Marketing Through Instagram and Twitter

What are the current best practices on two social media platforms of your choosing?

  • When building profiles or posting photos, what sizes and formats are ideal and why?
  • What should be included in a profile or identity?
  • If the platform supports many kinds of activity and posts, which are best used for what purposes?
  • What are the best times of day for posting, sharing, and communicating, in the absence of analytics data?
  • Should posts/exchanges be long or short? Images or no images?
  • What features should be employed? Geolocation? Tags? Mutual following? Others?
  • What other software or tools, if any, are considered “indispensable” by marketers or organizations that use them?

Social media is impacting the business world more and more each day.  Companies are analyzing ways to use social media in order to create strong marketing campaigns for their users, consumers, customers, etc.  Each social media platform is different and therefore offers different ways of communicating.  It is important to know what each platform has to offer when trying to market to your customers.  For this small study, I will be analyzing Instagram and Twitter.  For the fun purpose of this blog, I will be acting from the view point of the company Nike to breakdown different ways Instagram and Twitter can be used to market for this company.  

Instagram:

According to a quick Google search, “Instagram is a fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures. Snap a photo with your mobile phone, then choose a filter to transform the image into a memory to keep around forever.”  This does not necessarily mention anything related to business purposes, however a company like Nike can certainly market by Instagram. For Nike, Instagram can be a phenomenal marketing to post pictures of new, sale, and clearance items to get customers purchasing their products. 

Nike’s name on Instagram should simply be just Nike so it is easily recognizable by customers. In the bio section on Instagram, Nike can say something short about their company and provide a link to the company website.  This is actually what Nike really does.  In the bio it says Just Do It. (Nike’s slogan) with a like to http://www.nike.com.  

Posts for successful marketing on Instagram:

1. Show the actual products. This is obviously a great way to attract customers to purchases.  Seeing a picture of something new and exciting that they do not yet have is surely a way to get people buying products. 

2. Show what the products can do.  Posting picture with people running while wearing Nike sneakers, or someone playing basketball while wearing a Nike jersey reveals a sense of purpose for the product.  It can also make the customers feel like they will have a similar experience to the person in the picture when using/wearing Nike products.

3. Share celebrity uses.  If there are celebrities that use your product, posting picture to your company Instagram of celebrities using or wearing your products is sure to attract customers.  People will see celebrities wearing Nike products and will want to be more like them which will lead to purchases.  

4. Post inspirational pictures that have to do with your company and product.  This is done often on Nike’s Instagram through pictures of extreme mountain sports like snowboarding and skiing and pictures of people surfing massive waves.  These pictures are accompanied with captions like “Today’s resloution: find a new half-pipe.” or “Put your own spin on it.” with the hashtag #justdoit.  This is a way to inspire Nike customers to be the best they can be, and Nike is right there to provide them with the best equipment to do so.  

5. Go behind the scenes.  This is a unique marketing tool that can be awesomely expressed through pictures.  If Nike is doing a shoot for a magazine, or an interview with a famous athlete about Nike products, Nike can post a picture to Instagram of the behind the scenes aspect of these events.  This can increase customer interest to go and find the magazine article or research and watch the interview later on which again can lead to more sales for Nike.  

6. Make followers feel like they have first-hand knowledge. Give first notice of sales and new products through Instagram pictures.  Using promo-codes can be a great way to make customers feel like because they are following Nike on Instagram they have exclusive knowledge to sales and products.  

Many other ways to use Instagram for business can be found at: http://corp.wishpond.com/instagram-marketing-resources-for-businesses/10-creative-ways-to-use-instagram-for-business/

When deciding on what time to post would lead to the most future sales, it is important to think of who the audience/followers of the company are and what their day looks like.  For Nike, followers are probably high school, college, and young adult athletes.  Posting pictures to Instagram around 7AM would allow this group of people to see Nike’s posts before their days start at school or work.  This can entice them to make purchases during or after their work days.  Posting again around 3PM would be beneficial because that is when people’s school and work days are beginning to wind down and therefore they may be more able to get to a Nike store or order online in their free time.  

Geolocations should be used on the pictures if only certain Nike stores are holding sales.  This will let customers know which locations to get to.  Also, geolocations can be used in the types of picture like the mountains or waves mentioned above to let customers know where Nike has been.  

Because this is Instagram, posts consist of pictures with captions.  Pictures should be the main focus of the reason for posting such as a sale or new product launch, but brief captions with details about the picture can allow the customers to more closely understand what is going on within the company.  

Twitter:

According to a Google search of Twitter, it is “an online social networking and microblogging service that enables users to send and read short 140-character text messages, called “tweets”. Registered users can read and post tweets, but unregistered users can only read them.” This sounds a like it could be a bit more business oriented that Google’s description of Instagram.  For instance, Nike can use Twitter to post short statements about sales and products with links to their website. 

Posts for successful marketing on Twitter:

1. Post short statements about sales going on.  For Nike this could be something like “Get 10% when you spend $100 or more.”  This can be accompanied by a picture that reveals items offered in the stores.  

2. Post pictures of new and sale items in stores and online.  This allows customers to see what is being offered and a picture can create more interest that just a short Tweet about the products.  

3. Use hashtags in the posts to attract more people.  Although this can also be done on Instagram and Facebook, Twitter is most known for hashtags.  A post about a Nike sale can include hashtags like #justdoit, #salesfordays, #workhardtrainhard, among many others to attract more people who are interested in fitness products and sales.  

4. Promoted Tweets.  Promoted tweets are regular tweet made by the company that can be found on users’ timelines and search results.  They are bound to become more popular because they are one of the main marketing tools of twitter.  

