In the digitally interconnected world of the 21st century, Instagram has evolved to become much more than a platform for sharing selfies and food pictures. It is now a compelling medium for businesses to connect with customers, brand themselves uniquely, and even make sales.
With over one billion active users, Instagram has become a pivotal tool for business growth and customer engagement. And every day, businesses and individuals seek new ways to get free Instagram followers and expand their reach.
This article explores why your business should consider hopping onto the Instagram bandwagon, the advantages of maintaining a professional account, and some dos and don'ts to keep in mind.
Why your business should be on Instagram
In an era where digital presence is more than a mere luxury—it’s a necessity—the question isn't whether you should be on social media, but rather which platforms will serve your brand the best.
With over one billion active monthly users, Instagram is one of those platforms that businesses simply can't ignore.
The platform offers unparalleled benefits for brands looking to establish a robust online presence, convert leads into sales, and foster a direct connection with their target audience.
Businesses of all sizes can thrive on Instagram
Instagram doesn't discriminate based on the size or age of your business. Instagram offers features that can benefit everyone, from mom-and-pop stores to multinational corporations.
Smaller businesses can make the most of location tagging and hashtags to appear in local searches and explore pages.
Instagram’s algorithm is designed to showcase quality content to people who are most likely to find it relevant, creating a level playing field for brands with smaller budgets but great creativity.
Larger corporations can use sophisticated ad campaigns to drive business objectives at scale. They can target users based on demographics, online behavior, or even life milestones.
The accessibility and inclusivity of Instagram mean that a small investment of time and resources can lead to significant returns, making it an ideal platform for businesses of all sizes.
Businesses can make money from Instagram
Think of Instagram as a marketing tool and a sales platform. With features like "Shoppable Posts," Instagram allows users to purchase directly from your feed, making it easier than ever to convert browsers to buyers.
Users can click on a tagged item in your photo, view the product description and price, and be redirected to your website—all without ever leaving the app.
Furthermore, Instagram's Shopping feature has expanded to Stories, Reels, and IGTV, thus creating multiple avenues for revenue generation.
The visual nature of Instagram serves as a dynamic product catalog where you can showcase your offerings creatively, and branded. According to Instagram, 70% of shopping enthusiasts turn to the platform for product discovery, making it a powerful retail driver.
Instagram can make your business more relatable
In a world inundated with advertising noise, your target audience is likelier to engage with your brand if they find it relatable and human. Instagram offers an array of features that let your brand personality shine.
Whether it's through behind-the-scenes Stories, employee takeovers, or user-generated content, the platform allows for a multidimensional portrayal of what your business is all about.
Sharing content that resonates with your audience personally can make your brand more accessible and relatable.
For example, you can share the journey of how a product is made, giving viewers an insider's look into the values and efforts that go into your business. This fosters loyalty and deepens the customer-brand relationship.
Businesses can partner with influencers to build brand awareness
Influencer marketing on Instagram is a billion-dollar industry and for a good reason. Instagram influencers have the power to introduce your brand to their following, which can greatly improve brand awareness and credibility.
Unlike conventional marketing tactics, influencer partnerships offer a sense of authenticity and trust, as they come from a source that consumers already know and respect.
This can be particularly effective for niche brands or industries where influencer opinions are highly valued. Additionally, collaborating with influencers can provide valuable user-generated content you can repurpose on your channels.
Instagram offers many ways for businesses to be creative
Boredom is the enemy of engagement, and fortunately, Instagram offers numerous formats to keep your content fresh and your audience engaged.
From 15-second Reels that capture attention instantly to long-form IGTV videos for more in-depth content; from interactive Stories with polls, questions, or quizzes to static posts that captivate—Instagram has a format for every type of message you want to convey.
These formats are not just different ways to present content; they serve specific roles in a customer's journey. For instance, a Story could create awareness, a Reel might foster interest, and a Shoppable Post can drive conversion.
The availability of these different formats allows businesses to flex their creative muscles, experiment with various types of content, and figure out what resonates the most with their audience.
