If your business isn't on Instagram, here's why you might want to get your brand on the platform immediately.
Since its inception, Instagram has proven to be a powerful marketing tool for businesses looking to expand their presence and the visibility of their products. If you have not jumped on the Instagram bandwagon yet, you may be doing your business a great disservice. If you still need convincing, then check out these 10 reasons why Instagram is continuously rising in importance and how your company can benefit.
1. More people are using Instagram.
According to the folks at Instagram, their social media presence currently brings with it over 800 million active users. Of those millions of people, over 500 million are on the platform on a daily basis, with 80 percent of them being outside of the United States, 34 percent of them being millennials and 38 percent checking the site multiple times each day. With that many available eyeballs, there is no limit to the success a business can reach with a dedicated Instagram strategy.
2. Any size of business can thrive.
With all of those users to choose from, the sky is the limit to what a business can achieve. That goes for large, well-known companies as well as smaller mom and pop shops and one-man operations.
Of course, even for the best-known companies, success will not come overnight, but if a marketing team wants to get their organization on the map, they can do so by keeping an active presence and maintaining a routine of at least one post per day. This is how both household names like Coca-Cola and Adidas as well as a slew of small businesses have effectively used Instagram to thrive.
3. Businesses can make money directly from Instagram.
Instagram has evolved over the years, and now there is a greater emphasis on making money through product placement. The latest program is called shoppable posts, and they allow businesses to add tags to the products in their photos with links that include a product description, price and the ability to "shop now," which will lead the user to your online store.
With this new service, it's simple for a business to attract actual sales from the site, and with 72 percent of Instagram users admitting to purchasing products through the social media platform, the results are hard to ignore.
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4. Stories make your business relatable.
Instagram is a great way to show potential customers that you are more than just a faceless corporation. This can be done through many of the app's features, but you can really make an impression with live posts and stories.
The best way to use live stories is to show behind-the-scenes insights into your company and the people who work there. Some examples are videos that show how products are made, videos of office employees interacting with each other, and live Q&A sessions between you and your audience.
Instagram live posts are also an excellent way to build rapport, trust and credibility with followers, as well as showing that there's a human side to your business. If consumers see you as more than an entity looking to take their money, then they may be more trusting of your brand.
5. You can partner with influencers.
When it comes to social media, you have your regular viewers, and then you have influencers. For those not in the know, influencers are online celebrities who will often promote a brand or product and take it into the mainstream.
A dependable influencer can bring your company;s sales to a whole other level through increased return on investment and access to demographics that you wouldn't normally reach. If you use a well-known influencer, then they can spread word of your company or product to millions of followers with just a few posts.
6. Hashtags can increase your visibility.
As a new business on the block, you may be intimidated by the competition, but with the proper use of hashtags, you can separate your company from the herd.
Hashtags are essentially keywords that summarize what your post is saying. Popular Instagram hashtags such as Coca-Cola's #ShareaCoke, Charmin's #TweetFromTheSeat and Calvin Klein's #MyCalvins have rocked the industry, becoming pop culture cornerstones that have made these popular companies even more recognizable and beloved.
You may not be Coke or Charmin, but effective use of hashtags can do wonders to separate your business from the crowd.
7. You can effectively engage with customers.
What is better than having customers know you exist? How about the opportunity to engage with them on a daily basis? The fact is that people like to make their opinions known, especially if they like something, and Instagram is a platform for users to like, comment on and share their favorite posts. The more likes and comments you get, the more visible your company becomes. You can get more likes by taking high-quality photos, using local hashtags and partnering with other brands.
8. Mobility is king.
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, which started out as browser-based sites, Instagram was created to be an app from the start. Since 90 percent of time spent on mobile is spent on apps, your company should take advantage of this and make your posts accessible to viewers wherever they go via Instagram. Smartphone users tend to turn to Instagram because it has a cleaner style than the cluttered view that Facebook can create, and with engagement on Instagram being 10 times higher than on Facebook, you will want to get on the bandwagon.
9. You can keep an eye on competitors.
Your company can use Instagram to keep an eye on your competitors and see how they interact with their followers. Watch carefully to find out how often they post, what they are posting and how they engage with their followers. You can use the information you gather to better define your own personal strategy.
10. It offers many ways to get creative.
A great benefit of the photo-sharing app is the creativity it provides. On Instagram, your marketing team can go wild coming up with new ways to draw attention and add followers and new customers. Show the public that your brand has personality and that it is cool to shop with you by mixing it up with contests, shoutouts, vivid images, interactive videos and more.
If anything ties these 10 benefits together, it is that more people are paying attention to Instagram than ever before, and you are only ignoring millions of potential customers by not joining this powerful social media platform. Take the tips you learned here and use them to start building your Instagram presence. Your bottom line will be glad that you did.