10 Reasons Why Instagram is the Best Social Media Platform for Brands

    1. Instagram has 300 Million current users, and the growth rate is staggering, considering their population was just 100 million in February 2013.

    2. The photo sharing app has basically no gender skew, which means there is an equal balance of male and female users.

    3. Instagram is the only platform where everything a brand posts will show up in the follower’s newsfeed. There’s no requirement to “boost” a post in order to be seen.

    4. On average, smartphone users spend almost three hours on their phone each day. Instagram is the only mobile-focused social media platform and claims a lot of that time users spend scrolling through their smartphone.

    5. Instagram allows brands the freedom to display their personality in a visual way, which means the creative possibilities are endless.

    6. By accumulating loyal followers, a brand has the opportunity to interact with followers on a day-to day-basis to build brand loyalty and increase brand liking.

    7. Like Twitter and Facebook, Instagram provides a platform to “pepper witty, relevant pop culture references” in real time for followers.

    8. Instagram offers native advertising, but if you choose to use this, be sure your brand understands how to create organic original content that will blend in with user’s normal newsfeed.

    9. Instagram recently made an effort to clean out fake accounts in order to keep Instagram “authentic.” This is important, because users will trust that the number of followers a brand has is real, not boosted by fake accounts. Also, Instagram verifies brand and public figure accounts. This can be used to ensure that the brand’s image is not misrepresented.

    10. According to an intelligence report by L2, “1/3 of brands posting over 20 times a week maintain above average engagement, dispelling the notion that size is negatively correlated with engagement.” The report also found that the posts that receive the most engagement are lifestyle posts.

Internet Radio and the YAYA Consumer

In 2014, digital music downloads and subscriptions surpassed CD sales for the first time, according to The Wall Street Journal. It’s no secret that marketers know they can find the elusive, tech-savvy millennial generation on these platforms. Spotify, Pandora and other music aggregates are drawing in millennials across the world, but one question that remains: how impactful is this platform for targeting 18- to 24-year-olds?

According to AdWeek, Spotify recently launched playlist targeting that amasses like-minded listeners for advertisers. Similarly, iHeartMedia launched a programmatic marketplace for advertisers to buy radio spots, while consolidating local radio stations to harness a national reach. Pandora is also offering brands the opportunity to programmatically buy based on specific demographics. These new advances only improve efficiency in brands’ reach.

18- to 24-year-olds are the most predominant age group of Spotify users, according to Statista. That fact alone is compelling for advertisers hoping to reach this demographic. For students of this age group, however, Spotify offers premium listening for a discounted price of more half the regular monthly subscription cost. In addition, other Internet radio sources, such as SoundCloud and 8tracks, offer listening with little to no advertising. Knowing this, it’s hard to ignore that a significant portion of YAYA consumers may not even receive messaging at all.

Currently, the majority of Internet radio users take advantage of sponsored listening rather than ad-free premium subscriptions. Of the free Internet radio users who are between the ages of 18 and 24, 54% had a positive response and 32% can remember at least one of the ads, according to Mintel. When comparing terrestrial radio, 58% had a positive response, but only 28% could remember at least on the ads. With terrestrial radio, they were also less likely to discover new products or services they would like to try.

Coupled with Internet radio’s large user base and sophisticated demographic targeting ability, it’s safe to say that it is a useful vehicle for delivering messaging. Although Internet radio is more effective than terrestrial radio, the amount of 18- to 24-year-olds with ad-free radio subscriptions is concerning to brands. As proven by our State of the YAYA report, YAYA consumers want to be spoken with rather than spoken to. To accommodate this desire, branded playlists and banner ads can create a friendly relationship with 18- to 24-year-olds by allowing them to enjoy their favorite playlist without disturbances.