The Facebook Exodus: Part 1

Since the decline of Myspace in 2008, Facebook has been ruler of the social world. But as parents started arriving, the party fizzled out. As kids are always looking for the next big thing, Facebook fell by the wayside due to bothersome family members and increased brand-inspired content. But those under 24 are still on their phones all the time, so what social media sites are receiving their attention?

According to a survey by Piper Jaffray, or if you were to ask any youngster walking down the street, the new top social media site is Instagram. While Facebook was originally designed to be at home on a desktop and only later migrated to mobile applications, Instagram was born out of the smart phone revolution. This phone-dependent generation instantly fell in love (#instalove).

Looking at Instagram from a brand’s perspective, how can this platform be used to spread the word about your product or service? As of right now, it’s not possible for most companies to advertise directly to users, but there are still ways to reach your target demographic. And that’s through hashtags and engaging content.

There are two ways to use hashtags to your company’s advantage:

• Let’s say you use #PreWorkout in your photo’s description, your picture can be found by users who search for that hashtag and scroll through the results. If they use workout related hashtags as well, then you might show up in their Discover page.

• Another way hashtags can be advantageous is searching potential fans of your product based on the hashtags they use and following or reaching out to them.

Okay. So you have their attention. Now what’s going to get them to follow you and subsequently fall in love with your product?
Instagram content is different from past social media sites. Users demand quality content from whom they follow. Companies ranging from Nike and Fronto to Sharpie and EVA Air US have found creative ways to showcase their brands without badgering followers with constant Calls to Action. They use angles and lighting, combined with filters provided by the app, to create beautiful shots.

Nine out of ten American teenagers are on social media and the majority claim Instagram as their platform of choice. If your brand is geared towards this demographic, then an Instagram presence is a necessity for continued success. So pull out your smartphone, position your product in a way that would make Ansel Adams proud, and watch the followers come pouring in.

-Contributor: Sean McCarthy, Social Media Coordinator for Marketing Maven