So, your business is not on Instagram yet?
Instagram is such a great connector and catalyst to all other things social!
What are you waiting for?
Current Facts About Instagram
First, we can all empathize with the statement, "I need another social network like I need a hole in the head." But if it was valuable to your other social interactions and to your business, you would spend time there, right?
Second, we can also empathize with the fact that keeping a consistent social media presence is sometimes overwhelming.
Instagram is F-U-N! It's being social without feeling like you're "Feeding the Facebook Audrey."
Some numbers you should like:
- 17% of all adult internet users are on Instagram (Twitter at 18%; Pew Study, December 2013)
- 20% of online adult females use Instagram (Pew Study, December 2013)
- 15% of online adult males use Instagram (Pew Study, December 2013)
- The average sale value for visitors referred by Instagram is $66.75 (Shopify)
So, if you are trying to gain customers through social selling, and you have a product or service priced from, lets say, $1.00 to $100.00, Instagram is a good option for your business!
As this article is being typed, Instagram is still celebrating a big milestone achieved. Instagram now sees 300 million monthly users, knocking Twitter down a peg at 284 million.
Those statistics should get you excited, but there are still a few things to know.
By the end of this article you should discover:
- Why Instagram is a powerful marketing tool.
- How you can use Instagram to support your other social media marketing efforts.
- What your business can do to capitalize on trends in your social media marketing.
And...hopefully a few additional tricks!
Seven Reasons Your Marketing Should Include Instagram
Lets count 'em down, shall we?
7. It's Fun
When you go on vacation and you're having fun, you're taking photos, right?
At your family birthday parties, you might take pictures of those fun, happy moment, correct?
Play around with the Instagram app even for a few minutes, and you see that you can choose to take a photo right in the app, or you can choose an existing photo already in your phone's photo gallery, previously taken.
Zoom in...or out, and there are really nifty filters! Those that grew up with cords on their phones will appreciate these features most.
Truthfully, the features here combined with the big handful of filters make even the novice photographer look like a pro!
6. It's Easy
Everything I described above is simple. For creating images: Minimal buttons to push, quick turnaround, and you can easily move back to the previous screen to edit, and then move on again.
Even the functions of the app are few and easy to hop from one to another:
- Engaging with those that like & comment on your photos
- Instagram Search - For people and hashtags; Also explore photos
- Viewing an account's Instagram followers
- Changing your settings
- Sending direct messages
Remember, the Instagram app is natively mobile, so they had to make it comfortable for people to work with.
We discussed above that busy business owners prefer their social media activities to be easier rather than more time consuming, right?
As an example, The Hybrid Shop - A an automotive franchise network specializing in hybrid vehicle repair - won two Stevie Awards for business development in 2014. They took some great photos and video at the event.
5. It's Mobile
Anymore, there is not a single item that people have with them most consistently than their mobile phone. In fact, I'm willing to bet my next Instagram image that at least 50% of the readers of this post sleep with their mobile phones next to them.
Am I right?
Your mobile phone is always with you. So, Instagram images are always possible. Instagram is perhaps the best authentic, real time social media.
That said, when business owners are more and more challenged to keep up on updating their social media, Instagram should be easy to pick up, and soon like an old friend as close as your pocket or purse.
4. It's V-V-V-Visual
That said, even business brands know it is the behind-the-scenes and more personal images that get the most engagement on social media. So, think of Instagram as a way to offer "visual samples" of what your business is and the people involved in delivering product and service.
The Instagram platform is an excellent way of humanizing your business and nurturing relationships! A short list of business niches doing well:
- Home Decor
- Interior Design
- Real Estate
That is just scratching the surface. Any business that depends on giving the customer a visual should absolutely be on Instagram! But with all things, the platform is what you make of it, so the opportunities are limitless, really.
TIP: Images that seem to attract higher engagement are of sunsets, water views, and delicious culinary creations. Blues, purples, yellows and oranges attract people to like, comment and re-post.
3. It's Hashtag Heavenly
First, unlike some social networks, there is really no text limit per post on Instagram.
Second, while Twitter is where hashtags gained ground, on Instagram hashtags resound.
- Track contests and promotions
- Attract new followers
- Find new people to follow
Instagram search has been recently improved, and you can peruse images by hashtag. Connect with people and brands of like interest.
TIP: By using popular instagram hashtags, you can attract new Instagram followers to yourself and or your business brand.
2. It's purpose-able
Whenever you can re-purpose your content it is an advantage. A clever way to re-purpose your Instagram content is to save links key brand images and popular posts that got a lot of likes and comments, and periodically re-share them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.
This nurtures your brand awareness efforts, and keeps your content streams rich with images you already know people like.
You can also embed Instagram videos or images in blog posts & other web pages!
So, if you wanted to say good morning to your followers, you might pour a freshly brewed cup of coffee and take a photo. Then, post that photo to Instagram (and other social networks - keep reading for the how-to). Something like this:
Above is an Instagram photo that has been embedded in this blog post. You can choose any of your Instagram images and use them in other online content.
That makes the content more attractive, but also encourages readers to follow you on Instagram.
All part of nurturing brand awareness.
1. It Syndicates Sensationally
Who doesn't have a Facebook Page that has seen dramatic drops in organic reach? Here's a treat: You can actually improve your Facebook marketing with Instagram. Many report that they see greater reach and engagement on Facebook from photos and videos syndicated over from Instagram, than simply sharing a photo by posting it right to a Facebook page.
A cool feature I like - The option to choose whether you share to a Facebook Page or a Facebook personal profile. I change this frequently and share to both.
And also email.
We haven't even touched on the groovy apps available! But... There are many, many! Just do an app search.
A few of my favorites:
Seriously, those are just a mere few that make Instagram images delicious. You make your photo all fancy, and then Instagram will syndicate your awesomeness! 🙂
This list of reasons could probably be longer, because Instagram is great in so many ways. But you should be inspired to try it, right?
Like any other social network, at some point you will make a mistake writing a post or you will get a spam comment in your conversation thread. It is not so obvious, but there is a feature to delete posts and comments on Instagram.
So, rest assured - Even though it is mainly a mobile platform, they have thought of features that help you keep your brand looking marvelous!
Your Turn To Snap Some Instagram Shots - Literally!
Instagram is an increasingly popular social media. Yet, it is fun and easy like we once valued in other social networks.
Plus, now, while it is not over-crowded and noisy, this is an excellent opportunity for smart brands to start engaging there, and making a solid social presence where their audience is already active.
To those not already on Instagram, are you inspired to add it to your social media portfolio?
To those using Instagram, what did I leave out above that you can share with readers here?
Please leave your questions and curiosities in the comments box below... 🙂