With over seven million monthly active Instagram users on the platform in Australia, there is a real opportunity for businesses of all sizes to tap into this engaged community, create authentic customer relationships and turn their passion into a business.
Additionally, 70 per cent of Instagram users follow a business and on average Australians check their feed 11 times a day, six out of seven days per week, meaning there are obvious advantages for an SME to be on the platform.
Some 75 per cent of Australians say that they are inspired by individual Instagram posts and are taking action; whether that is visiting a website, searching for more information, actually shopping or telling a friend. Further to this, 60 per cent of people say they learn about new products and services from seeing a post on Instagram.
With the development and introduction of new features and tools on Instagram such as Business Tools and Instagram Stories, businesses now have new and multiple ways to maximise their exposure, connect with their customers, and build a loyal community of customers with whom they can share the business story and everything in-between.
Instagram Business Tools unlocks valuable opportunities and insights for SME’s, allowing any brand, venue or entrepreneur to connect directly with their customers. Services include a business profile, contact button functionality, insights, analytics and promotional tools. It’s easy and it’s free for all users.
Instagram 101 for any business is to be visual, be consistent and know your target audience. Here are our top three tips to help establish your business on the platform:
1. Set up a business account
Firstly, set up a business specific profile for your brand. By separating your accounts into personal and business it allows users to keep their personal interests separate to their professional. Nobody wants to see a selfie on a brand page!
When creating a business account we recommend keeping a consistent photo and name for the account, streamlining structure or branding across other platforms such as the consumer facing website. This makes it easy for users to recognise your brand profile.
Make sure your bio is catchy, interesting and able to hook people right away. Including a link in the bio section back to the brand website, or e-commerce platform, directly connects people to the point of sale and creates a call-to-action.
2. Post the right thing for your audience
The most successful brands on the platform share images that tell a story and create an emotional connection with their community, while staying native to the look and feel of the Instagram feed.
Simple yet powerful images often have the best impact. That means businesses don’t have to invest time and money on a photo shoot or production.
Many SMEs can build value with simple, low-cost, non-traditional approaches. Some easy ideas to remember when creating a post are to:
3. Arm yourself with the right (Business) Tools
Business Tools will connect you with your customers quicker than ever before. This free feature provides business insights, so that you can really understand what’s working for your current and prospective customers, or what to try next time. This tool also allows you to turn Instagram posts into ads directly through the platform, while also offering customers call and email functionality.
These are just a starting point for any SME, however are useful tips for any business looking to utilise Instagram as a tool to connect with their desired audience and grow their passion into a business.
Paul Webster, Regional Product Marketing Lead, Instagram Asia Pacific