Much has changed in the social media world since Instagram arrived on the scene a decade ago – the photo-centric platform went from being something of a cult favourite to being used by more than a billion people worldwide. Instagram offers brands an effective way to differentiate themselves from competitors through unique visual content, as well as an excellent avenue for e-commerce marketing.

At least 90% of Instagram users actively follow a business account on the platform, and users have reported that they’re less prone to experiencing brand fatigue than on other platforms. If your business hasn’t yet taken to using Instagram as part of its digital marketing strategy, you’re at risk of missing out on the many incredible opportunities offered by the platform.

Why your business needs to be on Instagram

People of all ages and genders report using Instagram, though it’s more popular with users under 34 years old. Users report spending an average of 53 minutes on the platform each day, only slightly lower than Facebook’s 58 minutes. The platform continues to grow in popularity, too. In January 2013, Instagram hosted around 90 million active monthly users – as of June 2018, more than one billion users access the platform every month. It’s projected that by 2023, the platform will have around 125.5 million active users in the United States alone. Instagram has high engagement rates, especially when it comes to Stories, leading to Instagram having an ad spend 23% higher than Facebook’s.

Instagram users, too, are more tolerant of brand messaging than users of other platforms. A survey conducted by Facebook found that 78% of users see brands on Instagram as popular, 77% see brands as being creative, 76% as entertaining, 74% as relevant, and 72% as being committed to building community. The consistent growth in users and their tolerance towards creative brand messaging presents an undeniable opportunity for your business to thrive on the platform and convert users into buyers.

How your business should be using Instagram

Thanks to Instagram’s visual focus, your business has the amazing opportunity to show off everything your business has to offer. From products and services to your business’ unique value adds, Instagram gives you a platform where you can showcase what makes your brand worth interacting with. Experimenting with new types of content allows you to get creative in showing off your products and services, taking followers behind the scenes, creating engaging infographics and professionally designed graphics, showing the experiences of satisfied customers, teasing new and upcoming offerings, and rewarding loyal followers with special offers and exclusive content.

You can do all this and more in a variety of ways. From photos and videos to Stories and carousel posts, you’re only limited by your own imagination. Your business can be found by new users through hashtags and profile tags. Each time your brand posts to Instagram, you should be making a concerted effort to research relevant and unique hashtags. Instagram posts allow for up to 30 hashtags per post, though best practices say that somewhere between three and five is the sweet spot. While you’re at it, you should be working to establish brand-specific hashtags that can be used by customers and followers when interacting with your business.

When preparing to establish your business profile on Instagram, take into account that many social media management tools don’t have adequate Instagram reporting features. This means that before you dive into the world of Instagram, you may be required to reevaluate your current social media tools and consider a more versatile solution and make use of an add-on tool like Later or DashThis to overcome the reporting shortfall.

Our team has been managing Instagram accounts for a number of years, and are well-positioned to help you with your strategy, graphic design, or even direct posting to your accounts and reporting if you want your account fully managed. 

ion8 is an all-in-one business consultancy with a full team of digital marketing experts with experience creating powerful visual content to help you stand out from the noise and better connect with your followers. For more information about everything that ion8 can do for your business, contact us today.