Does Your Business Need Instagram?

August 12, 2014 by Allison Carter

According to recent reports, "in only four years, Instagram has blossomed into a prodigious social media channel with over 200 million active monthly users that post an average of 60 million photos a day." (source)

Obviously, there is something big happening on Instagram.  But does your business need to spend time and resources to be there?

Many argue "I don't need to be on Instagram.  My target demographic isn't there."  Unfortunately, this is no longer accurate.  Instagram has grown by 33% in just 7 months and gets 150 million users monthly.  Clearly someone (or a lot of someones, given those numbers) on Instagram will buy what you are selling. (source)

Instagram is solely a visual platform, which can convert quickly into immediate sales.  As consumers, visual stimulation is what prompts us to purchase.  A picture is, after all, worth a thousand words.

If you have product to sell, then you need to be on Instagram.  This platform is the cheapest advertising you can get - it is free!  Best of all, it is global.

Instagram is a great way for a business to show its products being used by real people, in real life.  Show a consumer an original, honest moment of a happy person using your product and they notice you.  Odds are high, too, that they will want that.

On Instagram businesses have to be brave enough to exist outside of their business.  What does this mean?  The most successful brands on this platform show behind-the-scenes sneak peeks into the people that run the business that can't be shared well on other platforms.  Think new arrivals, new store openings, new shipments...give people a visual glimpse in to who you are, not just what you sell.

But there is one thing to know: Instagram is a highly engaged community.  While platforms like Facebook and Twitter provide companies with an engagement rate of less than 0.1%, Instagram users get an engagement rate of 4.21%.  This is massive! (source)

While that number is staggering and certainly worthy of your time investment as a business, if you can't make the commitment to be engaged on Instagram, then don't start.

A business as an Instagram "lurker" is considered fairly poor form.  Make sure that once you understand what Instagram can bring to your business's coffers you talk to your followers and customers.  Consider reposts (with credit), Instagram challenges, and certainly like and comment on photos other than yours.

Instagram has shown up in the marketplace with a bang.  Make sure you are prepared to be on it in the right way!


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