Is it weird to be blogging about whether or not Instagram is the new blog?
Recently, I participated in teaching a webinar on how to grow your Instagram account while also branding it for your business. They say that you learn more when you teach, and in talking to other wedding professionals I learned that, overwhelmingly, they feel that Instagram is the most powerful and important social media tool and communication vehicle they have. But why? Does it even matter? And if we are all spending on time on Instagram, is anyone out there still on Pinterest? Are people tweeting? What about Facebook, and blogs? Is anyone even reading this at all?
Here are a couple of my observations, opinions, and ramblings on where we stand in the world of connectivity. If anyone is out there, I'd love to hear what you think!
If you are an information nerd like I am, a simple search can tell you that engagement on blogs (and Facebook and Twitter) is down. Most people find that they don't have the time to read anything lengthy, opting instead to do a quick skim and look-see at the photos. The days of racking up comments are long gone. And so for the individual wedding planner, designer, florist, or photographer, the blog is quickly being replaced by a solid, beautifully curated Instagram wedding page that can be seen and shared quickly and easily.
That said, the independent wedding blogs such as Reverie Gallery, Carats & Cake, Junebug, etc. are still tremendously important. Not only can you find a wide range of styles from across the world in one place, but being featured on one is an independent testimonial, a credit to the professionals craft, and an authentic reference that couples feel that they can trust.
Online, the social scene moves so fast that you may not even be seen, and the once popular, now mythical Thumbs Up / Like / Share on Facebook simply takes too much time and effort. There is just so much noise! So many ads! So many cat videos; not to mention religion, politics, etc. People just want to go someplace fun!
Which is really where Instagram has cornered the market! While comments and engagement on other platforms have flatlined, brides and grooms are double tapping, sharing, and leaving quick comments everywhere.
The best part is that, currently, nearly 100% of your Instagram followers see 100% of your posts each and every time, as people have a tendency to scroll through until they reach the last image they remember seeing. The platform, owned by Facebook, is going to be experimenting with a Facebook like algorithm in the coming months, but for now what you post is what they see.
Four years ago I wrote a post about how to use Pinterest for wedding planning. At the time pinning, posting, and the creation of boards was the hight of the wedding planning process. Those days are now long gone. In fact, the last time I spoke at The Art of Wedding Planning I said, "By the time you add something to your Pinterest board, it's already dead."
Does that mean I no longer use Pinterest? Of course not. Brides and grooms continue to search there, and so I do pop in from time to time. But what I love and prefer about Instagram is that, which Pinterest lets me see what my couples like, Instagram lets me peak into who they are. It's easy to pin an orange bouquet, chandleries, nautical stripes, and ballgowns. On Pinterest, we all have a bit of a split personality! But on Instagram, I can see if a couple loves fine dining, if they are obsessed with their Frenchie, where they vacation, and how they shop. It's like dating....On Pinterest, I see the representative of who they think they may want to be through the eyes of others. On Instagram, I see who they are. Slightly filtered, sure, but it's a much more authentic way of getting to know them.
One more thing; On Pinterest couples were starting to hear that their friends could see what they were planning and steal their ideas. It took time to create a private board, to make sure you pinned to the right place, etc. On Instagram, privately collecting and sharing images in real time has never been easier, with couples privately sending photos and messages to their planning team with just the tap of an arrow.
No contest. I almost didn't even include this. What I have to say takes more than 140 characters, and in the never ending feed, my message can (and does) get lost. Especially without a pretty pretty picture that makes you stop and share.
With the rise of Snapchat, changes to Facebook, openings on WhoSay, and a more user-friendly Google+ interface, there is so much information everywhere, always, at all times. It can make your head spin!
But on Instagram we stay and play, we double tap and share, and we feel like we are at a party in our PJs whether it is 6 AM or 11:42 at night.
Still, for me, I won't be abandoning my blog any time soon. So go check out my Instagram for the pretty, and come here to learn about the love story behind it.