The advantage of Instagram over other social media platforms
People are more likely to follow and engage with brands on Instagram than any other social media platforms. It is a great tool for building brand awareness, engagement and driving traffic to your website and has a much better engagement rate than Facebook and Twitter. It’s a storytelling platform, where you can take visitors on an imaginative journey.
It works best for businesses that have visual products – these see the highest engagement rates and those whose audience demographic is on IG (Millenials) It’s also a worth using the platform for linking out to the other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
For small ‘local’ businesses, Instagram is a great platform for finding potential customers and brand advocates in the local area and spread the word about your product or service. Or make it easy for others to spread the word!
Types of business best suited to Instagram
Brick and mortar businesses like cafes, restaurants and bars can benefit when customers tag them and share photos taken at these places. Although most of the success stories are B2C, service based organisations who have benefitted from using Instagram, to show company culture and behind the scenes content which can help communicate brand values and build awareness of the company attracting both customers and employees.
The most active audience are the under 35s, so it’s a great place for reaching millennials. It’s also a good place for businesses to connect with their audience on an emotional level and persuade them to care about your brand. The mobile nature of it allows brands to capture moments that feel authentic and casual.
Allows followers to interact with brands in a more casual way than other platforms, which results in high engagement. So businesses can build strong relationships with their followers.
It’s the perfect place to tell the story of your brand by giving a behind the scenes look at your business or posting pics of items being made or designed.
- Photos that show your business has a personality
- Tell stories about your customers – people like recognition and also acts as social proof – earned media is the most trusted form of advertising.
- Allows businesses to add some depth to what they are doing and results in more followers and engagement.
Instagram is a great network for hosting competitions.
It is the perfect network to build a bigger audience which you can drive to other platforms. The barrier to entry for competitions is much easier than Facebook. There are not many rules to running a comp on IG compared to FB.
The competition can be as simple as ‘like a post’ or ‘follow to enter’. Competitions are also a good way of building hype around a product.
Contests like photo challenges, using a relevant hashtag or tag a friend contest are harder to enter but a great way to expand a brand’s reach.
The Drawbacks of Instagram
You do have to post quality content consistently. Followers expect a high quality feed from businesses, which can be time consuming compared to the other social networks.
Cannot share other people’s content without permission. Though it is reasonable to post other people’s content (I recommend the Repost app), as long as you at least credit them.
Although Instagram requires more time and energy than most of the other social media channels, I believe it is worth putting the time in, to build a highly engaged network that will keep your business top of mind when they are looking to buy the product you offer. Instagram might not be the best channel for those only interested in a quick result, might see better results on other platforms, but for those willing to play the long game, Instagram will pay dividends.