Advantages of a professional Instagram account
If you're running a business, Instagram gives you the option to switch from a personal account to a professional one, unlocking a host of features designed to optimize your performance. Here's a detailed breakdown:
Access to detailed analytics
Understanding your audience is key to any marketing strategy. Instagram Insights offers detailed metrics on audience demographics such as age, gender, location, and active hours.
This feature also tracks how people interact with your posts and Stories. You can monitor likes, comments, shares, and even how many people have saved your posts. Insights allow you to refine your content strategy based on what is genuinely engaging your audience.
Seamless customer communication
Unlike personal accounts, professional Instagram accounts allow you to add a 'Contact' button right on your profile.
This feature facilitates direct communication by offering options for customers to call, email, or get directions to your business. This level of accessibility can translate to better customer service and enhanced credibility.
Streamlined Ad management
With a professional account, turning posts into ads becomes a seamless process. You can promote posts directly within the Instagram app without having to navigate the complexities of Facebook's Ad Manager.
This is particularly advantageous for small businesses that may not have the resources to dedicate to extensive ad campaigns.
Instagram’s Shopping features offer the possibility to tag products in your posts, Stories, and even on IGTV and Reels. Users can tap these tags to get more information on the product and proceed to make a purchase without leaving the app.
This streamlined process enhances user experience and reduces friction in the sales funnel, ultimately boosting conversion rates.
Efficient customer service
Professional accounts have a more organized inbox that helps manage customer interactions efficiently.
You can categorize conversations into 'Primary' and 'General,' making it easier to prioritize responses. This feature is beneficial for businesses that receive a high volume of DMs.
Consistent engagement with scheduled posts
Professional accounts can use Instagram’s API to schedule posts through third-party tools like Buffer or Hootsuite.
Scheduled posting allows for more consistent engagement with your audience and frees you up to manage other aspects of your business.
Instagram Dos and Don'ts for Business
Consistency is key in both your visual theme and your posting schedule. A coherent visual aesthetic enhances brand recognition, while a regular posting schedule keeps your audience engaged and anticipating your next update.
Engagement is not a one-way street. Responding to comments and messages not only builds community but also increases the visibility of your posts in your followers' feeds due to Instagram's algorithm favoring posts with higher engagement.
Use hashtags wisely
Hashtags can significantly expand your reach, but less is more. Stick to 5–10 relevant hashtags per post to ensure that your content reaches the right audience without appearing spammy.
Influencer partnerships and brand collaborations can introduce your product or service to new but aligned audiences. This extends your reach and adds credibility to your brand.
Quality over quantity
High-quality content is the cornerstone of a successful Instagram strategy. Well-crafted posts that resonate with your audience are more effective than a high volume of irrelevant content.
Avoid hard selling
While Instagram is a potent sales tool, its primary function is to facilitate connections. Content that is too salesy can alienate your audience and reduce engagement.
Don't neglect captions
While Instagram is a visual platform, captions should not be an afterthought. A good caption adds context, shows your brand’s personality, and invites engagement.
Don't overlook stories and reels
Instagram Stories and Reels are viewed by millions every day and offer a more interactive and dynamic way to connect with your audience. They are excellent tools for time-sensitive updates, promotions, or engaging content that doesn't fit within your feed's aesthetic.
Don't ignore metrics
Your Instagram strategy should be data-driven. Regularly monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) to understand what works and what doesn’t, then adjust your strategy accordingly.
Remember that being strategic and purposeful about your Instagram activities can significantly impact your business, from raising brand awareness and building community to driving sales.
Mastering these professional features and adhering to these dos and don'ts can make all the difference.
To sum up: Benefits and features of using Instagram for business
In the ever-evolving digital world, Instagram is an indispensable tool for businesses. With its user-friendly features, vast audience, and the ability to turn social interactions into sales, businesses have much to gain from an effective Instagram strategy.
From allowing brands of all sizes to thrive to providing analytics for a professional account, the platform accommodates various business needs.
However, like any other tool, the efficacy of Instagram for your business depends on how well you wield it—so pay attention to the best practices and avoid common pitfalls. Time to give your business the Instagram edge it deserves!