If you listen to the statistics about Instagram, you’d be instantly persuaded to give Instagram marketing a try.
Levi’s reached more than 7 million people reached in nine days.
Ben and Jerry’s made nearly 10 million impressions in 8 days.
The platform offers a 32 percent ad recall.
These are just a few of the staggering numbers Instagram boasts. However, not every social media platform is right for every business. Carefully evaluate the pros and cons of this unique visual platform before diving into an Instagram campaign.
Here are some convincing advantages to using Instagram for your small business marketing:
- Instagram has more than 150 million users each month, offering businesses a rich platform of active users.
- The social media app is free to use.
- It’s growing fast. According to Pew Research Internet Project, Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform.
- 26 percent of American adults use Instagram
- More than 50 percent of young adults use the platform.
- It’s a cost-effective way to promote services/products.
- Instagram’s hashtag system is a uniquely effective tool that helps extend a business’ reach.
- As a filtering system, hashtags instantly connect businesses with a target audience.
- Hashtags help users filter through information and discover relevant content.
- Location tagging can give businesses a boost in SEO or help drive promotions. In fact, posts that include a location get 79 percent higher engagement than those that don’t.
- Instagram ranks the highest in terms of social media engagement, achieving a 4.21 percent engagement rate per follower. Compare to other platforms, Instagram outranks Facebook by 58 times and Twitter by 120 times for engaging users. When captions include an @ mention, engagement is even higher, at 56 percent.
- The platform also offers real-time response. Within six hours of posting, the average posts gets 50 percent of its comments.
Instagram’s considerable benefits may outweigh its perceived disadvantages.
With the rich potential that Instagram marketing offers, there are some downsides to the platform. Businesses should consider these when creating a digital strategy:
- Instagram doesn’t allow businesses to use clickable links in posts; however, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest do. As a result, it can be difficult to conduct a campaign on Instagram that’s specifically designed to drive traffic to a website. The only option is to include the URL in the caption and hope that users copy/paste the untrackable address into their search browser.
- Limiting live links also means that Instagram severely limits SEO opportunities.
- The mobile-specific platform restricts your reach to only individuals who own a smartphone or mobile device. That leaves a significant number of consumers out of the picture.
- For businesses that can’t harness the power of the visual medium, it can be difficult to make an Instagram profile successful.
Instagram marketing shouldn’t be complicated. Here are some simple guidelines to follow:
- Get branded. Don’t be tempted to do it all. Stay true to your brand’s voice and personality with every post.
- Showcase beauty. Take advantage of the visual platform to showcase breathtakingly simple yet sophisticated landscapes, people or products.
- Share life experiences. Use videos and pictures to give users an experience, take them to new places or share an adventure.
- Incite action. Get people to respond to your campaigns and promote your posts using hashtags.
- Get to know customers. Find out what they like about your brand and then use those insights to build relevant, unique posts.
Even though Instagram has its limitations, businesses should consider the positive attributes the platform holds. Weigh the advantages of Instagram marketing against its downsides, and assess whether or not the platform can meet your business objectives. The platform has 150 million monthly users awaiting your first post.