5. Post short statements that cause the follower to want to know more, and share the company’s website.  This can be very helpful to get people to actually go to the company’s website which can cause them to browse the products and make purchases.  For Nike it could be something like “With these new running shoes you could be running like….www.nike.com.” This can then lead to a picture of an athlete on NIke’s website which will cause customers to be directly on the website.  

More business uses for Twitter can be found at:http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-use-twitter-for-business-and-marketing/ and https://business.twitter.com/products/promoted-tweets.  

Because people tweet more often than they post on Instagram, it is important to tweet a few times throughout the day to really catch the attention of your followers.  Posts in the morning hours from about 7AM to 9AM can cause people to begin their day thinking about your company.  With that said, it is necessary to post again because by the time people are done with school and work from the hours of about 3PM to 6PM they have scrolled through much more Twitter feed, which without any further posts could cause them to forget about your post in the morning.  One or two more posts throughout the day share the same content as the purpose of the original tweet will lead to more retention by followers and lead to more sales.  

Geolocations on Twitter should be used in similar ways to Instagram.  They should be used when only certain locations are holding sales or offering new products.  Furthermore, geolocations can be used to let followers know where representatives of the company have been.  

Twitter offers more of an involved response oriented social platform to communicate back and forth with followers and customers. Although Instagram allows people to comment on pictures, Twitter seems more possible to have a conversation.  This can allow customers to ask quick questions about products and they can be directed to the company website or someone who can further help them.  The companies can also retweet positive things their customers have said about their products and the company.  This shows that companies appreciate what their customers have to say which can build customer loyalty.  

Ultimately, there are many beneficial uses for marketing when using either Instagram or Twitter.  In fact, using both forms of social media would greatly benefit a company.  It allows them to reach to more people who have preferences over what type of social media they prefer.  When a person’s favorite company uses social media, it can create excitement for that person which in turn creates business for the company.  People can share posts, tag friends, and retweet tweets to create awareness of a company to their followers and friends.  There are many ways in which social platforms can enhance a company’s marketing department that is user friendly and successful; Instagram and Twitter are two great places to start.  

Social Media Means Business

When using many different social media platforms for business, it is essential that a company see how the posts on social media affects their audiences, guests, customers, users, etc.  It is much more than just how many likes something gets’ it’s what those likes mean and if they actually connect the customer to the company.  Avanish Koshik, author of the article titled Best Social Media Metric: Conversation, Amplification, Applause, Economic Value, writes of important ways that companies can track their presence and success on social media.  For instance, Koshik mentions the importance of conversation rate.  Conversation Rate = the number of audience comments per post.  Conversation rate can be measure on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google Plus, etc.  “A high conversation rate requires a deeper understanding of who your audience is, what your brand attributes are, what you are good at, what value you can add to your followers and the ecosystem you participate in.” It is important to analyze what people are responding to your company’s posts and what they are saying about your brand.  Furthermore, Koshik explains amplification, which is the rate at which your followers take your content and share it through their network.  It is said that amplification is measured differently across the different platforms: Twitter: Amplification = Number of Retweets Per Tweet; Youtube: Amplification = Number of Share Clicks Per Video; etc.  This allows a company measure what types of content cause the highest amplification success; it is important at this time to take in consideration which areas of the world are sharing what and how certain posts affect certain demographics.  Koshik even created this thing called the applause rate.  On Twitter the Applause Rate = Number of Likes Per Post; on Youtube the Applause Rate = Number of +1s Per Video. This is crucial to understand what appeals to your audiences.  If you upload a picture of a sale going on at your company to Instagram and 27,000 people like it, that most likely means that people love sales! Lastly, economic value is mentioned, which is basically the fundamental use for companies to use social media platforms to spread information about their business/product/services.  Economic Value = Sum of Short and Long Term Revenue and Cost Savings.  “Social media participation done right, adds value to the company’s bottom-line.”  This is very important for companies to measure and manage.  Koshik recommends using Google Analytics, Omniture, CoreIBMInsights, WebTrends, etc. to measure the economic benefit (or loss – but no company wants that) that the use of social media can create.  One of the Human Resources Professionals from New York City’s 21 Club came into my Food & Beverage class about two weeks ago.  She mentioned how her companies monitors their success on social media by using something like a code given out on a social platform that says something like “20% off if you mention this code at your table.”  This can be used to see how many people are actually taking advantage of what companies offer throughout social media.  The 20% off post may have gotten 1500 likes, but only 350 people came in and actually used the code to receive 20% off.  This is another way that companies can monitor the success of their posts. Not only is it very important that companies spend time monitoring the success of their posts, but they must make sure that their posts are so enticing, vibrant, eye-catching, so that they really capture the attention of their users.  In the article, The Social Media Reader, it says “As social media becomes increasingly pervasive in everyday life, more and more people will be overwhelmed by the information surrounding them. And they will have to make choices. Networked technologies allow us to extend our reach, to connect across space and time, to find people with shared interests and gather en masse for social and political purposes. But time and attention are scarce resources.” Because time and attention are scarce resources, companies must strategize their posts so that they create positive attention and receive interest from the guest, customers, and users of the companies’ products.  Ultimately, success on social media can be measured by many of the ways mention above.  Companies that are spending time and money using social media to market to their costumers really must spend the time analyzing their posts, likes, shares, reach, views, etc. to measure the profitability that social media is bringing to their companies.

http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/best-social-media-metrics-conversation-amplification-applause-economic-value/

https://archive.org/stream/TheSocialMediaReader/Mandiberg-theSocialMediaReader-cc-by-sa-nc_djvu.txt