Luxury Travel, Lifestyle and Marketing Trends

Is Instagram the new most powerful social platform?

instagram social media

According to reports by L2’s Intelligence and GlobalWebIndex it is. Both studies account that Instagram is growing faster than any other social media sites worldwide, with an active user base increase of 23 percent over the last six months.

L2, a retail analytics company based in New York, released a new data-driven research that offers insight into influential brands’ investments on Instagram and the platform’s e-commerce potential. GlobalWebIndex’s report, published in January, was based on responses from some 170,000 users across 32 countries.

Due to its extremely high user engagement, Instagram is becoming an important tool for brand marketers. As noted by survey performed by Pew Research – based on data from telephone interviews conducted on August and September last year – over half of users use the app daily, while 35 percent do so multiple times a day.

Instagram users are even interacting with brands that do not have an official presence on the platform. One example is Chanel, which has about 5 million photos posted by users with the hashtag #chanel.

The photo-sharing network’s revenue potential is being explored by many of the world’s top brands. Both luxury brands and mass-market retailers have been taking advantage of the app to generate interest and potential growth in sales. L2 predicts that it will generate $250 million to $400 million in revenue only this year.

Pau Sabria of Oliapic, a New York company that helps brands solicit and publish photos of their products taken by ordinary Instagram users, told the New York Times that by adding user-generated photos to a retail site the number of visitors who turn into buyers increased by 5 to 7 percent and the average order value rose by 2 percent. One of the reasons for the increase, according to him, is that clients can explore how a product looks “in real life” by Instagram users. He affirms that the platform is already generating real revenue for brands, such as some of his clients: American Eagle Outfitters, Lancôme, Coach and West Elm.

One of the reasons for the great success of Instagram might be thanks to the extensive use of mobile handsets for social networking services. Cellphones are now the most popular for access, with an average of 66 percent users compared to 64 percent for PCs and tablets.

Another advantage of Instagram, when compared to platforms such as Twitter and Tumblr, is its visual appeal. While text can be a little harder to absorb, a short video or a photo say it all in a few seconds.

Guest post by Bruna Indalecio

Revolutionary Aloft Hotels Twitter Pitch Party – Success?

On November 12th, Aloft Hotels (@AloftHotels) had 485 followers on Twitter. On November 26th, @AloftHotels boasts 2,314 followers. What might you ask caused this nearly 400% increase in just two short weeks? The Answer: the newest hashtag to hit the platform — a #RFTweet.


Ugly Tourism

Graffiti tourism, danger tourism, grief tourism (tours to Holocaust museums, Khmer Rouge killing fields, etc) and slum tourism (though Brazil’s favelas and Kenya’s slums) are all travel micro-niches that have surfaced in the last few years. These travel niches cater to small markets in terms of numbers, but keep in the mind the Long Tail business model about selling less of more. The focus is on offering a large number of niche products, each of which sells relatively infrequently. This pattern is illustrated with the transformation of the book publishing industry by and DVD rentals by Netflix.


From blogs to books

Since roughly 2005, publishers have been looking to social media for new talent and new material to buoy book production, bridging the gap between computer screen and coffee table. There’s a world of difference between being a blogger and a book author, but more writers are wearing both hats these days. It’s not surprising that pro writers are becoming bloggers, but “amateur” bloggers getting book deals. According to statistics by R.R. Bowker, A staggering 764,448 titles were produced in 2009 by self-publishers and micro-niche publishers. The number of “nontraditional” titles dwarfed that of traditional books whose output slipped to 288,355 last year from 289,729 in 2008. Taken together, total book output in 2009 rose 87% to over 1 million books.