In case you’ve been to busy lately and missed the announcement Instagram recently hit the 700 million user mark. To put this into perspective this is the equailivant to the combined population of USA, Indomesia and Brazil.  But in terms of social communities 700 million users is twice the size of Twitter.

The growth of Instagram is phenomenal as it only took four months to gain 100 million users so it’s only a matter of time before it surpasses the billion user mark. Which is interesting as currently, only Facebook and WhatsApp have a billion users.

But why is Instagram becoming the preferred social media platform of choice for many brands

Instagram makes it extremelly easy for people from throughout the world to join communities, share experiences, strengthen relationships and develop passions via sharing and engaging with image led content.

Instagram is continuously releasing new features such as stories, live video and disappearing direct messages, hands free videos, enabling users with more ways to express themselves, create and share the content that’s important to them.

Is Instagram better than Twitter?

Some might argue it is, however in my opinion it is completely dependent on your marketing objectives, audience demographics and content type.

For example, Instagram is predominately an image led social media network.  It offers brands with an opportunity to share images that promotes a lifestyle which their audience finds engaging and or aspirational.  In addition, in recent months Instagram released filters for videos which is widely associated with and recognised with SnapChat so whilst we’re questioning Instagram vs Twitter we be questioning do brands really need SnapChat?

Make no mistake, there are definite advantages to Twitter. In my opinion it is the ideal platform for sharing high quality content and also allows brands to create a persona of being a thought leader within their industry.  This is achieved by sharing news, blogs, videos etc which drive traffic back to their website, while also sharing relative content from the connections and by joining conversations by searching hashtags relevant to their business.  However, it can be difficult to share your message in 140 characters.  Well I know I struggle with this.  But Twitter are listening to it’s community by removing @ mentions, links and attachments from the character limit.

If you’re objective is to create an aspirational brand which is personal to your audience or create a community who are passionate about a lifestyle Instagram is without doubt the most suitable social media channel for your business.

However, it is twice as crowded as Twitter which means more noise which may make it difficult for your message to stand out from the crowd.  To combat this adopt creative techniques to make your brand stand out from the competition.

Obviously Twitter is significantly less noisy, cluttered and competitive which will naturally increase your social reach making it easier for your audience to engage with your message.  But unlike Instagram, Twitter for me is the home for news so make sure you’re brand is sharing high quality industry specific news.

Instagram offers users with an intuitive interface which is easy to navigate, search and engage.  Plus it’s a mobile or tablet first channel.  While Twitter is accessible from mobile, desktop or tablet.

As with all of the main social media channels when used appropriately they can achieve great returns for brands.   But for brands who’s primary objective is to increase brand awareness and develop a community, don’t delay get on Instagram.  However I do advise you to invest in a camera that allow you to create and capture moments in HD.