Summary

19 November 2016 – Choice of Topic

20 November 2016 – Decision + Research

30 November 2016 – Dilemma (Who to choose?)

2 December 2016 – UX Designer

5 December 2016 – Social Media User Experience

6 December 2016 – Another Thoughts on This Topic

7 December 2016 – Instagram

9 December 2016 – Instagram For Marketing Purpose

12 December 2016 – Demographic on Instagram Users

15 December 2016 – Marketing On Instagram

18 December 2016 – Advantages of Marketing on Instagram

Through the days, I’ve research on UX Designer VS normal Internet User in the beginning. Even though I did some studies on UX Design, however I found out there was certain parts of it still tricky to me. During the half way of my research, another thought came to my mind was Brands VS Consumers on Instagram. It’s something more commercial and I feel more comfortable on doing research on it. I found there is brunch of possibilities and aspects to do comparison between Brands and Consumers.

For example, brands launched their promotion in a limited duration, brands will update the news by adding a photo in their profile feeds. Consumers will get the news if they “follow them”  Instagram. Hence news would spreads as fast as possible throughout Instagram. Consumers get to start their “Shopping Journal”, they are able to purchase goods in cheaper price. In the other hands, sellers gain benefits too since they can clear stocks and also raise their monthly/ yearly sales. (Win Win Effects)

Hence, in my essay, I will go deep in different aspects of Instagram on how it affect the brands in their marketing and how does it affects consumers on Instagram.

Brands VS Consumers on Instagram

  • Reason why Instagram attracting people (what cause the giant raise users of Instagram in these years) -therefore marketers aims Instagram as a good marketing platform.
  • Brands before and after Instagram -using Instagram stories/ ads/ videos (bring out the sale?)
  • What hashtag usually used by brands and consumers? (what is the purpose of using hashtag on Instagram, in order to gain what?)

Advantages of Marketing on Instagram

Business online constantly increase this is due to many marketer are starting to brand and communicate visually with their followers and customers through social media platform. Through my research, I found out through Instagram, brands can achieve countless benefits if they marketing well on Instagram. So, now lets’s look at the benefits below:

Increased Engagement

Marketers have to activate their Instagram accounts by updating meaningful and engaging contents. By this way, high levels of engagement with your target audience will be achieved. According to the study by Forrester, it uncovered that Instagram content generates 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more than Twitter since Instagram is a photo-sharing based platform, people are normally attracted by visual at first rather than text.

Starbucks is the brand that always share interesting image on Instagram.

Almondmilk is now in all our US stores. Cue the almond fireworks! 🙌🎆🙌

A post shared by Starbucks Coffee ☕ (@starbucks) on

Welcoming a new little Café to the Gingerbread House block. #GingerbreadHouse #GingerbreadCafe

A post shared by Starbucks Coffee ☕ (@starbucks) on

 

Catch your Target Audiences

If you’re targeting people born from 1980 to the early 1990s (the so called millennial) then Instagram would be the most suitable social media channel for you to target your audience.

From my previous, I’ve found out that Instagram is the place full with millennial (people who born from 1980-1990s). Most of them are young, love to shop, and mostly woman. Therefore, they are the biggest target audience in Instagram. H&M is a mass-market brand of great appeal on this social media platform. It is the best example of brand who successful get their target audiences on Instagram.

Warm, soft & sweet = perfect #gifts! 👌🏾🌟 #HM❤️

A post shared by H&M (@hm) on

Building Trust And Personality

Instagram can help you build trust and increase brand awareness. Emotional connection between sellers and their audience can be build through Instagram. On Instagram, there’s no limits for users to share photos, it allows them to update and activate their profiles day by day. Since Instagram is a visually social media platform, therefore business can be continue going on in a casual way, that’s why Instagram users always state that it is so user friendly. User friendly is also the reason makes Instagram so much well-liked.

Here is some of the benefits of using Instagram for marketing purpose. From this entry, I actually found out there is manifold profits of having business via social media. In my essays, I will go deep into these benefits and continue doing research on it (get some brands as example and talk about why they are so successful on Instagram). Or maybe there’s also numerous disadvantages on Instagram business?

