Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has grown to become one of the most powerful social media platforms the web has to offer. The statistics don’t lie when it comes to its effectiveness and reach. To date, users have shared over 40 billion photos and Instagram reports that there are 400 million active daily users and 600 million monthly users. The widespread adoption of platforms like Instagram has created incredible opportunities for businesses to use these platforms to expose potential clients to a product or service as well as reinforce existing customers to keep a business top-of-mind.
Last year, Instagram introduced the ability to create a business profile for their users. A business profile allows companies to track weekly social metrics including the number of followers that have been gained or lost, impressions, geographic statistics, and age and gender statistics. Businesses can use the analytics to gain a better understanding of who their audience is, whether they are communicating their brand effectively to this audience, and how they should adjust their marketing efforts based on the success metrics, or lack thereof.
Other than the sheer number of customers already actively engaged on Instagram, one of the greatest motivators for a business to create an account is that it is free. Recently, companies have begun to pull a portion of their advertising budget and use this money to create a visually compelling and engaging Instagram presence. This effort on the back-end is proving to be very successful for businesses. 60% of people learn about a product from Instagram and 75% of people take action after being inspired by an Instagram post. Pretty amazing statistics for a company that was created less than eight years ago and clearly a strong indicator that businesses that do not have an Instagram presence, should develop one quickly.
Curating and maintaining a business profile can seem like a daunting task, but there are some simple tips to increase your online effectiveness while creating engaging content for your followers. Before starting, it is important to determine your audience. Consider, among other factors, age range, gender, social economics, and location. These key factors will become integral to the way you develop, style, and maintain your profile moving forward. Once you have a very clear picture of who your demographic is, focus on developing content that carries a consistent story, or theme, through each post. Instagram experts say that Instagram users want to follow someone with a specific and consistent voice, so the more specific you get with your brand, the better. When posting a photo, juxtaposition is critical; How does the photo look in the feed in relation to all the other photos? Once the photo is posted, geotagging and hashtagging the photo with words that are associated with the product helps increase visibility.
Just having a profile and posting periodically is not going to drive customers, leads, sales, etc. Creating a business profile, having a cohesive digital strategy, creating a monthly calendar to ensure consistent posting, engaging with your followers, and having unique and creative posts, are all part of a larger equation that should result in an effective and engaging Instagram profile, which should in turn help grow your business and drive sales.
Within the digital marketing ecosystem that your business has created, Instagram can be an extremely important tool. But Instagram is just one star in a galaxy of social media platforms as well as blogs and email campaigns and AdWords that all revolve around, and ultimately drive traffic to, your website. If your business needs help with how to navigate digital marketing, we are more than happy to start working with you today.
Van West Media recently revamped our own Instagram account and the likes don’t lie! Check out our new Instagram feed for yourself!