For all of you who weren’t aware of the latest buzz between Instagram and Facebook not too long ago, we’re here to bring you the hottest scoop. Yes, Facebook bought Instagram just recently for $1 Billion US Dollars! You may ask ‘what the hell is Mark Zuckerberg thinking?’ Before you delve deeper into various other conjectures surrounding the controversy, let us examine the rationale behind all these and learn exactly what branding principles most businesses could definitely learn out of it.
Instagram is actually a free photo sharing platform launched early in October of 2010. This membership site enables users to capture photos, put a digital filter to it, and later on be able to share it to various social networking services, one of which is that of Instragram. They currently have 150 million members (and still counting).
A lot of the naysayers on the web are against the acquisition as they find Facebook more intrusive (with all the privacy issues way back), and all ‘sold-out’ as compared to Instagram. So, what are the top 15 branding principles businesses can learn from the experience:
1. Start Small
Like many other social networking and photo-sharing sites, Instagram started small and eventually it gets ‘viral,’ and captured the interest of so many people across the globe. Businesses, especially online ones must endeavor to ensure they have results-oriented yet humble beginnings; without however losing sight of their goal to go bigger down the road. If small businesses have this passion and foresight, everything else will surely fall into its right places.
2. Nurture Relationships
Basing from what Instagram has gotten through, we can say it must be a lot of hard work to get to the level of popularity and success they are now enjoying, but thanks to the people who supported it.
Nurturing relationships in business is a key to online business success. Social networking must be based on relationships, one that is real and heartfelt. Instagram reached this level with their massive followers and ardent members. Customers should always be in the forefronts, monetary considerations are merely an icing on the cake so to speak.
3. Exemplary Customer Support
In this time and age where technology is brought closer to the people, so is social networking and any online business for that matter. You have to ensure that you are at all times reachable by your customer. Instagram has kept their tabs up on this aspect of their business, hence the tremendous success. Your keyword: customer satisfaction guaranteed!
4. Right Business Mindset
Possessing the right business mindset is essential to doing business online. You need to make sure that you know exactly what your motives are in establishing your business, and what end results you wish to achieve. All else will be easy if you have the correct mindset to begin with.
5. Have fun in everything you do
A key principle in working is that you have to love your work, if you do, all work will no longer be cumbersome and you will never ever work a single day of your life!
F-U-N is a simple 3-letter word, but if you understand its real meaning, everything else will be great for you and your business. Folks at Instagram are definitely having fun sifting through and filtering photos and daily mementos from people all across the world, its a completely fun and enriching experience for all of them, their salaries are just meant to be pure fringe benefits.
6. Transition is a fact of life
Change is the only thing constant in this world. Sounds like a cliche but this still holds true today. It must be a tough decision for Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom to part with the company. But transitions are a fact of life, nobody wants to remain stagnant, particularly businesses.
It’s either you stay in your proverbial plateau, or you move up for a better, greener horizon. It’s your call, but always aim for positive transitions.
7. Take criticisms with a grain of salt
Instagram may have read all the nasty press about them selling away an upcoming and promising membership site to Mark Zuckerberg, much to the dismay of its avid followers.
In major business decisions, there is no turning back. Once you have made up your mind and you fervently believe that your decision is for the good of everyone including your core business, then take criticisms especially negative ones with a grain of salt. Like a rising fad, all talks will eventually die down. So stick with the plan, and face everything like a man.
Haggling is one common business practice, it is much similar to bidding. In business, you need not be too timid to haggle or bargain, who knows, you might end up with an amazing deal. Same is true with Instagram, Mark Zuckerberg bought it from Kevin Systrom at a price he may not have imagined feasible for a fast-rising website such as theirs.
But basing from what transpired, it was a good deal for Facebook, they have everything they have bargained for including millions in active memberships, a lurking competition toppled down, and Instagram all to themselves for whatever intents and purposes they may otherwise have in mind.
9. Convert adversity into an opportunity
For sure Mark Zuckerberg and his allies at Facebook are well aware of instagram’s rapid rise to fame, and they have cleverly devised a way to end this at once. The remedy is to provide Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom an offer he cannot refuse – $1 Billion in cold cash!
Why wallow in your misery when you can surely overcome any obstacle if you’d want to? Exactly what Facebook did with Instagram.
10. Always go for the Win-win
Major business decisions must always go for a win-win solution at all times. Facebook did just that when they found out of the news regarding their close competitor – Instagram, they ensured everything will be a triumph on their part, and Instagram bringing home the pie.
11. Stay on top of the competition
Facebook stayed on top of the competition and took hold of the reins when they bought Instagram, and the latter yielded. A lot of people frowned over the value with which Instagram was successfully bought for, but to Facebook’s mind that was just a great deal, and it was all well-worth it.
12. Make an inventory of your current business status regularly
By making a regular inventory of your business, you will at all times be informed of your present business standing, and can keep close watch of your competition.
Ensure you check the market regularly and keep tabs on your business growth and development, this way you will know what needs to be changed or developed to keep up with the rest of the competition.
13. Protect your brand at all cost
Instagram may have sold their company to their worthy opponent Facebook, but they have never loose sight of their identity and brand. They remained the same, and was called the same – Instagram.
The most notable difference perhaps being that they are currently shifting to an entirely new management and supervision. For whatever it is worth, Instagram will always be Instagram and Facebook can never change that!
14. Do whatever it takes to make your business rise above the competition
$1 Billion dollars can be quite a hefty price to pay, but that’s not an issue to then rival Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. He just did a sound business judgment when he did that.
Looking over long-term results, Facebook can easily recoup $1 billion dollars in no time, and gain more down the road. You just have to do whatever it takes to make your business stay afloat.
With the growing popularity of Instagram came the additional demand for it to be available in various platforms including the popular ones, such as – mobile devices. With Android and iOS gadgets all booming, Instagram struck a goldmine by creating cutting-edge technology designed for mobile phones and other portable devices. This is the waterloo of Facebook, and they wanted to win back the crown by owning Instgram, and reinvent Facebook apps via mobile and other portable platforms following Instagram’s model and lead.
If you want to thrive in the online marketplace, be sure to stay tuned in to the latest innovations, and keep up. Otherwise, end-users will leave you the instant they find your site buggy and outdated.
It is our fervent hope that Instagram will grow more under Facebook’s wing and that they will further add more value and inspiration to people’s daily lives. And for businesses – small, mid-range, or big – to learn from this experience.
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