Every social media platform has a reason for its existence:
Facebook – Friends & Family
Twitter – Commentary about the world
Linkedin – Recruitment
Instagram – Image-based stories
No matter how hard a given platform tries to change this perception, it cannot budge us, the users from what we perceive the purpose of the platform to be. Facebook has tried many times, by adding a marketplace, job advertising and ‘meaningful groups’, but it doesn’t really work, does it? We just want to hang out on Facebook and talk nonsense, job done.
Speaking of nonsense, did you see the latest iteration and redesign of the Twitter app? The purpose is super confusing to their user base, an exact match to Twitter’s own internal challenges, confusion. I imagine their culture is lots of stressed out people sitting around a whiteboard trying to come up with ideas: “Maybe if we finally add a love heart instead of a Like… Oh, Facebook added lots of ‘Like’ variations? Ok, let’s wait a few years before we adapt”. Trump is saving their butts with his maniacal Tweets.
Linkedin is what it is; Microsoft is driving out what value it once had (not much) to sell more advertising, and that’s more via their user algorithm, so its purpose will always be only so-so. One of those ‘we just have to do it’ social media channels.
The reason change is hard for these platforms is because of us! Aren’t we terrible, we users?
Not really; I think we are awesome! You see, social media is like everything we do in life; our brain attaches an understanding of what to use something for and when. It then creates a habit and voila! You have assigned purpose to something; it now has a cognitive pattern of what to use it for. Millions of us feel the same and we all start doing the same kinda stuff. That’s why change is hard for everything; we humans don’t like change. This is why Instagram is such a powerful beast.
They started up as a picture sharing platform,but have you ever considered what a picture is?
It’s how we think.
It’s how our imagination works.
If I ask, “Tell me what you did on Friday night?”, what will come to mind is the visual memory of what you actually did.
This is where the art of telling stories through images works incredibly well, as it connects to your subconscious, to your feelings, to your way of thinking. Instagram is THE place for imagery. Whilst you can post images on Twitter (but we don’t really) and indeed I like many others post pictures on Facebook (life and personal stuff mainly), Instagram has ringfenced itself as the go-to place for images and everywhere else is a secondary consideration.
Why Instagram is sooooooo Powerful
As we just covered, what makes Instagram such a strong platform is all about how our brain works and even better is what people post on Instagram; there are no news channels on there sharing pictures from wars or tragedy or death, it’s like a fear-free zone.
If we aren’t being sold fear and made to feel bad about the world we live in, what’s left?
Food, life, happiness, nature, travel, consumption and fashion!
That is what’s winning; you have photographer’s shots like this from Bali:
Post by pilotmadeleine
Endless food from Italy:
Post by infinityfood_com
And the biggest winner for me is the rise of the influencer blogger and brands, people like:
Post by styledomination
Instagram is winning because you can find anything you like, posted by people who have a sway and rep their particular expertise really well. Like all social media, it is about math. The math for Instagram is hashtags and followers; you can achieve both based on the quality of the story you tell. It begins and ends with images.
For companies, you are missing out in two ways if Instagram is not a priority:
- You are not telling your story in the simplest way to connect with the minds of your marketplace.
- The opportunity to leverage influencers who tell your story for you, to their audience.
It’s a huge revenue potential win! Big brands and small brands win from this; BooHoo have been crushing it. The power of influencer marketing is going to grow and grow; Instagram is THE place for lifestyle storytelling.