Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, is one of the leading social media networks around the world. Over a billion people use the app to share and connect with others. Instagram was founded in 2010, and when Facebook bought Instagram in 2012, they were perfectly positioned to become the platform of inspirational content while Facebook centered around connecting with others. Instagram's mission is to bring you closer to the people and things you love. Instagram does that by letting you share photos and videos accompanied by a short text caption. You can follow friends, family, interesting people, brands, and businesses you want to hear from. You can also chat via direct message conversations. Instagram is widely used around the world. According to Hootsuite, 89 percent of the users are outside of the US. The countries that followed the US with the highest number of Instagram users includes: Brazil with 70 million, India with 69 million, Indonesia with 59 million, Russia with 40 million. In terms of gender, Instagram usage is pretty much evenly split with 52 percent women and 48 percent male users worldwide according to Hootsuite. Instagram is especially popular with younger users. A Pew Research Center survey conducted in early 2019, 72 percent of teens from the ages 13-17 said they use Instagram, compared to 69 percent for Snap chat and 51 percent for Facebook. This is especially relevant for companies or businesses looking to reach a younger audience. An eMarketer survey conducted in 2019, 73 percent of US teens report that Instagram is the best way for brands to reach them about new products or promotions. Instagram usage keeps growing. Two months after Instagram launched in 2010, the app had 1 million registered users and that number grew to 10 million in the first year. In June of 2018, Instagram reported that they reached 1 billion monthly users worldwide, and usage has kept growing since. Let's explore how people use Instagram, and what platform could mean for marketers. To start using Instagram, you simply download the app on your phone and you create an account. All you need to sign up is an email or a phone number. Then you create your profile with a picture and a short bio where you introduce yourself and you are ready to start sharing and connecting. You can upload photos or videos and share them with your community. You can edit your photos and videos directly from the app with the embedded filters. You can add captions and tag people and the location if you like. Then your image is ready to share and other users can see it in their feed. They can then like, comment and share the post. With your privacy settings, you can restrict who can follow you and see the photos and videos you've shared. You can also share images and videos to your Instagram story. Stories appear at the top of the feed and the content you share in your story disappears after 24 hours. Unlike posts shared in the feed, Instagram stories make use of the full mobile experience. You can add filters, stickers, and other fun interactive elements to create an immersive experience. If you want to share longer videos than 60 seconds on Instagram, you can use IGTV. You can access IGTV through its separate app or from it in Instagram. If you use the separate app, you will see videos from the accounts you follow. IGTV videos are shown in vertical format as it is a mobile first application. Live, is a way you can share a live video on Instagram. When you go live on Instagram, you can connect with your followers in real-time. People can tap your profile picture from their feed or go to your profile to join your live video. Once people are viewing your live video, they can leave comments, like, donate to your cause and share it. After you end your live video, you can add it to your IGTV where people can watch longer and full screen videos on your profile. Here we see an Instagram feed which consists of photos and videos from people, businesses and hashtags you follow. When you go to your Instagram profile or click on the home button, you will see your feed. If you just signed up for Instagram, your feed will be pretty empty. As you explore the app, you can add friends, family and businesses as well as other people you're passionate about. To find the accounts you want to follow on Instagram, you can search by specific topics or hashtags, location and account names. When you post on Instagram, you can accompany your posts with texts including a hashtag. Adding a hashtag categorizes your post as related to the topic that follows the hashtag. For instance, if I post this funny cat picture and I add the hashtag, #funnycats. This picture may come up in searches for funny cats. Another way to discover accounts to follow is through explore. Explore resurfaces trends as they emerge in real-time. Connecting you to events and conversations both near you and around the globe. Explore will also update depending on your activity on Instagram. Posts are selected automatically based on things like the people you follow or the posts you like. Now that you understand a little better at who's using Instagram, let's dive a bit deeper into how businesses can use Instagram for their marketing. People on Instagram want to dive deeper into their interests and discover new ones, they're eager to learn