It feels like everyone is talking about TikTok and the only time Instagram makes headlines is when users complain about new changes. No wonder questions are arising about whether it’s worthwhile for brands to maintain a presence on the social media platform – and more importantly, factor it into their extensive marketing strategies – come 2023.
Is Instagram dying?
Instagram has been around for over a decade, and we’ve seen headlines for at least the last five years claiming the social network is dead or dying. When Snapchat came along, people predicted it was over for Instagram, and now history is repeating itself as TikTok soars in popularity.
But that doesn’t mean that Instagram is actually failing, with rumours of the platform's death having been greatly exaggerated.
Let’s be real here: Instagram is still a massive social platform. Over two billion people use Instagram once a month, and they’re set to hit 2.5 billion monthly users by 2023. For comparison, TikTok has 1.2 billion monthly active users as of October 2022. Instagram’s revenue is steadily rising every year, so it’s safe to assume it’s not going to simply vanish into thin air.
But with media outlets reporting that Instagram is in its “flop era” and Gen Z-ers calling it embarrassing, it’s expected that brands are reconsidering their Instagram strategy for the future. Is it really worth being on the app?
Should brands use Instagram in 2023?
In short: we think yes. It's still a massive platform with lots of active users, who are all potential customers for your brand. Instagram is particularly useful for brands with highly visual products or offerings since it's all about aesthetics.
The key? Not to solely focus on Instagram when crafting a social marketing strategy. TikTok is a very valuable place to establish your presence as a brand and test out influencer marketing, particularly if you have an audience that skews young or benefits from video advertising.
However, it’s a good idea to keep the shifting attitudes toward Instagram (and Meta) in mind. Users aren’t interacting with the app in the same way they did in 2018, so it’s essential your strategy evolves with the shifting expectations and actions of consumers.
How should brands use Instagram in 2023?
As we inch closer to the new year, it’s important to keep in mind some best practices for your Instagram content to ensure you’re leveraging the platform to its fullest potential.
Instagram (and social media as a whole) is moving away from the polished, aspirational aesthetics championed in the late 2010s. Instead, people want to see real and authentic content and users want to feel included, not excluded. As a brand, this means striving for relatability and sticking to your brand message as closely as possible. Forgo fancy editing and slick footage and instead create the type of content your users could potentially create themselves.
LEAN INTO USER-GENERATED CONTENT
UGC is a brand’s best friend on apps like Instagram (as well as TikTok). Encourage your followers and customers to share their take on your brand on their Instagram pages, then ask permission to repost the best ones. Add this to the list of how to get creative with influencer marketing.
FOCUS ON SMALLER INFLUENCERS
Gone are the days when creators needed hundreds of thousands of followers to work with a brand. In fact, more and more companies are choosing to partner with micro-influencers, who might only have 10k or so followers.
These creators tend to have far higher engagement and a more loyal following of users who trust them and look to them for inspiration. Working with these smaller influencers is also much more affordable than bigger accounts, so you’ll likely get far better ROI.
FORGET ABOUT FOLLOWERS AND HONE IN ON ENGAGEMENT
Vanity social media metrics — such as followers and like counts — don’t matter as much as they used to. Instead, the best way to measure your influencer marketing success is by focusing on your engagement rate. Prioritise building authentic, two-way relationships with your audiences rather than blanket advertising to as many people as possible.
FIND YOUR NICHE — THEN GO DEEPER
Finding your brand’s niche on social media is more important than ever and thanks to hyper-specific algorithms, niches on Instagram have gotten far more specific.
A fashion influencer is no longer just a fashion influencer — they focus their content on sustainability, mid-size clothing, or budget fashion. Similarly, a food creator might hone in on a particular location or style of cooking. The same should be done for brands.
Collabment can help brands find Instagram creators who fit their niche. Simply upload a campaign with the style of content you’d like and receive pitches from influencers and authentic creators who actually use and love your brand.