Instagram has recently skyrocketed in popularity with everyone from teens to businesses. Which means you know someone on the photo sharing social network. Seeing everyone share photos might have you wondering if you should leverage Instagram as a part of your social media marketing strategy for your business.
The short answer is: yes, absolutely. Some businesses focus solely on Twitter or Facebook, while completely ignoring Instagram. This is a huge mistake. Instagram offers a different approach to social media which, if used correctly, can help grow your business and build your brand.
Before adding Instagram to your social media marketing strategy take a look at some advantages and disadvantages to consider first.
Instagram is Super Popular
Don’t knock it just because all the kids are doing it. In the five years since it’s released Instagram has grown into one of the most popular platforms for online photo sharing and social networking. The social network currently has 100 million active users who are sharing more than 40 million photos everyday. That’s a lot of activity that could be used to drive traffic to your site.
Photos are Quickly and Easily Shared
Instagram is great for visually promoting your brand or products. Photos are taken and shared instantly, and they can even be cross-posted to other social media sites. The photo’s caption expands on the photo and using hashtags makes your content easily discoverable. Added bonus? Instagram doesn’t limit the number of characters in the caption field, giving you more freedom and flexibility than Twitter.
Businesses with a strong visual element (looking at you, restaurants and retail stores!), should absolutely be on Instagram. Think of the possibilities! Your customers can take and share photos of your food, merchandise, store, and logo to their followers. Giving you free advertising. What’s better than that?
Engagement Rates Are Higher
According to a report by TrackMaven Instagram is the clear leader in social media engagement. Their 2017 Digital Marketing Analytics Performance Report reported that “on average brands in 12 out of 13 analyzed industries saw the highest engagement ratio on Instagram”. The sole exception to this was the Real Estate industry, they saw higher engagement on LinkedIn. With engagement rates that high, you’d be crazy not to use this tool.
In order to capitalize on the higher engagement, you need to post regularly and maintain a consistent brand style. Don’t worry about unique content, cross-post from your other networks to save time.
Disadvantages of Instagram
With how popular Instagram is it’s easy to skip over the downsides, but there are some. Instagram’s main concept can also be it’s largest disadvantage. Instagram relies on images so if the images shared are low quality, hard to see, or just overall ineffective people will scroll on by. They won’t stop to read the caption and they certainly won’t zoom in on the photo. Your images need to stand out, be brand consistent, and be of superior quality in order to get noticed.
Another significant downside to Instagram is it’s currently only available on iOS and Android. This leaves any mobile users not on those platforms out in the cold and missing out on your photos. This limits your marketing reach somewhat, so it’s important to have a diverse media strategy to reach everyone you want to reach.