Unless you’re in the business of food, fashion or travel, Instagram might not really be on your social media marketing radar. As a mobile app designed exclusively for photo and video sharing, it’s easy to question whether it’s relevant if your business is not visually focused.
This is a real misconception. The reality is that any brand can harness the power of Instagram – when they know how. But what is it about Instagram that makes it such a great option for business?
Firstly, Instagram has a huge active following – in fact, it’s now bigger than Twitter. This means it offers a glut of potential new customers. In addition, demographically it hits wide.
Here are some of the latest stats for the platform:
Of those using the platform, the male/female user split is pretty even at 51% and 49% respectively (Source: Search Engine Watch). Age-wise 16-24 year olds make up approximately 37% of total users, followed closely by 25-34 and 35-44 year olds. The 45-45 and 55-64 age groups are less active but still involved (Source: Smart Insights).
Visual content is extremely powerful – it’s been proven time and time again. As well as being more engaging than written communications, photos and videos – the required format of Instagram posts – are more sharable, easier to understand and universally more meaningful.
To back this up, research by Forrester named Instagram as the ‘king of social engagement’, with its top brands receiving 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.
Ultimately what this means is that Instagram can help your business connect more effectively with your audience – the key to getting those leads and sales.
So, what are you waiting for?
If you already have the app, setting up an Instagram profile for your business is pretty straightforward. In fact, the process is exactly the same as for a personal account.
When you’re filling in your details, add your company name in the name section and a short, snappy business description (150 character limit) in the bio section. For the profile photo it’s best to keep it simple and display your company logo.
Make sure you connect your account with any other social media accounts you have for your business. This will allow you to share your posts across platforms.
Basic steps to posting on Instagram:
Now that we’ve shown just how powerful Instagram can be, and how to begin using it, you might be wondering how you can use it for your business. Here are some suggestions for the types of visual content you could share:
Before you start sharing, ensure you have a clear strategy in place. This should include your goals – e.g. increase product sales, drive traffic to your website – as well as your plan of attack in terms of what you will post, when you will post and how you will manage the process.
Finally, here are some expert tips to help guide your Instagram efforts:
With Instagram figures continuing to rise, if your business is not on board, you’ll miss out. In addition, because of the popularity of the app with young people, you may alienate yourself from the next generation of consumers.