Should your business be using Instagram as a marketing tool?
The short answer is ‘yes’…. if your business, product or service is suitable, or you are an active business owner who likes to take pictures.
We particularly recommend it for businesses who want to reach a younger customer demographic (40 and below) and those with a visual product or service, or a company owner who is happy to be photographed and be the face of the business. However, you’ll find it harder to use if you don’t have access to lots of great pictures, or aren’t happy to be in the spotlight yourself.
We all know that Online Marketing is big business and if you don’t already have an Instagram account for your business, there are so many reasons why you should.
As we’re being asked by more and more clients to train them and handle their social media accounts, we wanted to give you a quick overview of Instagram as a platform, why it works well for businesses in general and how it can work well for your company.
An Introduction to Instagram
Instagram was founded in 2010 and, according to datareportal, in July 2022, Instagram had at least 1.440 billion global users, which suggests that 23.1% of all people aged 13 and above use it!
More than 500 million users daily use Instagram Stories and more than 200 million businesses are using Instagram to boost their visibility. There are more than 1.3 billion photos and videos uploaded on the platform each day!
As you can see, this is a very active and fast growing platform. If you’re not there, you risk getting left behind by your competitors.
As of October 2022 Instagram is the fourth most popular social media platform. Facebook is by far the biggest, with 2.934 billion monthly active users, YouTube comes close behind with 2.515 billion active monthly users, followed by the messaging app WhatsApp.
However, Instagram way out performs Facebook in terms of engagement – the engagement rate is actually 6 times higher! Users spend an average of 53 minutes per day on Instagram, nearly the same amount as Facebook (58 minutes per day), so you can see it’s a powerful channel.
The other social media channels are way behind, with only TikTok coming anywhere close, with 1 billion monthly active users. Twitter has 544 million, Snapchat 576 million and Pinterest 433 million active monthly users.
Users aged 18 to 24 account for the largest share of Instagram’s advertising audience (31.2%), but the 25 to 34 age range is also strong at 30.0%. Over that the percentage drops fast, with just 2.3% being aged 65 and above.
68% of all Spaniards are using Instagram, while 65% use Facebook, but it’s interesting to see that this has fallen significantly since 2021, as TikTok has grown in popularity.
If you decide that Instagram is a good channel for your business, it’s very easy to get started.
Firstly, choose a name and username. An Instagram username is limited to 30 characters. Choose something that represents your brand, is recognizable, and, if possible, distinguishes what you do. Your username might be simply your business name or an adapted version of your business name, or you might also include a word or two that describes your business industry or niche to help with search and clarity.
Your profile will perform better in searches and look more professional if the name and username are different. This provides double the opportunity for keywords, so it’s worth taking the time to think carefully about this.
Unlike your username, which is one word, your name should be in proper sentence structure with capital letters and spacing. Your name (like your username) is limited to 30 characters, including spaces.
Next step is to write a bio. Your Instagram bio is limited to a maximum of 150 characters and very important, as the search engines can see it and rank it accordingly in the main searches. You should include your main keywords and can even include hashtags and feature related accounts too.
Last but not least you need to plan your content. Take some time to put together a good content plan, decide what you want to post about, how often and what you want to achieve. By planning and scheduling your posts, you can ensure regular content and that it is in line with your marketing objectives, rather than simply knee jerk and produce posts every now and again.
Instagram for your Business
It is estimated that more than 200 million business profiles already exist and Instagram has more than 2 million businesses advertising each month. 90% of Instagram users follow at least one business and 50% of people use it to discover new brands, products or services. Many buyers are looking for inspiration and researching products on Instagram before making a purchasing decision.
Business profiles have many more features than personal profiles, including phone number and address and access to Instagram analytics to help you understand what your users like the most.
The key to a successful business Instagram account is to build a large online following by increasing engagement. Tuesday to Friday 9am to 6pm is the time to post which generates high engagement consistently, but you can experiment and use analytics to see when your followers are the most active and engaged.
Here are some other ways you can maximise engagement –
- Post 1-3 times a day
- Ask questions within a post
- Use Hashtags
What works on Instagram?
Take time to get your content right. You need great pictures which are properly sized and visually engaging, with a strong brand identity. The ratio should be 1:1 and optimum image size is 1080px x 1080px.
Instagram videos get significantly more engagement than Instagram photos, so integrate video into your content plan.
You could also be looking at reels as part of your Instagram strategy. According to socialmediatoday.com “In Q2 2022 alone, the median interaction count for Reels was almost 40% higher versus traditional videos…..Reels are extremely flexible in how they can be shared among audiences, making them much more versatile than feed posts. Users can easily share Reels with friends via Stories, and discover Reels on the Explore page, as the Instagram algorithm continues to favor this content format over others. Since the start of 2022, Reels have become the most engaging post type on Instagram.”
Personal posts with faces and a location are also much more popular and receive much more engagement than those without.
Remember, this is a social network, so people want you to tell stories rather than always directly sell. You want to create a loyal tribe of engaged users who are happy to like, comment and share your content and become your online advocate on this platform, in the same way that you develop loyal customers and supporters on Facebook and in person.
There is no doubt that online marketing is necessary for businesses in this day and age and Instagram is a growing platform which will only get bigger as millennials age and new users come on board.
If you would like marketing training we provide workshops about social media and traditional marketing all along the Costa del Sol, from Malaga to Gibraltar and can help you harness the power of these important tools. Alternatively, we can manage your social media and online marketing for you and make sure these profiles are reflecting your brand in the best possible way.
Please contact us to find out how we can help you.