If Orange is the New Black, Instagram is the New Facebook

Remember way back in 2011 when Mark Zuckerberg was named the world’s youngest billionaire, back before the IPO when it was rather fun to create and promote a business page on Facebook? Remember when businesses would run promotions and photo contests, gain fans, get likes and a bit of business along the way?

Those days are gone.

Photo credit: @muradosmann

Photo credit: @muradosmann

These days, Facebook is a publisher looking for your ad spend. The organic reach of any given post that is not boosted nor promoted has dropped like a stone, down into the single digits. As reported by Forbes in June 2014:

Social@Ogilvy tracked the drop earlier this year, from 16% of followers engaging with a brand page post in 2012, to 6% in February 2014 for smaller pages and just 2% for pages with over 500,000 followers. The advice then was for community managers to expect organic reach to approach zero by the end of the year.”

What one needs to remember now is that Facebook is not interested in helping businesses to reach those friends they earned. They’re interested in maximizing results for their own shareholders. They’re interested in their business, not everybody else’s.

Meantime, Instagram is the Millennials’ new playground. As the Website says:

 “Instagram is a fast, beautiful and fun way to share your life with friends and family. Take a picture or video… to see the world. Oh yeah, did we mention it’s free?”

 That certainly sounds like the old Facebook, which now owns Instagram.

In four short years, the free Instagram app gained 200 million users who have shared 20 billion photos and continue to post about 60 million photos a day. Russian photographer Murad Osmann has more than 1.8 million Instagram followers who like his collection of themed images holding hands with his girlfriend as they travel the world.

Businesses and brands need to make hay while the sun shines.

Is your property lighting the travel spark that stimulates the dream stage? Are you encouraging guests to snap and share the pictures that make memories? Are you posting compelling pictures that are worth 1,000 words? @WHotels has 62,000 followers; @TheStandard has 60,000 followers; @FourSeasons has 58,000 followers.

Think of Instagram as being the way Facebook was. Take a look at what the most successful travel brands are doing well and steal a few good ideas. It’s allowed.

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