Can a photo sharing app with no clickable links really make a difference to your business? Is there really value in clicking photos and sharing them with your customers ? Should your business be on Instagram?
Here are five questions to ask yourself before you set up an Instagram profile for your business.
Instagram has around 300 million monthly active users. About 70 million photos are shared everyday on the platform. These numbers form a very active user base that businesses can leverage to help build communities around their products and services.
Maintaining an Instagram page is a lot of work. Growing your following can be quite difficult, especially if you are a smaller brand. One cannot really “buy” followers on Instagram. Advertising is starting to become a part of Instagram, but only very large brands seem to have access to the platform.
As a result of this, some businesses may not find it worth the time cost to justify a sufficient ROI from creating and maintaining an Instagram page. Here are five questions that can make your decision to market on Instagram easier.
1) Is your product/service visual by nature?
Instagram is a picture only social network. As a brand, all you have is a photo and a couple of lines to get your message across.
As a result of this, brands with visually appealing products find it quite easy to consistently produce engaging content on Instagram.
Take Harley Davidson’s Instagram profile for example :
The time it takes to create this content is negligible. Brands can generate massive engagement with fans, through a simple mobile photo and a few filters.
Instagram is a great social network for companies that can produce visual content. The nature of the app makes it a great place to build highly engaged communities around photos.
2) Are your customers on Instagram?
Instagram has over 300 milllion monthly active users and its primary user demographic is aged between 18-29. This demographic accounts for nearly 53% of Instagram’s user base. The ratio of male to female users is similar with 55% of Instagram users being male.
It should also be noted that Instagram is the most important social network for teenagers. 75% of upper class teens in the United States use Instagram as their primary social network. Businesses whose target demographic is of that age should seriously consider starting an Instagram page for their business.
3) Which parts of your Social Media funnel are you looking to improve?
Before you take a decision on whether to use Instagram as a marketing channel, it is important to understand the social media funnel and the role different social networks play in this funnel. It is also important to understand your aims and desired outcomes from social media marketing.
Instagram performs great in 2 areas of the funnel:
a) Community and awareness: Instagram helps businesses build communities around products and services. Typically, marketers use Instagram to interact with fans and improve brand awareness.
b) Evangelism: Instagram’s user base is extremely active. Fans do not miss a chance to click photos of their favorite products and share it with their followers. This word of mouth marketing is extremely powerful and increases your brand exposure beyond your own following. People are also more likely to follow brands and buy products recommended by their friends. It is extremely easy for businesses to track and measure this word of mouth marketing.
4) Is customer engagement an important metric for your brand?
Instagram has the best engagement rates among all social networks. People spend a lot of time liking and commenting on photos in the app. As a result of this, brands find it particularly useful in obtaining real time feedback from their fans.
Brands often tease new products on Instagram, which creates real time instant feedback on the demand that the product will create. By measuring the engagement of these photos, brands are able to take important decisions regarding the release of new products. Flash sale websites and luxury and fashion brands have successfully been doing this for a couple of years now.
For example, Louis Vuitton teases new products and to show product endorsements by celebrities on their Instagram and Facebook pages:
Louis Vuitton has about 15 million likes on their Facebook page and about 5 million followers Instagram.
The above post has about 370 likes on Facebook while the same post has generated 58.6k likes on Instagram.
Instagram posts on average have a per follower engagement rate of 4.21% when compared to Facebook’s 0.07% and Twitter’s 0.03%. This translates into an engagement rate which is 58 times Facebook’s engagement rate and 120 times Twitters engagement rate respectively.
Brands can also engage with their customers by answering any queries related to the product or answering any customer support requirements that a user may bring up on Instagram.
5) No Visual Products to Showcase ? Not a Consumer -focused brand? Instagram could play an important role in attracting talent!
Even if your product or service does not identify with the criteria above it still may be beneficial to have an Instagram page to showcase your company culture. This is extremely useful when it comes to attracting talent to your company.
These days, all types of businesses are using Instagram to showcase different aspects of their culture. From swanky offices to great perks, startups and other small businesses are clicking and posting great photos on Instagram.
For example Shopify, a SaaS product uses Instagram to show how its customers use its software.
1) Instagram works great for companies with visual products to showcase. It is also very easy for these businesses to create and post engaging content on Instagram.
2) The primary users of Instagram are teenagers and other young people. Brands looking to engage with a younger demographic may find exceptional ROI in Instagram marketing.
3) Instagram is most useful when brands are looking to build communities around their products and services. Post community building, word-of-mouth marketing through customer generated photos is another reason to invest in Instagram marketing.
4) Instagram beats all other social networks when it comes to fan engagement rates. If engagement is an important metric that you want to increase, Instagram might be the right option.
5) Irrespective of the type of business you run, Instagram is a great place to showcase your company culture. This can be a great way to showcase your customers, reach out to and attract prospective employees.