It’s no secret that golfers are uniquely devoted to their sport. They’ll make all kinds of sacrifices to get in a full round of golf over the weekend or whenever they can squeeze it in, making the addicted golfer a stock character of bad sitcoms.
But the obsession doesn’t only stay on the course. Golfers love talking about the game, watching the game, and carefully planning their next equipment purchase. Golfers even love looking at golf. Instagram and other social media platforms are full of accounts that post pictures of beautiful golf courses, and one of these accounts has over 25,000 followers.
But you don’t have to be a big-name brand to get a cult following on Instagram. In fact, the golf industry is a particularly excellent one for Instagram because of the game’s visual appeal and the sport’s passionate fans; people don’t just like golf. When they love it, they can’t get enough of it. That makes Instagram a great place to keep their attention in between their tee times, with #droolworthy photos that subconsciously (and consciously) leave them clamoring through to schedule the next one.
Just take a look at Riverside Country Club, only a few miles away from our headquarters in Provo, Utah. They have 3,624 followers, and they do it all by using a few of the tricks you’ll find in this book.
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For the last fifteen years, Facebook has ruled as the king of social media. Despite stiff competition from Instagram (whom they later bought out), Twitter, and Snapchat, they still maintain 1.1 billion active users per day just on mobile devices. And while Facebook still owns the lion’s share of social media attention, it seems to be slowly losing its grip on the marketplace.
This past year, it’s subsidiary Instagram surpassed 1 billion users, the majority of whom are millennials, and it’s showing no signs of stopping in terms of customer acquisition. During the same period, Facebook’s stocks dropped to an all-time low for recent histories, largely due to customer privacy issues.
Now, stock price obviously isn’t the same as a company’s success or use—Facebook continues to add millions of new users every day. But the numbers don’t lie: Instagram is quickly becoming more liked and used by everyone. And despite its initial insistence on being a platform for sharing creativity with friends, it has quickly become a major marketing platform.
Who, exactly, is using Instagram?
Instagram is gaining so many users, where are they all coming from? And who’s using it? The Pew Research Center recently published their findings on social media demographics, and the results are a little surprising.
Initially, Instagram gained a reputation for being a platform for artistic, creative, and adventurous millennial. As its gotten older, it's obviously maintained a very young demographic, which might make it seem like a poor platform for marketing and outreach. However, 32% of all Internet users are on Instagram, making the platform an absolutely essential part of the social media landscape.
Why people are going to Instagram
We’ve established that a lot of people are using Instagram especially tech-savvy millennials. But what’s drawing them? Forbes magazine offered the following explanations for Instagram’s irresistible pull:
Mobile functionality. 75% of Americans own smartphones and spend 2 ½ hours per day in apps on their phone. Instagram has always been a mobile-only platform, and its friendliness to on-the-go editing and creation has always helped it to stay true (or close to true) to its original mission to create real, in-the-moment experiences to share with friends.
Visual nature. The human brain shows a strong preference for processing information through sight, which is why visual marketing has taken such a strong uptick in recent years. Instagram’s infinite-scrolling feed is made to prioritize beautiful visuals, and the result is an abundance of beautiful photography and thoughtful, visually-oriented posts.
Novelty. Unlike its cumbersome, slow, or overblown competitors, Instagram is laser-focused on delivering a simple, visually-driven experience. While it’s gotten a little more complex in recent years (group chat, stories), its stayed pretty much the same, making it a very different platform from all the other options available.
Everything we’ve said so far has established that Instagram is a social media juggernaut. But that begs a simple question: so what?
There’s a very simple response to that: Instagram is a marketing gold mine.
It has one of the highest conversion rates of any social media platform at 3.1%, coming in above Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube. And while 3.1% may not sound like a lot, that’s about as good as email marketing is in any industry.
What’s more, its unique features like stories have unique marketing potential. When Instagram first rolled out story ads, Airbnb (a hospitality app which allows individuals to rent out their house like a hotel), saw a double-digit increase in their advertising recall.
Instagram helps companies establish a beautiful, memorable brand, something essential in any marketing strategy. The cell phone cover manufacturer Peel saw a 3x ROI when they started advertising on social media, and a large part of that advertisement was their success on Instagram, which they used as a platform for customer interaction.