With more than 500 million daily users liking more than 4.2 billion posts per day globally, Instagram is becoming a must have for small business. Australia has 9,000,000 monthly active Instagram users, around 40 per cent of the total population, so there’s a very good chance of reaching a small business’s potential customers via the platform. 68 per cent of Instagrammers engage with brands regularly, and Instagram provides 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, so the business case for Instagram is very strong.
But what does a small business have to gain from an Instagram account and how can it leverage the platform? Here’s seven compelling reasons your small business should get on board with Instagram.
1. Brand awareness
Instagram is an amazing tool to bring awareness to your brand, cause or event. It can be utilised to broaden your audience and introduce people to your business who may have never been otherwise exposed to it. This can include people located in a different area to your business, extending your reach and increasing your customer base. It’s estimated that 50 per cent of Instagrammers follow a business.
2. It makes your business more personable
By sharing information about yourself, and your business through Instagram, your business becomes more personable, and relatable. Generating content on a regular basis gives people a sense of authenticity about your business. It shows you are active on social media, and therefore are viewing content that is put out there from your customers, but you need to be willing to respond and engage.
3. It’s free
If I said you could have millions of people walk into your store and have a look around, and it wouldn’t cost you anything, you would totally do it! Instagram enables you to use owned media (the channels that you have control over) to generate earned media (the exciting things that people say about your business), taking out the element of paid media (what you have to pay for to advertise your business).
4. It opens avenues for industry collaboration
Having an active Instagram account, means you’re more likely to draw the attention of other businesses which could give you the opportunity to collaborate with them. Collaboration through shared content posts gives you the opportunity to broaden your following base, increasing the awareness of your brand!
5. Instagram provides a visual for what you offer
If anyone has ever been unsure of what you have to offer, or simply don’t have the time or attention span to read a vast amount of information, your Instagram page can provide a quick snapshot of what you have to offer. By showcasing your business through photography, people can quickly see what makes your product unique, and will be enticed to be a part of it.
6. It can be used to direct traffic elsewhere
Your Instagram page can be used to direct people to different channels, such as your website, or where all of the action happens! You can regularly update links in your bio and direct people wherever you like, ultimately generating more business and attention to your other communication platforms.
7. If you generate a successful enough account, people do your marketing for you
Once your Instagram account has built up a steady following, it gets easier and easier for your content to snowball. Once your brand awareness has been established, promoting the use of relevant business hashtags can ensure that people are enticed to share their own photos about your product or business.
Brooke Vulinovich, Social Media Expert, www.villamanagement.com.au