Istvanova, L. (2014) 6 Benefits of Using Instagram For Your Business. knoozai. [Online] Available at: https://www.koozai.com/blog/social-media/6-key-benefits-using-instagram-business/ Accessed at: 18 December 2016]

 

Marketing on Instagram

Instagram with photo and video sharing features help brands drive reach and engagement. There are 70 millions of users on Instagram and almost 70 million photos will be posted/shared by them. In order to connect target audiences to products, Instagram might be the best choice for brand to carry out their business. Do you now why?

  • Hashtags

Let’s use Nike as example in this situation since Nike is Instagram’s most popular brand. Nike buyers used to snap a photo of Nike after purchase and uploaded it to Instagram. With the post, they are able to use hashtag (#nike) to highlight Nike’s product in context. Hashtag #nike has been used more than 41 million times by Instagram users. With hashtag, it indirectly helped the brand progress to global community. With the help of marketing tools on Instagram, Nike successfully gain more than 14 million of followers.

  • InstaMeet

InstaMeet is to gather Instagrammers around the globe to take photos and post to Instagram. Instagram provided an example of how brands can take advantage of the event. For example, Shoe company, Toms and Los Angeles-based photographer, Pete Halvorsen joined this event. Hence, they are able to directly engage with consumers.

  • It’s important to make your event feel like a normal meet-up. Pick a photogenic place that’s easy to access.
  • Focus not just on photography, but on giving back in some way. Be a brand that supports the community by playing a subtle role and not overpowering with your message.
  • Have an experienced community member run your InstaMeet to create an authentic experience and voice that people trust.

  • Branded ads

Instagram also provide channel which can used by brands as a strategy to mimic large-scale video campaigns. These features are an effective way for brands to generate consumer interest and engagement. For example, Ben & Jerry’s Instagram ad, used to to spread awareness of its new Anchorman inspired Scotchy Scotch Scotch flavour. After the ads released on Instagram, they achieved 9.8m followers and 33-point increase in ad recall.

  • Carousel ads

Instagram’s carousel ads provide users with multi-page print ad that strategically highlight a brand’s products. Users can swipe left to see the for additional pictures and link to website of the brand was provided too. As a consequence, users are able to immediately purchase featured item that they like the most whereas brands can telling their stories in a more flexible way through carousel ads.

  • Video ads 

Since Instagram with video upload feature, hence many brands started to upload video ads to attract their consumers. Instagram video ads provide maximum 15-second spots tease potential consumers with branded information.

For instance,  GAP comes out with a video contains micro-series of 12 videos. The storyline of the video is about a strange love story evocative of spring’s unpredictable nature. In the video, it shows Gap clothing and encouraged viewers to purchase.

Sybydlo, B. (2015) Marketers, Stop Hesitating and Start Embracing Instagram. MarketingProfs. [Online] Available at: http://www.marketingprofs.com/opinions/2015/28071/marketers-stop-hesitating-and-start-embracing-instagram [Accessed at: 15 December 2016]

Cohen, D. (2015) How Brands Can Take Part in Worldwide InstaMeet 11. Social Times. [Online] Available at: http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/toms-pete-halvorsen-worldwide-instameet-11/617267 [Accessed at: 15 December 2016]

Ratcliff, C. (2015) How brands are using Instagram ads. Econsultancy. [Online] Available at: https://econsultancy.com/blog/66689-how-brands-are-using-instagram-ads/[Accessed at: 15 December 2016]

Demographic of Instagram users

 

Based on the research on last post, the study uncovered that the number of brands active on Instagram getting more and more in these years. Instagram became the hottest apps for marketing agencies since it’s user friendly and fulfilled needs of business.

Demographic of Instagram users:

  • Young
  • Educated
  • Like to shop
  • Mostly woman

Marketers stated that most of buyers from Instagram are younger than 30. According to Pew Research study, 55% of Instagram users are in the age between 18-29 year olds. Followed by 28% of 30-49 years old and 11% of 50-64 years old. Therefore, marketers also set ‘young’ and ‘woman’ as their target audience.

