Entrepreneurs or small business owners often wonder whether or not their time will be well spent investing in an Instagram following. If you are feeling this way, know that you are not alone. Knowing where to invest your time and money for marketing purposes can be tough. In this article, we will cover the pros and cons of Instagram plus some tips to help you succeed should you choose to market your business with Instagram.
What is Instagram?
Instagram is a social media platform owned by Facebook. While it is similar to Facebook in the way that users update their feeds, Instagram is different because it focuses heavily on images and photography. Facebook and Instagram are free to use, but they both also offer paid ad options for businesses.
The obvious Instagram pro is the platform for aesthetic and visual promotion. This can be a great option if you sell products that are easily photographed or featured in a visual design. Beyond the obvious, below are a few reasons why Instagram might be right for your business:
- Easily engage with customers with just a few clicks on your mobile.
- Instagram offers a level playing field for any sized business.
- Instagram currently has 800 million active users each month.
- Businesses can create shoppable posts to sell directly from Instagram.
- Instagram is a great platform for boosting your brand and creating a business narrative.
- Tag posts with hashtags for easy searching and increased visibility.
- Partner with like-minded businesses and influencers for additional traffic.
- Instagram offers a platform that celebrates creativity and ingenuity.
Just as there are many promoting influences on the Instagram platform, there are also a few detractors. Below you will find a few reasons why you might second guess your decision to market your business on Instagram:
- Profiles that are not updated regularly can hurt your brand.
- Professional photography, while not necessary, is costly.
- You may struggle with content if your brand is not visual. For example, if you run a technology company or a service industry.
- You may need additional staff to help you monitor your social channels.
While the pros outweigh the cons, it may be worth thinking through whether Instagram is the right place to focus your marketing time, money and effort. We jotted down a few quick steps to getting started on a great Instagram profile below. Pay close attention if you have just now decided that Instagram will boost your brand, engagement, website traffic and ultimately sales.
How to rock your business on Instagram
To get started, visit Instagram and create a user profile. You can always change your image later, but ideally you do not want to change your username. Spend some time choosing which username is best for your business, and stick with it. Remember that you may want to link your domain or a favorite keyword.
Follow these helpful hints below to capture your Instagram audience:
- Only post the best. Many businesses believe that more is better, and for Instagram audiences, this is not true.
- Brag about your business. Include employees, images of your location and anything that helps paint a picture of your business.
- Build a winning profile. Update your bio frequently, and don’t feel that you have to use every character in the space provided.
- Don’t forget the #. Hashtags help users find your account and will increase your online visibility. Use hashtags sparingly, but be sure to take advantage of them when you can.
- Collaborate with others. Social media is not a competition. Instead, Instagram is a sharing environment where partnering with others is celebrated.
- Know what works and what doesn’t. Make sure that you track your analytics and how your profile is performing.
- Link to your website. Having social media followers is only half the battle, you also want followers to visit your website and purchase something. Create an easy path for these visitors to take.
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