Story and gallery by RILEY SPEAR
Instagram is the largest social media and advertising platform in the world and it continues to grow its users daily by the thousands. Organizations and businesses have taken advantage of the Instagram platform to advertise their products, target their audiences and create awareness for their cause, all for free.
Salt Lake City is a hub for startup companies that don’t have the funds in their marketing departments to pay for advertisements.
Individuals from three local companies, The Hut Group, Beauty Industry, and STEM, have worked closely with Instagram, and have accepted the large role it plays in their marketing techniques.
Beauty Industry specializes in hair, lashes and fashion. Paige Johnson is a member of the social media team who works with Instagram to promote a product.
She uses Instagram analytics to track following, and gauge when good times are to post in order receive the most engagement.
“Marketing is always changing, and shifting. With present digital age, social media is most of what marketing entails,” Johnson said.
Beauty Industry mainly targets young women because they are the majority of the company’s customers, which is ideal for Instagram because according to OMNICORE 59 percent of its users are individuals in the age groups of 19-29.
Johnson said Beauty Industry’s main objective through the Instagram account is to make customers feel as if they are a part of their community. Beauty Industry sticks to its content and theme to best emphasize its products in the market.
“Working in this industry I have become aware of others’ marketing techniques, whether it be competitors or my own time on Instagram. I often find myself taking bits of other techniques, and forming it to ours,” Johnson said.
Beauty Industry has tried to focus on what the big marketing brands are doing, and then tailor it to the company’s own theme. The social media world is extremely competitive, and it’s crucial to notice the likes, comments and following ratio in order to receive the most positive feedback and response.
Beauty Industry is a company that is familiar with the positive impacts Instagram can make. There are very few restrictions, no wrong outlook and is more about finding a strategy that works well with your company.
“Customer service is a big thing specifically on Instagram, because a lot of people currently if they have a complaint or question, it is a lot easier to do this through messages. We try to really be interactive with our following, and our customers who reach out to us on these platforms,” Johnson said.
Instagram is Beauty Industry’s main tool to advertise because it has the highest success rate in selling their products.
Instagram has the ability to capture so many eyes, and create global awareness. STEM, a program that targets schools in the Salt Lake City district, does just this.
Molly Vroom helps run, and plan their social media campaigns in order to educate, and promote STEM research.
“There isn’t much competition in this field of work. It’s more about receiving attention that could possibly lead to funding,” Vroom said.
In order to achieve this STEM uses demonstration videos giving a more hands on approach to the followers. “Instagram gives the ability to educate, and give knowledge, and that is another one of our main goals,” Vroom said.
STEM uses several social media platforms, but targets millennials through Instagram because they are the individuals who use it the most.
The world is constantly changing and growing, adapting to new trends of life. In order to be impactful on Instagram it’s crucial to put out content that ignites your target audience.
The Hut Group, a global company centered around health, beauty and fitness, sometimes can spend up to a month planning a post. This organization opened a small office in Salt Lake City and will grow in the years come.
Jasmyne Reynolds, a manager for their acquisition companies’ social accounts, works daily with Instagram.
Her days are spent brainstorming concepts, working with photographers and videographers in their creative studio, and collaborating with the content director and Search Engine Optimization managers.
Every one of The Hut Group’s Instagram posts is extremely evaluated, and calculated before posting. “Working with Instagram helps us achieve our goal of reaching consumers and getting them to click over to our online platform and ultimately drive purchases,” Reynolds said.
As the social media account manager, Reynolds also spends hours working with other brands doing Q and A’s, giveaways and questionnaires in order to bring in more followers, and gain positive feedback.
Reynolds believes Instagram is a platform that has allowed businesses to create a personal connection with consumers.
“It’s important now more than ever to showcase products as a part of a consumer’s life,” Reynolds said.
Instagram marketing is used in an assortment of aspects, whether it is to bring awareness of a cause, or to advertise and sell products. It has drastically changed the game from billboards and TV commercials to a free platform being used by billions. Instagram is the new outlet for inspiration.