September 1, 2021

Social Media in 2021: Matching the Message with the Medium & Why We Stopped Using Instagram

We’ve now reached a decade from the initial launch of Instagram in 2010. Originally the social media platform was a space to post photos (think Facebook without the “is doing” statuses) and two years after Instagram’s release, Facebook bought the 13 person company in 2012 for $1 billion dollars. 

Since then, Instagram has exploded— not only with users posting photos of their matcha lattes, but it’s also become prime real estate for advertisers. Whether it’s through influencers or ads that play between friends’ stories, the photo-sharing app has brought in lots of business since its launch. 

The Issue with Overabundance for Brand Awareness 

Despite this, we’re currently at a crossroads. Any business that actively puts effort into their social media presence knows how much time (and money) goes into refining their brand through captions, videos, photos, and copies. Additionally, we have a smorgasbord of options now: Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, Pinterest (only to name a few). If establishing a brand and gaining customers is the goal, we are spreading ourselves too thin. 

In order to understand how the abundance of options are watering down the effectiveness of social media marketing, let’s go back to basics. Advertising is all about your audience. If you’re selling kitchenware, it makes the most sense to spend money on commercials that play on the cooking network. Your audience likes to watch shows about food, so it’s a safe bet that they enjoy cooking it too. Likewise, a great option for advertising your new paint company would be to buy airtime on HGTV. On the flip side, you’d be pressed to see a Vera Wang commercial play on ESPN. 

Quality Over Quantity and Strategizing Your Digital Marketing

With the quantity of social media apps available, each has established their own type of audience. If your company is creative and visually-driven (say clothing, jewelry, or house decor even), Instagram is a great option. You can easily show the product and purchasing it can be as quick and impulsive as ordering delivery for dinner. But if you’re a more thought-driven business, you can show your culture on Instagram, sure—but your products? Not so much. If you’re putting effort into a “presence” that doesn’t bring in business, that profile is a luxury, not a necessity. Now that is wholly fine, but be aware of the role in your strategy. 

Maximizing Your Brand by Narrowing Your Focus

We’ll use ourselves as a prime example. Currently, Vehicle Media is doing better than ever. Yet we haven’t posted anything on Instagram in over a year. Out of the 7,500 followers we have, our presence on Instagram got us a whopping . . . drumroll please…  two new clients (it was admittedly great for recruiting). As a marketing company ourselves, we don’t sell instantaneous purchases. We sell thoughts and expertise— something that requires more of a deep dive than a post on Instagram can do.

Therefore, we’re killing Instagram. Well, ours at least. We promise it’s not you, it’s us. Things will be better in the long run. Time heals all wounds. Yes, we’re breaking up with Instagram.