Instagram is one of the few robust social platforms where brands can still achieve organic reach, although that reach has slightly declined since 2015 (as shown in the L2 graph). But even post-algorithm, Instagram offers more potential for organic likes than Facebook and sustains a larger active audience than Snapchat. Despite the hype, Snapchat is far from becoming the next Instagram. The absence of targeting and discoverability and targeting make it an unfriendly place for brands; users must follow a brand using the exact username or snapcode before they can view its snaps.
How do brands manage their resources adequately, now that Instagram has proven to be effective but slowly declining in effectiveness for organic reach? And can they ignore Snapchat? Global Communications Director at Christian Louboutin Dina Fierro answered some of our most pressing questions about social media. (For context, Louboutin has been one of the best-performing brands in terms of organic reach, accounting for 6% of all interactions with fashion brand posts in 2015. The brand also derived 85% of its organic reach from Instagram last year.)
A few takeaways from the conversation:
Instagram is and will remain the priority platform for the moment. While it may seem like Instagram has been the priority platform for some time, it has done a good job of staying fresh and relevant. Today’s platform has Instagram Stories, Insta Live and a range of shopping products being tested in the US. “It’s an exciting place to play, creatively speaking” Fierro says.
However, she acknowledges that user engagement seems to be declining as the platform is flooded with content. Users are beginning to observe more and engage less.
Several of the best brands on social – including Louboutin – are seeing a decline in engagement. Valentino, Burberry, and Michael Kors are experiencing declines in engagement as users simply have more to see on the platform. “Users are observing more and engaging less in many instances,” Fierro says.
Snapchat has changed user behavior. Fierro describes Snapchat as an “inhospitable place for brands.” Organic follower growth is difficult as it has no search or discovery capabilities and paid products are expensive. However, it is a place for creative storytelling and it has been a game-changer for user behavior.
“We owe the growth of vertical video to Snapchat for one, and the success of the Spectacles launch seems to be moving the wearables conversation forward as well,” Fierro says.
Experimentation on Snapchat is imperative, especially for brands targeting a young, hyper-engaged consumer. However, it’s important to balance it out with platforms that offer broader reach and data to measure engagement.
Twitter is no longer creative, and increasingly irrelevant. “From a brand perspective, Twitter seems to decrease in relevance by the day – which pains me to say, by the way, because I love twitter and remain a very active user,” Fierro says. While all brands should stay on the platform to remain aware of customer experiences and gripes (venting on Twitter is common), the fashion and luxury communities seem to have moved onto more visual platforms.
The brand blog is over, but content is still relevant. The era of the brand blog is over, but Fierro says there is still value in editorial content. Brands should distribute the content strategically on the site to put shopping experience in context, or place it on social media to attract new customers.