On April 12th of 2012 Facebook, the world’s leading Social Media network, acquired the photo taking, and photo sharing mobile application Instagram for $1 Billion US dollars in cash, and stock assets. Instagram had continued to gain followers as both the number of smart phone users increased, and the spread of photos on social networks. Uploading your newest photos to your Facebook or Twitter page had never been easier, and Instagram saw a continued growth in its popularity because of that. Instagram was lauded, and criticized, for it’s easy use of filters to make simple photos look more polished and professional. Instagram created a whole new culture of amateur photographers, and people were eager to share their artistic side with their friends via Social Media.
While the battle for the hearts and spending power of Gen-Y rages on, some interesting studies have come out that brings new marketing information to light. While Gen-Y is heavily entrenched in the digital age, word-of-mouth marketing is still king of the hill. A new study by Sitel fielded in January, 2012 shows that only 28.7 percent of this demographic make purchase decisions based on what friends “like” on the social networks. Compare that with 46.9 percent influence of in-store promotion, and 44.3 percent of word-of-mouth, and it’s clear that interactions in the physical world still reign supreme. Gen-Y won’t merely be influenced by what pages their friends have visited, but by the products their friends are sharing information about. Social media is best served to initiate conversations between company and consumer. By creating a one on one conversation in the virtual space with a Gen-Y customer, you can begin to transfer that into the physical world. Getting Gen-Y into your store, or at least onto your website to shop.