Today, internet marketers agree that Instagram is the sweetheart of social media. The reasons are not far-fetched as it registers 1 billion active users monthly, with half of them following businesses.
Instagram has evolved to become a powerful marketing tool for businesses that look to improve their visibility and presence. When it comes to social media, you may be doing your business a great deal of disservice by not joining the Instagram jamboree.
Here are 10 reasons why Instagram is a veritable platform for your business:
1. More People Are On Instagram
As of January 2019, Instagram ranked 6th in a survey of the most popular social networks worldwide ranked by number of users with 1 billion subscribers. According to Omnicore, 80% of its 500 million daily users are outside the United States, 35% of them are millennials and 37% check their feed multiple times per day.
Engagement on Instagram is measured by likes, comments and shares on Instagram are enviable as it boasts of a score of 4.2% - ten times greater than Facebook, 55 times greater than Pinterest and 85 times greater than Twitter. With this ocean of eyes available, businesses can make resounding successes with a dedicated Instagram marketing strategy.
2. Any Business Can Succeed
The best-known, household brands like Nike and Pepsi have effectively leveraged the power of Instagram for their businesses. Thousands of small business and segments have also thrived using Instagram.
Tourism for example, is one sector that has experienced a boom on Instagram as “new travel destinations and places to explore” is a popular query by 48% of Instagram users who are travel enthusiasts, causing Instagram to update their application to include features that enable businesses to add “Reserve” and “Book” buttons to their feeds.
3. Businesses Make Money Directly
Instagram enables commercial posts, which allow businesses to add tags to the items in their photos with links to price, product description, and the “shop now” feature which redirects the user to your online store. Adweek stated it best, “As the world has shifted to social media, consumers look at fellow consumers to inform their purchasing decisions. Instead of looking at companies, as they did in the past, they now look at each other and at their favourite personalities.”
Further to this, 72% of Instagram users report making purchase decisions based on something that they saw while browsing the app. So, if you’re not incorporating Instagram into your social media marketing, unfortunately, you’re missing out.
4. Hashtags Mean More Visibility
New businesses might be intimidated by competitive behemoths at first, but you can separate your company from the herd by the correct use of hashtags.
Essentially, hashtags are keywords that summarise the message embedded in your Instagram post. #ShareaCoke by Coca-Cola and #MyCalvins by Calvin Klein have become cornerstones of pop culture, making these companies more recognisable.
Small businesses may not have the strength of numbers on their backs like Coke does but positive progress is being made as they are catching up with the trend by directly publishing and marketing themselves and encouraging the sharing of visual moments and aligning these moments to a specific hashtag.
5. You Can Engage With Customers Effectively
Letting customers know that you exist and having them come back for more business is every brand’s dream. Instagram and social media is a place where people have a linked to make their opinions known, it is for some, the only place where they earn respect.
Also, the average Instagram user wants to be associated with only the best posts and would like, comment on and share their favourite posts. The more high-quality photos and video content that you post, the more likes you get, and the more visible your business becomes to your selected audience.
Furthermore, you can get more likes by taking advantage of Instagram nuances by writing compelling bios, providing links to the full competition; optimising the use of emojis; hosting contests and giveaways; SEOs and the curation of content from users using location-based tools (User Generated Content).
6. It Keeps Close Tabs On Competitors
You can watch your competitors closely to discover what they post and how often they post it, how they interact with their followers, you can refine your brand strategies with the information that you have gathered.
7. It Allows For In-Depth Creativity
Using Instagram as an effective marketing tool comes with a chance to prove to your audience that your brand has personality and makes it very easy to connect order, book and pay with your business.
Competitions, vivid images, interactive videos, and shout outs are all ways in which you can mix it up on Instagram. Don’t forget to network with larger Instagram accounts in your niche as this is an excellent way to grow your network and an organic following. According to Jumper Media, by collaborating with a 3 million-follower account, you could grow up to 3000 + followers in a week.
In social media, there are viewers and there are influencers. Influencers are celebrities, mostly online, who will often promote a product or brand and drive it to become mainstream.
Excellent Instagram influencers are known to take your marketing efforts and sales to an unprecedented level; penetrating demographics that you wouldn’t normally reach thereby increasing your ROI. A well-known influencer can spread the word of your business to millions of Instagram followers with a few posts. But beware of the wannabe 'influencer' not all accounts ant their followers are real!
9. Stories Make Your Business Relatable
Instagram presents a great opportunity to show your customers that you are not just another faceless corporation. With many of the features geared for greater audience connection, you can really make a lasting impression with stories and live broadcasts on Instagram.
Give your followers behind-the-scene insights into your brand, reveal videos of in-house employees interacting with each other, or organize live Q&As with your audience. Visual feeds reflect your uniqueness and differentiate your enterprise.
10. Trackable Performance
Analytics and social listening enable you to fine-tune your marketing plans by identifying and monitoring the best practices for your business. With Instagram insights, you can know the best times to post and what to post. Platforms such as native Instagram Insights, or paid tools like Sprout Social, and Iconosquare serve as free and effective Instagram monitoring tools.
There are more people on Instagram today than ever before. Not joining this platform means that you’re sacrificing thousands of potential customers that want what you have. The reasons outlined here are surefire ways to build your Instagram presence from scratch.
If you are a tourism business and will like to learn more about how to leverage the platform, please check out our newly developed online course, Instagram Marketing for Tourism.
“35% of adult internet users used Instagram in 2018, up from 26% in September 2014.” Pew Research Centre