Companies are relentlessly striving for new and better ways to gain insights into their customers. How customers and followers interact with images posted on social media is a fantastic way to help gauge brand awareness and associated gains made on that front. The problem is that up until now there haven’t really been a lot of tools to help measure those interactions with images.
Recently, Facebook – owned Instagram has announced a whole raft of advertising tools that will allow businesses to get their eyes on those kinds of statistics and other great information as well. The company only introduced advertising on its service this past November, and these new tools really add value to Instagram as an ad serving network. Here’s an overview of what the new tools allow you to do.:
Ad Staging – A dashboard type tool that allows advertisers and their teams to create, view, preview, save, and collaboratively build ads for their upcoming campaigns.
Ad Insights – A suite of tools showing you how your various paid campaigns are performing. Metrics include brand analytics broken out by number of impressions, reach, and frequency for each individual ad served to your target audience.
Account Insights – This tool allows businesses to see exactly how they are increasing their brand’s awareness on the service, via the same metrics above (number of impressions, reach, and frequency).
Will These Tools Work?
No one knows yet whether these tools will provide the information that businesses are looking for. However, up to this point, it seems clear that there’s a hunger for analysis of visual branding and the impact of services like Pinterest and Instagram that just isn’t being provided. These tools might not offer the ultimate answer, but if businesses find them to be lacking, you can be sure that Instagram will take steps to improve and refine them until they get it right. The driver for this is of course their need to prove that advertising with them pays dividends.
What It Means More Broadly
There’s no question that these tools raise the bar. Now that Instagram has begun rolling them out, if they find even marginal acceptance, and it is almost certain that they will, other social media networks will follow suit, if for no other reason than to deny Instagram a competitive advantage. You can also be sure that parent company Facebook is watching these developments closely, and will roll out similar tools of their own once the kinks have been worked out. In fact, it’s highly probable that Facebook is using Instagram as a kind of incubator to prove the concept before beginning to apply similar solutions to their own ad network.
If there’s one thing we’ve come to rely on when it comes to the internet in general and social media in particular is that it’s fluid and ever changing. This is but the latest move in the ongoing evolution of social media, which seeks to bring a new dimension to the paradigm.
When Facebook began the social media revolution, it was all about the social aspects. Networks of users, friends, fans, and families connecting and interconnecting globally. As a natural consequence of those networks, the became synonymous with social proof and trust, and it was inevitable that sooner or later, a commerce element would find its way into the mix. It has, and now we are seeing a further maturation of those elements.