Published: 17/11/2015 | AUTHOR: Emily Bray
Instagram has become the most influential social marketing tool, driving more sales and consumer actions than any other form of social media.
Overtaking the likes of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, it’s secured a loyal and dedicated following, where users sincerely trust the views of influencers on the platform.
The success of social
It’s no secret that social media is used by the public to inform their buying decisions, with both paid and organic showing positive results. Paid ads are a great way of getting your brand out there, ensuring it’s visible across a range of channels, whereas organic social media content is an effective way of really engaging with your audience. Put together, the two form a strong, integrated social strategy.
The research, commissioned by Instagram app Takumi, found that Instagram is a hugely influential tool, with 54% of respondents saying they bought products after seeing them on the platform.
What’s most interesting however, is that the findings suggest that the biggest influencer is still word of mouth. Of the 15 biggest influencers on consumer behavior, the research found that friends and family have more influence than social media, television and celebrity endorsement.
The research also found that 68% of 18-24 year-olds are more likely to make a purchase if it’s shared by someone they follow on Instagram. This can then filter down to word of mouth, whereby an Instagram user recommends the product to family and friends.
So while social media is not as effective as word of mouth yet, if it can go on to influence conversations it has a far greater reach than previously measured.
A study by Neilsen conducted earlier this year found that traditional methods of advertising are seeing a decline in trust, and reiterated that a recommendation from friends is still the most credible form of influence. Advertising formats such as TV, radio and editorial have all seen a drop in consumer trust, while adverts on social media and mobile ads have all seen an increase.
Here at JJ, we’ve seen the results of social media marketing skyrocket in recent years, with various platforms performing especially well for various sectors. Instagram’s popularity, which has boomed in recent years, has opened completely new avenues for marketers and the platform is acknowledging this by introducing its new Partner Progam to ‘help businesses grow on Instagram’.
Social media’s success can largely be put down to three factors:
1. The worldwide connection
2. Real-time information
3. The fun, community element that comes with it
As a community, social media gains trust and it’s this community element that sees brands do so well by speaking more directly to their audience and expressing brand tone and awareness in a way they never could before.
We’ve helped countless businesses analyse their social media strategy and make informed decisions about what platforms they should be using to their advantage and this latest research highlights just how important it is to consider which platform is right for your business.
Follow the JJ’ers on Instagram to find out more about what we’re up to and, if this article has got you thinking about your own social media offering, we’d love to have a chat.