Why Instagram?

Author: Alecia Pirulis

Businessman with social media concepts

Are you active on Facebook? What about Twitter? If you are posting and tweeting daily, you may think you have all of the social media bases covered. But wait – what about Instagram?

You may be thinking, “Why Instagram?” And at first glance, the answer isn’t exactly obvious.

The number of Facebook users is an impressive 1.3 billion. And according to Twitter, the first quarter of 2014 showed 255 million active users (an increase of 25 percent, year-over-year).  The number of users on Instagram? 150 million.

So if Facebook and Twitter offer such a large pool of potential apartment renters, why spend time and resources on Instagram?

Consider the following statistics:

  • 90 percent of Instagram users are under the age of 35.
  • 65 percent of Facebook users are over the age of 35.
  • 29 percent of millennials (age 15-34) use Twitter.
  • Instagram usage is almost exclusively through smartphones (eMarketer, 2014)
  • While Facebook usage jumped among those 55 and older by 80 percent, the number of millennials using Facebook during the same period declined by 25 percent. (Investorplace.com, “Facebook Users Are Getting Older…and That’s a Good Thing” by James Brumley)

According to Pew Research, millennials will continue to use social media sites – nearly 70 percent said they will continue to use social media even as they mature, take on significant responsibilities, and have families.

In the Pew Research article, “Digital Life in 2025,” experts predict that people will be so connected to the Internet in the near future, it will flow effortlessly through their lives like electricity – it will be mobile, wearable, and embedded. So even if your apartment community doesn’t currently cater to millennials, these are the hyper-connected renters of the near future … and right now, they are on Instagram.

An L2 Intelligence Report on Instagram reported that “Instagram amassed 150 million monthly users in three years – two years faster than Facebook and half the time of Twitter.” The report also stated that Instagram is the fastest-growing global social platform.

The great thing about Instagram is it is all about quality – not quantity.  And, while your focus should still be on the power players Facebook and Twitter, a good, well-planned photo posted every so often to Instagram is all you’ll need to make an impact. You can even get your residents in on the act, building a sense of community as you engage them on Instagram.

According to Property Management Insider, there are many ways you can use Instagram to your advantage (“5 Ways You Can Use Instagram to Engage with Residents,” by Hedish Connor), such as showcasing your property’s amenities (the swimming pool, for example) and getting residents in on the act. Pet-friendly apartment communities can ask residents to upload photos of their pets (request photos such as … having fun in the snow, wearing holiday hats or in Halloween costumes, at the dog park, and so on). You can have contests, such as giving residents a riddle about a landmark at your apartment community then asking them upload pictures of themselves in front of whatever they believe the riddle is referring to. And if you host events (a summer BBQ, a community garage sale, a back-to-school book swap, etc.), be sure to share those photos – and encourage residents to post theirs, as well.

If you are new to Instagram, be sure to check out Instagram’s section, Instagram for Businesses. (Instagram Help Center>Instagram Basics) Useful information includes Find Customers on Instagram, Host a Photo Campaign, and FAQs for Brands and Businesses.