Social media marketing is something that business owners should not overlook these days; however, not all social networks offer the same advantages when it comes to branding opportunities.
For many years, Facebook and Twitter stood as the best networks for marketing and advertising. By 2015, photo and video sharing network Instagram overtook Twitter in terms of active followers; this announcement prompted parent company Facebook to improve the account options for business users.
These days, Instagram offers the best branding experience for business owners and managers, particularly for those that operate in the retail sector. Business accounts get a full set of analytics and insights that allow them to see how their posts are performing, and the Sponsored Stories option works even better than on Facebook due to the greater amount of engagement.
One of the reasons Instagram has become a great network for branding is that users have transformed the hashtag system into a powerful directory of interests that is fully searchable and dynamic. Another reason is that the network decided to extend the length of its video sharing option from 15 seconds to one minute. Some brands are already taking advantage of this new length by creating a long Facebook Live video and editing it down to 60 seconds to share on Instagram.
In terms of competition, the youth-oriented social network Snapchat has been quickly gaining greater market share, and this is something that Instagram has reacted to with the launch of Instagram Stories. Similar to Snapchat, Instagram Stories allow brands to put together a slideshow that combines photos with video to create a more engaging advertisement.