For example, trendy women’s apparels or snacks foods like chocolate, cookies, cakes and pastries which can easily catch their eyes. There was a post that posted by H&M on Instagram can be a good example in this situation. A photo with mint ice cream coloured dress in an ice cream cone with caption “Tomorrow we can eat broccoli, but today is for ice cream!” and add on hashtag #nationalicecreamday and #HM (Fashion brand) received around 192,000 likes.  (Ice cream + Dress) which can attract women’s attention the most.

Furthermore, Instagram reveals that most of the users like to shop. Users would like to share their daily life stuffs such as what they’ve eat today, what they bought from somewhere, what they’ve received from someone else and so on by uploading photos of them. They would like to share product photos with their followers, comment each others’ post or double tap on the photo (like) in order to have interaction with their friends. On Instagram, marketers always have to come out with some methods in order to gain more followers which can help to boast up their sales. So basically, marketers would carry out some online activities such as “contests” and “giveaways”, they purposely want to win more followers. Some of the Instagram users follow the brand are just because they like the brand whereas some of them follow the brand is just to take advantage of giveaways.

Harris, M (2016) Marketing with Instagram, the Fastest Growing Social Platform! Medium Well. [Online] Available at: http://mediumwell.com/marketing-instagram/ [Accessed at: 11 December 2016]

Delzio, S (2015) New Research Reveals Instagram Users Like to Shop. Social Media Examiner. [Online] Available at: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/instagram-users-like-to-shop/ [Accessed at: 12 December 2016]

Parker, S (2016) Top Instagram Demographics That Matter to Social Media Marketers. Hootsuite. [Online] Available at: https://blog.hootsuite.com/instagram-demographics/ [Accessed at: 12 December 2016]

Instagram for Marketing Purposes

Nowadays people mostly can’t live without mobile devices since Internet is overwhelming for many people. Social media penetration worldwide is getting bigger all the time. Social media getting more welcome to many users, therefore social media users are expected to grow enormously in the coming years. Due to huge number of social media users, it leads to numerous brands begin to target their audiences in social media.

Bar chart below shows that the percentage growth rate of US companies use social media for marketing purpose increase  year over year.

“Now that Instagram is opening up advertising to all businesses, it’s not surprising that marketer usage will grow rapidly. ” -Debra Aho Williamson

Obviously, social media is a good platform for advertising business. Based on research, Twitter and Instagram are the social media which mainly used by US Companies. eMarketer carry out an investigation on marketers use Twitter and Instagram for marketing purpose. Linear graph below shows that while the amount of marketers using Twitter staying unchanged throughout the years, Instagram has became a potential marketing media for brands, the number of US companies which marketed their business through Instagram was predicted to reach about 70.7% in 2017, almost 7 times since 2013.

Besides, according to Simply Measured, researches have been carried out an examination on how many brands use Instagram for marketing purpose. The study found that there are 17 different industries used Instagram as marketing channel and successfully gained 130 million plus users on Instagram. Bar chart below shows that, in 2015, 90% of top 100 brands in the world have their Instagram account, and 80% of them mostly active on Instagram.

screen-shot-2015-12-08-at-9-19-48-am

eMarketer. (2016) Number of Companies Using Instagram To Nearly Double Next Year. [Online] Available at: https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Number-of-Companies-Using-Instagram-Nearly-Double-Next-Year/1013122  [Accessed at: 9 December 2016]

Shirvely, K. (2015) The 2015 Instagram Industry Report. Simply Measured. [Online] Available at: http://simplymeasured.com/blog/the-2015-instagram-industry-report/#sm.0001uza83clp8f38spk1p66xaomut  [Accessed at: 9 December 2016]

Instagram

Instagram

An introduce to Instagram

Instagram is a social networking app which main for photos and video sharing platform. It allow users take a picture directly or import from photo album gallery on smartphone. Instagram similar to Facebook or Twitter, once you sign up, you will have your own profile and a news feed. Users can connect their existing Facebook account as “log in with Facebook” to sign up in Instagram. Thus, all they need is just a username with a password. This is quite convenient to connect other social media platform.

