Twitter and Facebook have stood firmly at the top of the social media hierarchy for a long time, but Instagram has been gradually creeping up on them. Facebook realised its power just 18 months after Instagram’s launch, buying it for $1 billion in 2012. Instagram has recently overtook Twitter with 400m regular users, and co-founder, Kevin Systrom, doesn’t plan on stopping until the entire global population is using Instagram. In an interview with the BBC, Systrom speaks frankly about Instagram’s success and commitment to constantly evolving. There’s no doubt it’s a great app for seeing what your friends are up to or stalking the glamorous lives of your favourite celebrities, but why is Instagram a good tool for your business?
Engage a vast audience and show off your products
Instagram now has 400m global regular users who on average spend 21 minutes per day using the app. That’s 4 minutes more than Twitter, where users spend on average 17 minutes per day. Photos on social media nearly always engage your audience more than just text, meaning Instagram users are far more likely to be engaged in the content they are looking at, rather than mindlessly scrolling through their timeline as they may do on Twitter and Facebook. Instagram call it ‘visual storytelling’. You can express your brand’s ‘story’ through carefully crafted images that represent what you’re all about.
Like any social media platform, Instagram is not going to be suitable for every business, but one of its main benefits is the ability to demonstrate your products in the best possible light. Instagram’s editing features have become more extensive, allowing users to choose from a variety of filters and make adjustments to features such as brightness, warmth, and contrast. For businesses such as fashion brands, this makes Instagram the perfect tool. It can be treated as a type of interactive catalogue of your products. Users can easily ask questions such as when a product will be in stock and get a reply from a business almost instantly. For businesses with more ‘invisible’ products, such as insurance for example, Instagram may not be relevant. Yet it can still be used to offer customers a more personal insight into your business through the medium of carefully constructed photographs.
Advertising just got easier
Instagram recently announced improved ad formats. Their technology leverages the best of Facebook’s ads infrastructure, making it easy for businesses on Instagram to target their message more effectively and reach people based on what they’re interested in. The new ad formats also mean your customers can learn more about something that interests them or even shop for a product right from Instagram. Instagram boasts that 97% of measured campaigns on the app have generated significant lifts in ad recall. If your business is interested in utilising Instagram, an ad campaign is a good place to start.
If you don’t know where to start, Instagram can help
Instagram have a dedicated site for businesses, sharing top tips of how to become successful on the app. Their business blog also provides inspiration by sharing the latest innovations in the app and best business campaigns. It’s clear and engaging, and as you would expect from a visual app, looks great.
If you think your business could benefit from Instagram, have a chat with us to develop an effective strategy.