A Millennial on Instagram

As a millennial who is studying Public Relations and Marketing, it is expected of me to have a presence on every social media platform. However, brands don’t need to be on every channel so why am I expected to? Equally as some social media platforms aren’t relevant to certain business, different personalities don’t work with certain social media accounts. For example, I prefer the ease of Instagram and Pinterest and the instant gratification of being able to look at people’s images, as opposed to Vine, which has always been a social media platform that has never appealed to me, due to lack of interest in sharing and creating my own videos.

Whether I need to be an active user on all social channels is debatable, but as a PR hound, I need to know what they do and who is using what.  The average millennial spends around 9 hours a day consuming media, 5.8 of this is on social media, checking their smartphone on average 43 times a day mainly on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.  Facebook is still the king, however studies predict that by 2017 the platform will be largely abandoned, with 48% of millennial users spending less time on the site just this year.

So has Facebook had its day? We millennials seem to be signing up to Instagram Instead, accounting for 70 percent of their 2015 users. Facebook on the other hand has received an average age increase of 10 years since 2009. Why is this? Facebook is used to connect with other people, to share information and keep in contact with friends and family. Instagram in comparison, is visual, quick and aspiring posts which reflect the true millennial dream.

Therefore, it makes sense that brands are now jumping on Instagram as part of marketing strategies, with the aim of extending their target demographic. The visual platform allows brands to showcase their personality and create a strong community between themselves and their fans.

For brands and marketers looking to use Instagram to engage with millennials they must remember their audience. With this in mind, here are top tips for brands who want to engage with us on their channel.

 1) Reflect your brands authentic personality

Your brands personality is vital, use social media platforms such as Instagram to reveal more of it to your audience. The site gives you a chance to post ‘behind the scenes’ images and share organic content that hasn’t been seen anywhere else, this will engage customers and develop their associations on your brand. And yes, you must ensure that photos are clear, attractive and ‘Instagrammable’.

2) Use a hashtag

Create a unique hashtag that your fans can easily recognise and share, this will increase engagement and will gain attention.

3) Get involved with Instagram trends

If it is Thursday, get involved and post a relevant image with the #TBT. This will reinforce your brand personality and make you current and approachable.

4) Be aware of ratios

And finally, ensure that you are aware of your follower/following ratios. A poor following ratio on a brand account makes the brand look illegitimate and needy, and will most likely put off users and deter them from following your account.

 So there you have it, top tips on how Instagram can connect you to your market. Please try them out, and see how authentically successful your account can be.

Happy Instagramming!