28 Apr Why Should Your Company Be on Instagram?
There’s simply no denying the popularity of Instagram as one of the world’s current top social media platforms, with one billion active monthly users. While Instagram may be seen as the go-to place for trendy influencers or as the place to share photos with your friends and family, brands and businesses can also see great social media marketing success on the platform. Instagram is an incredible space for your business to build up a community following and establish your brand voice — but only when using the right Instagram marketing techniques.
Let’s take a deeper look at what makes Instagram such a successful platform, how you can make the most of Instagram tools to improve your social media strategy, and how to correctly use hashtags to earn quality engagement.
Instagram Is a Powerful Marketing Platform
Your business may not need to be on Instagram, depending on your brand and target audience demographics. However, Instagram is still a powerful marketing platform with fantastic marketing opportunities for reaching and connecting with your audience. If your business isn’t on Instagram already, then you’ll likely want to at least give it a try.
Here are just a few reasons to use Instagram for your business:
Popularity — As previously mentioned, Instagram has over one billion active monthly users so far in 2020, with hundreds of millions using the platform on a daily basis around the world. Simply put, Instagram is a core social media platform that is extremely popular worldwide. If you want to reach your audience online, there’s a chance they are using Instagram in some way.
All Business Sizes Welcome — Whether you are a small business or a large company, there’s a community for you to plug into on Instagram. Large brands can use Instagram to share their brand values through images, while small businesses can easily gain a following by connecting with local community-based Instagram accounts. No matter your business size, building an engaged audience of followers takes time, but isn’t necessarily impossible.
Shop Features — If your business offers physical products, there’s a good chance you can take advantage of Instagram’s shop features. “Shoppable posts” allow businesses to add direct links to their products on the posts that lead directly to your business website, which is something non-business Instagram users are unable to do. Now it’s easier than ever to get those quality images of your products directly in front of your customers and boost your sales.
Show Authenticity — Instagram isn’t just a place for Millennials. It’s also a popular platform with Gen Z, and Gen Z users value authenticity more than any other age demographic before. Read more in our blog post, “Marketing Strategies to Reach Gen Z that Actually Work.” One great way Instagram gives brands opportunities to show authenticity is with Instagram Stories. Stories are the place to feature more casual, in-the-moment content such as quick Q&A sessions, daily updates, going live and more, which can increase your brand awareness and engagement through directly interacting with your audience.
Connect with Influencers — Influencer marketing is no longer a fad or a marketing niche, but rather it is here to stay as the future of social media marketing. If you’re a small business, influencer marketing is not out of your reach due to the rise of micro-influencers who have situated themselves within more specific communities instead of catering to a vast audience like celebrities. Influencers can help increase your brand awareness to new customers and improve the authenticity of your brand.
Reach Mobile Users — These days, most of your customers are likely to be using mobile devices on a daily basis, possibly for multiple hours per day. Since Instagram is a mobile-focused social media platform, it’s the perfect opportunity to quickly connect with your audience while they are on-the-go during their daily lives. Effectively reaching your mobile users through Instagram will require high-quality visual posts, engaging captions, and posting consistently.
Keep Up with the Competition — It’s likely that your competitors are already using Instagram. Keeping up with them on this platform can help you gain inspiration for your Instagram strategy, as well as help you understand what works and what doesn’t for your target audience.
Explore Creativity — Consumers don’t want to see bland posts from boring brands. What they want is to be inspired, and that starts with your brand exploring creativity on Instagram. The goal for your business on Instagram should always be to keep growing — whether that be through video, caption styles, your Instagram grid, stories and more. Brands that become stale will quickly lose engagement over time as Instagram users lose interest.
Make the Most Out of Instagram Tools
So, you’ve decided it’s time for your business to give Instagram a try. You might quickly find, however, that social media marketing on Instagram is not nearly as easy or simple as it looks. You’ll need to take advantage of Instagram tools to help your business better understand its performance on the platform and gain insight on how to keep improving your social media marketing strategy.
Instagram offers a number of helpful statistics about your account, your posts and your audience through Instagram Insights. This feature is only available to Instagram Business accounts, so it’s important to make sure the account you start is classified as a business account and connected to a Facebook Business page, since Instagram is owned and operated by Facebook. Other benefits of having an Instagram Business Account include a direct contact button and the ability to run Instagram ads.
Instagram’s Insights can provide detailed information about your audience, including breakdowns on location, age, gender and what hours of the day they are most active on Instagram. You can also receive insights on specific posts, how your posts are performing on a weekly basis and what your overall top performing posts are. These free statistics can help you create better content and continually improve your Instagram strategy in order to increase awareness, engagement and conversions for your business.
Using Hashtags the Right Way
If you use social media, then you likely know that hashtags are seemingly everywhere. But do you actually know their purpose and how to use them? Instagram hashtags are crucial to finding success on Instagram, but only if you’re using them in the right way.
Using the right hashtags in the right way can help your business increase brand awareness and organically grow your following. Hashtags work by showing your posts to other users who follow one of the hashtags used, even if those users don’t already follow your account. This is why hashtags are an important part of an organic social media strategy.
With an Instagram Business Account, you can view analytics for how many impressions or views your posts receive due to the hashtags you are using. This is the first step to determining how much you need to improve your hashtag strategy. In general, it’s best to mix both the most popular hashtags (over 100,00 posts) with those that are less popular (under 100,00), with smaller Instagram accounts focusing more heavily on those slightly less popular hashtags. This is because it can be very difficult for your post to be seen when competing with possibly a million other posts tagged with the same hashtag.
The most important thing to remember about hashtags is that they need to be relevant to your brand, your post and your audience. Using irrelevant hashtags just because they are popular is likely to decrease both your engagement and brand perception, as users will view the tactic as spammy. You can improve your reach through hashtags by taking a local focus if your brand or business caters to a local region, whether that be a neighborhood, a city or an entire country. However, it’s also important to know which regional hashtags are going to bring the views you need.
This is where hashtag research comes in, both for regional and content specific posts. Research multiple variations of your intended hashtags to gain insight for their popularity and the other hashtags they often accompany. Another great way to research hashtags and how they are being used is by following hashtag stories on Instagram. Hashtag stories can help your account be found in a similar way to tagging your posts.
Of course, you will want to also avoid banned hashtags. Using even one single banned hashtag will prevent your post from being seen by any users. If you’re not sure whether or not a hashtag you have in mind is banned, use the free hashtag checker from RiteTag.
Social Media Marketing for the Future
Keeping up with the latest social media and digital marketing trends can be difficult when you have a business to run. That’s why Virtual Stacks Systems UK specializes in social media marketing and other digital marketing strategies tailored for the needs of your business. Our digital marketing experts know the ins and outs on how to get the most out of the latest social media platforms, including Instagram. Learn more about our social media marketing services, and contact us today to discuss your digital marketing goals.