People update their Instagram profile by posting photos. Before posting, Instagram provide brunch of filters to let users enhance and edit their photo. Other than sharing photos, users can also filming video through Instagram or uploaded from mobile. Instagram videos up to one full minute in length. It used to be everybody’s favourite mobile photo sharing app. For me, I actually found out that Instagram can considered as habit-forming. After I posted a photo, I find myself always check notification of Instagram every couple minutes, it force me to reloading who has liked my latest post.

filter
Besides brunch of filters option, Instagram also provide editing effects that allow users to edit adjustments, brightness, contrast and structure.

Using Instagram as a Social Network

As you can see, Instagram is a powerful social network that is only getting stronger. There is something called “Followers” and “Following” on Instagram user profile which represents how many people follow by them and how many other users are following them. In order to have a communication or interaction with someone, user is able to like others’ pictures, comment on pictures or follow them.

In 2016, Instagram launches “Instagram stories” that works exactly like Snapchat Stories, it allow users to record video and photos and share it on stories. Those videos and photos are only temporarily which last 24-hour. So, it means whatever user had posted on stories will disappear after one day. It also allows users to decorate their photos with drawings, text, emoji and colour filters.

instagram-stories1

Kelvin Systrom, the co-founder and CEO of Instagram briefly explains why Instagram launch a new function- Instagram Stories.

Systrom explains that “It basically solves a problem for all these people who want to take a ton of photos of an event or something in their lives, but want to manage what their profile looks like and not bomb feed, obviously, as that’s one of the no-nos on Instagram.”

no-nos =  Something unacceptable or impermissible 

Therefore, with Instagram Stories, users of Instagram getting more active than before. They spend more time on it just to record what they’re doing and share it to their followers. As a result,  this enable users to reply to someone’s stories. By this way, both of them can be keep in touch since nowadays there is a couple of people using social media to stay in touch or reconnected with somebody else.

Furthermore, Instagram stories also provide “Boomerangs”. This is much convenient for Instagram users since they no need to go somewhere else to make Boomerangs. It is available in Instagram Stories now. It sounds like to “kill two birds with one stone”.

Besides, users can also mention someone they’d like to want to share with in their stories by typing “@”, followed by a username. Someone who’re mentioned in someone’s else story will receive a notification in Direct.

Instagram introduces “Stories” have been used to represent a world where every social apps merged into one. In these recent years, the number of Instagram active users increase continuously. It has become one of the most popular social networks worldwide. Except sharing daily life photos such as selfies, food, landscapes, what do other people  share about on Instagram? In the next post, I will share about my research on some brands that use Instagram to carry out their business.

Moreau, E. (2016) What Is Instagram, Anyway? Lifewire. [Online] Available at: https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-instagram-3486316 [Accessed at: 7 December 2016]

Constine, J. (2016) Instagram launches “Stories,” a Snapchatty feature for imperfect sharing. Techchruch. [Online] Available at: https://techcrunch.com/2016/08/02/instagram-stories/ [Accessed at: 7 December 2016]

 

Another thoughts on this topic

Besides focus on UX designer, I found out that “brands” are also one of the communities which are good in doing comparison with normal internet users. Since online shopping is normal as usual in nowadays. Especially on social media such as Instagram which they used to promote their brands and sell their stuffs. In comparison and contrasting between brands with normal internet users on social media could be an interesting controversial issue. First idea come to my mind is there is a lot of brands use social media as a powerful marketing medium, especially advertising. They have to pick a right channel and think about idea to promote their brands according to the channel. For example, most of trendy brands are active on Facebook and Instagram. I intentionally focus on Instagram since besides those big brands, there are still a lot of normal users active on Instagram. Most of them mostly share about their daily life moments, what they have been come across today, their thoughts and express them through photos and videos.

I would like to do more research on Instagram, well-known brands which are active on Instagram and also online marketing strategies on Instagram in the following posts. Hope I am able to dig deeper and deeper to find out more information and gain more knowledge about them.