Phuket Gazette

HUKET: Instagram as we know it is changing, but that can be a good thing if you are a business looking to increase your exposure.

Instagram is a photo-sharing app that reportedly has more than 300 million monthly users. It is very popular with people born in the 80s and 90s, who account for more than 37% per cent of its users. Interestingly, each user apparently spends an average of 21 minutes per day on Instagram.

The reason that Instagram has been so popular is that it provides a much more user-friendly and pleasant visual experience, but is that about to change?

When it first started, Instagram had a zero-monetization policy, which meant, among other things, no ads. This had consequences. It was found in a 2014 survey by Forrester that Instagram had 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more than Twitter. But with Facebook purchasing Instagram for what can only be described as an obscene amount of money, the advertising has started. In fact, ads have generated more than US$3.5 billion in the last three months alone.

How can Instagram be of benefit for a local Phuket business?

Instagram, being based on photo images, is perfect for our beautiful island setting. Anything related to the tourism sector instantly has a great opportunity to capture this beauty and have a competitive advantage over many other destinations.

This allows you to use photo imagery to highlight your business and your products, and even humanize your company with a more personal behind-the-scenes insight.

Companies can connect with followers on a more personal level and build a relationship, trust and rapport. This immediately helps with your branding and recognition, which in turn leads to sales opportunities. Now that ads will be allowed, early comers will have a competitive advantage.

Remember, social media can be a lot of fun and create great opportunities for business, so it is worth doing some research to see how it can benefit you.

Simon Wetherell is a social media expert, lawyer, best-selling author & international speaker. He now resides in Phuket where he trains businesses and individuals on how to profit from the social media industry. For more information go to http://PhuketOnlineMarketingSchool.com or call him on 095-085 3355.


This article first appeared in the July 18-24 issue of the hard-copy Phuket Gazette newspaper.

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— Simon Wetherell

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