Instagram launched as an app on October 6, 2010 and quickly rose to the top of the social media game. In just two years, it hit 80 million users, and saw even more robust growth after being acquired by Facebook in 2012. Since then, a variety of content creation tools have been integrated, including enhanced video capabilities, Boomerangs, and different photo filters. In the last few years, new features have been added to the platform to rival their competitors, such as Stories and Reels—Instagram’s spin on Snapchat and TikTok, respectively. The platform has also expanded to have a desktop-friendly format in addition to the mobile app.
As of May 2020, Instagram boasts over 1 billion active monthly users and content posted on the platform gets an average of 4.2 billion likes per day. Due to its ever-expanding nature and high levels of engagement, Instagram has become a popular marketing tool for businesses and brands of all sizes.
Do I Need Instagram for My Business?
Instagram has a huge audience, and it is one of the most engaged audiences across all social media platforms. This engagement extends to businesses. In fact, 80% of active Instagram accounts follow at least one business profile. Your business can use this to its advantage—posting on Instagram puts your brand in front of a large, active audience that is more likely to see, interact with, and remember your content.
Another unique aspect of Instagram is the platform’s emphasis on storytelling. When creating content for Instagram, you aren’t just putting up a picture of a product, you’re creating a narrative around your brand that will pull in new customers and keep current customers engaged. It’s crucial to put a face on your business—your audience will stick around longer if you are relatable for them.
Why Instagram for My Business?
Instagram’s structure also lends itself to more creativity and informality for a business than most other social media platforms. Because Instagram relies heavily on visuals, businesses must think outside of the box to create content that will catch the eyes of their audience. There is ample flexibility within an image or video to get your message across in a unique way. Audiences view Instagram as more informal than other platforms because the average age range of Instagram users is 18-35. Slang, pop culture references, and influencer marketing all perform well with the younger demographic that is so prevalent on Instagram.
Finally, Instagram provides its business profiles with an analytics center. Here, you can see information regarding your audience and performance, including impressions, reach, interaction, discovery, demographics, and more. All of this information can give you valuable insight into how your content comes across to your audience, whether you’re reaching your target audience, and perhaps most importantly, whether the people seeing your content are visiting your website.
So, what exactly goes into a good Instagram business profile? Here are five quick tips on optimizing your brand’s page:
When getting started with Instagram, the first thing to do is set up your basic profile. This includes your handle, name, bio, location, and any contact information you want your audience to have. This seems like a simple step, but it truly is the most important. If your desired audience can’t recognize your page as legitimate, you’ll see low engagement, low following, and ultimately your page won’t be successful. Choose a handle that is easy to read and makes sense with your brand, and keep your profile photo consistent with any other social media accounts your business has. Also, be sure that the location and contact info shown on your Instagram matches what is on your other accounts and your website. All these things will give your page more credibility with users and help develop your brand.
The Art of Storytelling
The key to Instagram is the storytelling element. When creating content, take the focus away from the product itself and focus more on how your product fits into the lifestyle of your consumers. For example, if you are trying to market a product, include photos on your feed of people using your products in real world settings or photos that include your brand’s colors in a unique way. If you’re trying to market a service, action shots are key—showing your service at work will drive engagement.
Using Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are photos and videos posted in slideshow-style. Stories are anchored to the top of a user’s screen rather than integrated into the feed. Content collected in Stories only stays live for 24 hours. Users interact with branded content in Stories more often than regular posts. Therefore, utilizing this feature can lead to extended reach and higher visibility. What content works best in this format? Linking to your company website, highlighting a certain product or service, or using the engagement tools such as polls and the Q&A box are just three ways to promote your business with Instagram Stories.
Putting a Face on Your Brand
At its core, Instagram is a visual platform. Use this to your advantage to connect with your audience by showing people using your products, performing your services, or otherwise representing your brand. Bonus points if you can include a cute animal or other mascot!
Track your reach with Instagram’s analytics capabilities. With Instagram for Business, you can monitor your reach, interactions, profile visits, website clicks, call/email clicks, and more. You can sort data by demographics including age range, location, and gender. Aside from overall account data, you’ll also be able to see how each individual post or Story is performing. Then, you can adjust your posting schedule accordingly. Review account analytics at least once per month to ensure you’re headed in the right direction.
For all these reasons and more, it’s essential that your business utilizes Instagram as a marketing tool. Not sure where to start? Media Venue is here to help! Our experienced digital media team can handle every aspect of Instagram, from account and content creation to scheduling, publishing, and reviewing analytics on posts. Contact our social media manager Michelle Dunaway at email@example.com or 502-855-4795 to get started!
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