Facebook announced hashtags & Instagram launched video sharing all within the span of a few days. This is not for the benefit of the average user, in reality, it is for the growth of brand marketing on these social networks.
Social media marketing is on the rise, becoming a greater focus for marketers. 80% of US social network users prefer to connect to brands through Facebook ( Source: State of Inbound Marketing, 2012 HubSpot). Facebook hashtags provide uniformity across marketing platforms, greater tracking of trends and increased ability to aggregate data.
Hashtags will be clickable on Facebook. Similar to other services like Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, or Pinterest, hashtags on Facebook allow you to add context to a post or indicate that it is part of a larger discussion. When you click on a hashtag in Facebook, you’ll see a feed of what other people and Pages are saying about that event or topic (Source: Facebook Press Release).
How Facebook Hashtags Work
According to the Facebook press release hashtags user can:
• Search for a specific hashtag from the search bar. For example, #NBAFinals.
• Click on hashtags that originate on other services, such as Instagram.
• Compose posts directly from the hashtag feed and search results.
Brands are Flocking to Instagram
According to Wishpond Infographic: The State of Instagram 40 percent of brands have adopted Instagram for marketing. Instagram is a growing marketing tool. Nitrogram 50 released a report with the top brands on Instagram. Here are the top 10 brands:
- Forever 21
- Victoria’s Secret
- Red Bull
- Michael Kors
As soon as Instagram announced video sharing, it did not take long for brands to respond. Some of the first Instagram videos to go viral were from Lululemon, Burberry and Charity Water.
Lululemon Instagram Video:
Burberry Instagram Video:
Charity Water Instagram Video:
Return on Investment for Instagram
From initial analysis, brands are seeing an increase in engagement with the 15 second videos on Instagram. According to Simply Measured, the 15 second video clip released by Lululemon resulted in the highest spike in Instagram activity to date for the brand.
Social Media Marketing is Evolving
Social media platforms and brands are symbiotic. Social media need brands for the growth of revenue (generated from advertising) and brands need social media platforms for access to targeted markets.
- 48% of consumers think social media posts created by others in their networks are a good way to discover new products, brands, trends, or retailers (Source: Wildfire Interactive)
- Instagram users upload 40M photos to the site each day (Source: Nielsen)
- Facebook users share 2.5B pieces of content on the site each day (Source: Nielsen)
As Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms look for ways to increase profit new tracking and marketing tools will emerge. This is happening at the same time as advertisers are willing to increase spending on social media marketing. According to a survey conducted by Nielsen 64 percent of advertisers plan to spend more on social media marketing in the future.
Seems like a logical relationship considering that both social media platforms and advertisers can fulfill each others’ objectives. At the end of the day both social media platforms and advertisers want to grow their business, increase revenue and further engagement and loyalty.