1 billion people use Instagram every month. 500 million people use Instagram stories every day. There is an even split of genders using the platform. 63% of user’s login at least once per day. Users spend an average of 28 minutes a day on Instagram. 200 million users visit at least one business profile a day. Instagram’s advertising reach includes 849.3m users. One third of the most viewed stories are from business accounts. Still think Instagram isn’t right for your business, or isn’t worth your time?
If that is still the case, we have put together 10 ways that using Instagram can add value to your business. Scroll to the end for a quick summary if you’re in a hurry!
With 1 billion people using Instagram every month, it is an ideal platform to represent your brand. Brand representation is so important, and Instagram gives you a platform to reach even more people. Instagram is a visual platform, with high quality photos and behind the scenes Instagram stories. This platform can present your brand aesthetically, but it can also give your customers a window into your business. It adds transparency to your brand and increases trust in your business. Some consumers could be put off your brand if you are not present in the places they would expect. The biggest brands in the world are on Instagram, so why wouldn’t you be?
Co-Ordinate with other Marketing Activities
Instagram is primarily a social media platform. But it is also a marketing platform and you can run ads using Facebook Business Manager. You can co-ordinate your organic social activity with your marketing activity. Trying to push a sale on your website? You can post about it on social. 200 million users visit at least one business profile a day on Instagram. This is where you can get users who are not actively searching for your product, but that does not mean they aren’t interested in purchasing. Even if they are not ready to purchase, they can follow you to purchase in the future. All activity makes a difference, and your social media activity can help to move users through your sales funnel.
Business Profile Features
Instagram is not just for personal use. Instagram has a business profile feature. When you convert to a business account you can access insights about your profile and content, you can also then run ads for your profile. A business profile also has additional contact features. You can add your email, phone number and business address. This helps users to engage with your business off the platform. So not only are you getting in front of a wider audience, but you are also able to direct them to contact or visit your business. All your online activity should be working to meet your KPI’s.
Customer Connection & Community
A lot of businesses use social media to create a community around their brand. By creating a community, you increase the likelihood of having consumers who purchase time and time again. Consumers want to understand and identify with the brands they want to purchase from. This is especially prevalent among younger consumers who have grown up using social media. It’s also important in the current state of the world. Consumers want to support smaller businesses and businesses that stand for the things they do.
Social media also allows you to provide quicker customer service and to receive customer feedback more easily. Eventually you may need to hire for a role such as ‘Social Media Community Manager’ to respond to messages on social, as this can become overwhelming once your business takes off. However, your customers will be happy to get quick responses and to feel as though their feedback is being heard. Your customers are the heart of your business, you would not succeed without them. So, make sure that their interactions with your brand are handled quickly and professionally. Using Instagram can help with this.
Hashtags for Reach
Instagram uses hashtags. You can add up to 30 hashtags to your Instagram posts and you can add them to stories too. Using hashtags will get your post in front of users who do not follow you but are interested in what you are selling. Hashtags should be directly related to your brand, products and what is in your post. Do not use irrelevant hashtags because Instagram can identify this and will limit your reach. Hashtags are an easy way to get in front of more customers and to gain followers.
User Generated Content
Instagram is a visual platform, so you need to be creating content which is on brand and good quality. Most people now have phones powerful enough to take decent photos. This is where your Instagram community can come in handy. Encourage users to post about your product after purchase and then repost that to your own feed, with their permission of course. This is content you have not had to personally create, and you can also pull this onto your website product pages. This adds authenticity to your brand and gives you more content to use across social channels. The only thing you can’t do with this content is run ads, you would need a contract in place to do this with user generated content.
In recent years, Instagram have added shopping functions to the app. Over a third of users have used the app to purchase a product online. With a billion users using Instagram every month, that’s approximately 333,333,333 users who are shopping on Instagram. Instagram has even implemented a tab specifically for shopping. This shows users the products of the businesses they follow, as well as associated products. This is the perfect chance to get your products in front of customers who are likely to be interested.
Advanced Ad Targeting
Now I wanted to sell you on Instagram without telling you to spend extra money. However, Instagram is also a great place to run ads. But you do need all the above in place to make the most of it. Instagram ads are created using Facebook Business Manager. Due to the amount of information that users put into social media, and the fact that they follow content based on their interests. Facebook has some of the best targeting for advertising. This means that you can ensure your ads are shown to users who are interested in your product. Ads on Instagram also blend into users feeds seamlessly rather than interrupting like they do on some other platforms, meaning that users aren’t as put off by them.
Lastly, on the same marketing wave, Instagram is the perfect place for influencer marketing. Over the last few years this has become a huge area of marketing, although it can be costly. But influencers have large, already established audiences who are interested in your products. There are influencers for all sorts of niche’s with millions of followers. Influencers are self-employed and often charge for content creation time and number of posts required. They are essentially selling you their audience for a period. This is something that does not work on all platforms, so if you think this would work for your business then you need to be on Instagram.
Instagram is good for your brand. It helps build up authenticity and trustworthiness. It makes it easier for your customers to communicate with you and to build a community of loyal consumers. Hashtags are a free way to get in front of new potential customers and this technique works best on Instagram. If you are active and encourage users to generate content, you can repurpose this for your feed. You just cannot use it for ads. Instagram’s shopping features have added a lot of purchasing power to users which can benefit your brand. There is also advanced ad targeting options and a huge network of influencers if you are looking for new marketing options for your brand.