much effort, Instagram is the way forward to reach audiences at the tap of a finger. When brands and companies develop the ability to use Instagram a certain way, I am sure they will be able to reach a wider level of people, much like those who have started selling and advertising their products online.