More Than Just Selfies & Pictures of Food
Instagram, the platform that we are so used to viewing (and sometimes posting) those oftentimes-regrettable selfies to, has believe it or not, been around since October 6, 2010. So, it is not a “new” platform per se, especially in the highly digitized society that we live in today.
Aesthetically, it has not changed much over the years. In the grand scheme of things, it is not much more than a photo-sharing application to personal users. Though as you will soon learn, it has become much more than that...
Almost 7 years after its inception, Instagram for business has become a must-have tool for companies small and large, looking to compete for market-share in 2017 and beyond. If we as potential buyers can’t see creative photographic evidence, does it really exist? Does it interest us? Does it matter? Instagram can help your business with that.
What Is Instagram Really?
It’s easy to tell people that they need something, but if you don’t tell them why, chances are they probably aren’t going to listen to you (I wouldn’t). So the next couple of sections in this blog post will tell you why your business needs Instagram.
Registering your Instagram account as a business offers users several benefits that include real-time statistics on how promoted posts and stories perform, insights into how your followers interact with your posts, and the ability to neatly add vital information about your company, like business hours, location and phone number to your profile. Whether it be a photo, a video, or a story, the option to promote these wide-variety of posts with specific geographic targeting in the form of paid advertising is also available. Instagram was even kind enough to make the transition from a personal account to business account as easy as accessing your settings and selecting the “Switch to Business Profile” option. More information on available features can be found on the Instagram for business page.
The Cold Hard Facts
Still not convinced? Let me demonstrate how you are missing the boat by not joining this platform as a business. According to information obtained by Business Insider, Instagram as of September 2017, has two million active advertisers monthly, up from one million in March of this same year. Businesses are seeing its impact and performance. No it was not large corporations who have contributed to this growth, they have been there all along. Small and medium-sized businesses have driven this growth, and all indications point to continued growth.
As a business user, you don’t want to waste your time and resources posting to a platform that harvests little to no active users. Obviously. This is hardly a concern for Instagram, who also reached another impressive milestone in September 2017. The application reached 800 million monthly users, up 100 million since April 2017 and up a grand total of 500 million users since August 2016.
According to this same report, Instagram users under the age of 25 spend just over 32 minutes a day on the application, while those older than 25 spend just over 24 minutes a day on the platform. I could personally vouch for the above noted statistics, as someone under 25, I spend almost 45 minutes of my day surfing my Instagram feed and viewing stories (many of them businesses).
Are you a “dinosaur” if your business isn’t using Instagram?
I would say so. (Sorry, sometimes the truth hurts.)
With the amount of small to medium-sized businesses that have recently jumped on to the platform in order to advertise and promote, It would be hard to compete without making your presence felt here as well.
Instagram is not nearly as big in terms of active users as Facebook or Twitter currently are (you should already be there), but it is outdoing Snapchat and other well-known social media platforms, with a trend of continued growth that shows no sign of slowing down.
According to the above noted Business Insider article, 2.8 billion people, or 37% of the world’s population use social media platforms in one capacity or another (usage and interaction varies, of course). Knowing this, social media presence (and usage) for businesses, especially newer businesses without an existing large customer base, is almost imperative to succeeding in the modern business landscape.
You don’t have to necessarily be on all platforms to be successful though, but besides Facebook and perhaps Twitter, Instagram for business should definitely be a weapon in your businesses artillery.
Before you say... you or someone you know, has run a business for 50+ years and never needed social media, so why should you need it now. Let me leave you with my final thought on that.
You/They didn't need it for the last 50 years, because it didn't exist. Attention was on television, newspaper, directories, phone books, etc. Good chance you used those in the past 50 years? But today those are obsolete.
So if you're looking to stay the same size and work with existing clients fine... but if you want to grow your business TODAY, stop marketing in the year 1960, and start marketing to today's customers.
Your customers attention is on social media, yours should be too, and Instagram is a big part of that.
Thanks for reading!