#InspiredMarketing Predictions: @MarkWSchaefer

In this #InspiredMarketing blog series, we are sharing predictions on the future of marketing from 25 industry thought leaders. These predictions have been compiled in our new whitepaper, Inspired Marketing Predictions for 2013. In today’s post, blogger, author, and business consultant Mark Schaefer shares his thoughts.

2013: The Year of Instagram!

One of the biggest social media trends is the emphasis on visual content, and new research from The Social Habit seems to confirm that the photo-sharing site is poised for a breakout.

Of the Americans surveyed who currently use a social media platform, only 18% currently have a profile on Instagram. That’s paltry compared to Facebook (94%) or Twitter (47%). But here are five reasons why Instagram could explode in 2013:

1.    Of those who have a profile, 61% have used it in the past 24 hours, an adoption level only surpassed by Facebook (at 84%). So those currently using Instagram are pretty voracious users.

2.    Of ALL social media users surveyed, 48% declared they are using Instagram more often. This blows the other major platforms out of the water.

3.    Of those who have an Instagram profile, 83% use it at work—again surpassing even Facebook and YouTube by a long shot. One reason could be that sharing on Instagram requires no typing. You just snap a photo and post in seconds.

4.    Today, 67% of Instagram’s users are under the age of 34. I project that there could be a huge upside across demographics because everybody loves sharing photos. And it’s so easy to use, even the non tech-savvy can master it in minutes.

5.    Since Instagram is a mobile-only application, its adoption will increase as the trend toward smartphones continues in 2013.

How do you capitalize on this for your business? There’s an almost voyeuristic quality to Instagram that is lacking anywhere else—similar to the appeal of gossip magazines and reality TV shows. Can you show the “insider’s view” of your company in an entertaining way? Follow some journey or event in a realistic way?

Instagram is a natural outlet for any business that can offer stunning visuals—think travel, exotic locations, celebrities, animals, news events. Instagram is also red-hot with teens right now. If this is your target market, get to know this photo-sharing community!

Remember that Facebook acquired the 11-employee, non-revenue-producing Instagram early in 2012 for $1 billion. It was a defensive move, but at some point there will probably be a move to more closely integrate Instagram and the one billion people on Facebook. Something to consider.

In 2013, think “visual” communication and think Instagram.

Mark Schaefer
Blogger, Author, and Business Consultant

Mark W. Schaefer is a globally-recognized blogger, educator, business consultant, and author who blogs at {grow}—one of the top marketing blogs in the world, Mark has worked in global sales, PR, and marketing positions for nearly 30 years and now provides consulting services as Executive Director of U.S.-based Schaefer Marketing Solutions.  His clients include both start-ups and global brands such as Cisco, AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, and the UK government. Mark has appeared on many national television shows and periodicals including the Wall Street Journal, Wired, The New York Times, and CBS NEWS.

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