Social Media 101: Instagram – Strengths & Weaknesses

What is Instagram?
Owned by Facebook, it’s quickly become the MOST popular platform for women and teens by a margin of 2 to 1 in terms of actual time spent daily. But across all demographics, it has a ridiculously high engagement rate, second only to Facebook. It also skews among younger demographics, so ideal for the teen to 20s market.

Those who are wary of Facebook have switched to Instagram, not knowing it’s actually one and the same.


  • Ease of posting across multiple platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.)
  • Being visually based, it enhanced the brand “lifestyle”, the “feel” of the item, person, place or event, especially when combined with video
  • Use of searchable hashtags, just like in twitter, as well as expression of feelings, jokes as such
    Ease of linkage to push traffic to websites
  • It naturally lends itself to social INTERACTION, whether it be just liking the photo or sending a message
  • Ease of rewarding followers for viewing and sharing pictures, by giving promo codes, discounts, etc.
  • Use of easy to use filters to make the photos unique, event stylized (like in a classic black and white format, or looking like an old Polaroid, etc.)
  • Direct Messaging (Instagram Direct) – instead of messaging to the world, you can message and even in a way engage in a picture conversation directly to only 15 users. Great for say supervisor to staff messages or exclusive messages to VIPs
  • Interaction can be measured through SumAll, Statigram, Gram Pro and such. It can even assign a score on the most interactive.
  • Naturally MOBILE. While you can see the pics on a computer, you can’t necessarily post from a computer. As such, the market that sees it will most likely be those who live and die by their phones. Best of all, these are people who are ALREADY used to being marketed to via their phones.
  • No Algorithm – your post today is treated like every other post. No one’s post is eliminated or ignored or blanked out (like in Twitter or FB where you get only a percentage of posts depending on the amount of interaction)
  • The videos are pretty simple to edit and produce. While only 15-20 seconds, there’s all sorts of great use for it such as:
  • Real estate tips (the rates are low, but the government might raise them so buy now!)
  • Behind the scenes
  • Product info (this widget does this…and now you know)
  • New products (announcing our new widget!)
  • Greetings (Hi, I’m this and I’m your new sales reps


  • Instagram still doesn’t use APIs that can be used for mass sharing – Hootsuite, Social Suite and such platforms can’t schedule in advance. UPDATE:
  • Thank you to Terrence Lo of Dream Communications for writing this as a featured Guest Blogger.

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