Instagram Will Win the Social War

In the Adage article, Instagram Will Win the Social War, and Adland’s Other Top Predictions From #AADigital, four leaders in the digital media industry predict which platform will win the social war.

Frankly, the title of the article seems forced – the videos are not specifically about Instagram or the social war. Each interview is a short (~90 second video). They are worth watching.

Scott Galloway, NYU professor and L2ThinkTank founder

Galloway discusses the two levers to measure the power of a social media platform are:

  • size of community, and
  • engagement.

He then talks about a “Power Index” which multiples size of community times engagement, then compares Facebook to Instagram, and concludes that Instagram is the most powerful social media platform in the world:

  • Facebook: 1,500,000,000*.1 = 150,000,000
  • Instagram: 200,000,000*1.5 = 300,000,000

Kelly Mooney, CEO, Resource

Mooney agrees that Instagram will continue to grow, but she points out Instagram’s major obstacle is connecting the product to the commerce opportunity – there is no easy way to click from an Instagram ad to purchase a product.

The biggest opportunities are to create a clearer pipeline between Instagram ad and product purchase.

Bryan Wiener, Chairman of 360i and Expion

Wiener discusses three core ways for marketers to rethink their digital infrastructure to connect with customers:

  1. rethink budgeting
  2. new success metrics
  3. right-time marketers (“doesn’t have to be real-time, but has to be right time.”)

He then says that Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are about what’s happening in real-time or in the recent past while Pinterest is about the future – it’s aspirational and can be a useful marketing tool. He predicts that Instagram and Twitter will add additional tools for brands to better advertise.

Bob Lord, Global CEO, AOL Platforms

Lord uses a lot of buzzwords and doesn’t say anything particularly interesting.

Overall, I think these industry leaders echo many of the conversations we’ve had in class: engagement, ROI, real-time communication, etc.

What is your major takeaway from these videos?

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2 thoughts on “Instagram Will Win the Social War

  1. “The biggest opportunities are to create a clearer pipeline between Instagram ad and product purchase.” – This to me is the biggest takeaway from the videos. There is a major untapped resource in Instagram. Monetizing Instagram is definitely something that marketers should be working to capitalize. However, I do wonder if the lack of ads and viable monetization is what drives people to Instagram and away from Facebook. The trend we have often discussed in class is that when the ads enter a social media space, people tend to leave in droves to avoid this.

    Maybe the larger problem to solve is how to advertize and monetize social media while keeping followers.

  2. I thought Scott Galloway’s commentary on an IBM study of “Black Friday” sales was interesting. They looked at ecommerce sales driven by social media platforms, and found that Twitter traffic was noticeably converting very few purchases. He therefore sees Twitter as overvalued, and their share price likely to fall.

    Twitter stock is already down 30.21% YTD, while the S&P500 is up 0.75%.

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