No longer just the network for heavily-filtered sunsets and #blessed moments caught on camera, Instagram has recently and quickly become an invaluable marketing tool for businesses.
By 2017, more than 70 percent of American companies will use Instagram for marketing—a number that has doubled since 2015, according to a study by eMarketer.
As more businesses embrace filters and hashtags, Instagram is embracing its place as a marketing hub. After opening up advertising to all businesses last fall, Instagram recently debuted a business profile to help companies and customers connect. Now, customers can call, email, or get directions to a business in one click, while businesses can analyze follower demographics and habits to optimize their posts.
Social networks are always changing. Whether you’re a regular ‘grammer or new to the scene, read these five posts that explore how Instagram can boost your business.
Head straight to the source for an overview of how to set up an Instagram business profile. This guide explains new features, like an ad platform that’s quicker and less complex than Facebook, and an Insights section that allows you to understand who your followers are, where they’re located, and the times of day they’re on the app. Not seeing an option for switching to a business profile? Update your app, or check back later as Instagram rolls out its new feature.
Users engage with brands on Instagram more than any other channel: The interaction rate per follower is 2.2 percent, compared to just .22 percent for Facebook. The problem is that Instagram recently changed its algorithm so that posts appear based on user interest, not chronology—making the network more like Facebook.
With Instagram engagement being more important than ever, this post explains six ideas for getting more likes and follows, like using hashtags and including a call-to-action on posts.
The pros of Instagram don’t simply point, shoot and post photos. They find the perfect filter on VSCO, add stylized text with Font Candy, and put videos on warp-speed with Boomerang.
This post describes ways to elevate both your Instagram style and your marketing strategy with tools like Iconosquare (for analytics), Later (for post scheduling), and Have2Have.It (for expanding your link-in-profile options).
It’s not hard to imagine how Instagram could benefit your business if you sell something like shoes, makeup, or backpacking trips through the mountains. But what if your products or services aren’t naturally visual?
That doesn’t stop companies like Intel from using Instagram (and gaining more than 620,000 followers along the way). This post from digital marketing agency Zest Digital showcases non-photogenic companies who play the Instagram game by posting data, information, and insights into company culture.
Some of the most popular ads on Instagram don’t involve paying the network itself. Companies are increasingly turning to trend-setting influencers to showcase products and gain new followers.
And influencers don’t need a Kardashian-level following to spread the word. Instagrammers who post in certain geographic areas or about certain topics can help you introduce your brand to their like-minded followers. This post explains other reasons why influencer marketing can work for small businesses, like budget flexibility and good photo opps.