more, connect with the community and hear from the people and businesses that inspire them. In fact, in a survey commissioned by Facebook in November 2018, 83 percent of people surveyed said that they discover new products and services in Instagram. In addition to being a discovery Engine for brands, Instagram can also drive sales and advocacy. Eighty-one percent of people surveyed said that they researched products or services on Instagram, and 80 percent use Instagram to decide whether to buy a product or service. People discover products and services on Instagram while they browse their feed. Businesses can share photos and videos on Instagram and thus generate awareness and interests for their products. By sharing photos and videos, showing the behind the scenes of a business, or announcing new products or services or sharing customer testimonials, businesses can tell their story on Instagram. Instagram's visual nature allows businesses to be creative and showcase their personality. Instagram stories offers a unique way of sharing photos and videos, and another great opportunity for businesses to share more about their products or services with the Instagram community. The interactive features and Instagram stories allow the community to directly engage with the business. By using stickers, businesses can encourage people to engage with them directly, like prompt them for questions, poll them on their preferences, and let them send messages. Instagram also has features that are accessible only to business accounts, but the business account, you can include more information about your business and encouraged people to get in touch, you can add a link to your businesses website and include your businesses phone number, location, and email. From there, you can start accessing features that can help keep customers informed, manage direct messages more easily, learn how people interact with your content and be discovered by more people. Let's look at an example. Here is the Instagram account of Classy Claws a nail salon in Vancouver. They specialize in funky nails and they use their Instagram account to showcase the nails they've been working on, they give a behind the scenes look of their business while also celebrating their employees. They let people book appointments and message the salon through the app, let's listen to what Bee Lalli, owner of the salon has to say about that. "One of the things that's helped me build the brand that I built is really the ability in responding back to your direct messages on Instagram builds such a strong community. The people that you respond to start messaging you all the time and the amount of people that relate to my brand come through to my slide. Marketing myself through Instagram helped my business evolve from a table in the corner of my kitchen to Studio in Vancouver. Without the Instagram I would not have gained attraction, gained the clientele, gained the respect around the brand that I built." Here's another example, this time a much bigger company, restaurant chain, Chipotle. They use their Instagram account to share a mix of content related to their food with a funny twist. Many of the posts relate to their customers law for their burritos and taco plates. Posts includes news about promotions like disposed on national burrito day, and some posts encouraged people to tag a friend for a chance to have a free meal delivered to that friend. Chipotle also used Instagram live during the lock down for a guacamole making class with their executive chef. When you have a business account on Instagram, you can also start advertising. Advertising on Instagram makes it possible to reach audiences who might otherwise not see your posts. If you have a business account, you will see a promote button appear on your posts to turn your posts into an ads. When you promote a post, it will appear as a sponsored post in other people's Instagram stories or feed. In addition to creating ads on Instagram, you could also use Facebook tools to create ads that appear on Instagram. For instance, you can create ad campaigns in ads managers, ads managers provides comprehensive tools to create ads on Facebook and on Instagram. When businesses use ads manager, they get access to a large suite of creative options and opportunities to select the audience to reach better advertising message. It also comes with rich insights and optimization opportunities. We'll learn all about that later in this program. Let's look at an example of an ad campaign on Instagram by Clif Bar, focused on generating awareness for the new Clif Nut Butter filled and Fruit Smoothie Filled Products. Clif Bar used a series of 15-second ads in Instagram stories with a message high-end taste appeal like this one. The team showed these ads to people whose interests aligned with the characteristics of its core customers, health-conscious, active, and adventure seeking. The campaign resulted in significant lift in brand awareness and purchase intent. The visual nature of the Instagram platform and its users interest in discovery makes Instagram a very attractive platform for marketers. In this program, we will explore in a lot more depth how Instagram can feature in your social media marketing. Now, let's first look at another large but very different social media platform, LinkedIn.