Why Instagram Is Social Media’s Rising Star For Business
When we learned last year that Instagram had surpassed Twitter in the number of monthly active users, Instagram became the hottest topic around the water cooler at marketing agencies. Here at DMX, we’ve been watching very closely to see if this rising star of social media would continue to shine.
So far, we have not been disappointed. Instagram’s efforts to make the app more user-friendly, along with welcome shifts toward catering to the needs of business, have allowed it to continue to increase in popularity and better serve our clients. Specifically, Instagram has captured some of the best elements of other social media platforms and incorporated them into its app.
The Finest Of Facebook
Our agency clients have needed little convincing about the power of Instagram and recent changes have solidified their faith in the use of the platform. Taking a cue from Facebook, Instagram now allows for business accounts, complete with the backend benefit of insights for account holders. Want to know which posts got the most likes, comments and shares? How about which time of day delivers the most eyeballs, or the demographics of your followers and how long they spend on Instagram in a day? Clients are sold on this; the data helps us create and schedule posts in the smartest possible way.
If you already have a personal account, you can convert it to a business account – I did this with my own account with no trouble. I now have a contact button so my followers can access my phone number, email address, directions to my business, etc.
Another hot opportunity not to be missed is advertising for business. Still relatively new on Instagram, advertising offers access to a fresh audience. All of our customers who advertise on Facebook are now advertising on Instagram – with better results. Sponsored stories on Instagram blend right in; they are seen in the home feed and look and feel the same as organic posts from someone you are following.
When our clients added Instagram advertising to their Facebook ad campaigns, we expected big things – double the results. On average, their Instagram ads are collecting about four times the number of likes as their counterpart ads on Facebook. Dollar for dollar, the number of impressions seems to be about the same on the two platforms, but getting someone to absorb and engage with a post seems to be easier on Instagram. One of my favorite examples of success with Instagram is one of our retail customers who does Facebook video advertising. On an average day, they can expect a total reach on Facebook of approximately 1,500. That same video on Instagram will garner over 11,000 impressions for a reach of 10,900 per day. As an added bonus, they will not only gain video views and likes but on average also gain about 20 new followers to the account per day.
Some Help From The Hashtag
It’s not new, but is worth mentioning – from the outset, Instagram had the best of Twitter built right in. The “follower” structure makes it easy to connect and grow and hashtags make it easy for people to find you. I just posted an image and link to one of my blog posts on Instagram using 11 hashtags related to digital marketing, and I ended up with more likes from people who aren’t yet following me than from those already following.
Expanding Video Options
Instagram likely heard the outcry from people who just couldn’t show what they needed to show in a mere 15 seconds. With minute-long videos now accepted, Instagram borrows a little from the power of YouTube. You can also share more video content by shooting directly from your phone or upload from your photo gallery. More features let you add video filters, disable sound, and choose a thumbnail image. Clients are loving the flexibility. Want a great way to capitalize on the new Facebook Live feature and move it over to Instagram? All you need to do after finishing your Facebook Live post is download the video from Facebook to your phone, edit your favorite 60 seconds using Instagram, and then post using relevant hashtags. Remember, video is the new television commercial.
We all watched Snapchat explode onto the social media scene, and Instagram was paying attention, too. Instagram Stories allow you to upload pictures and video to highlight the moments of your day in a slideshow without adding them to your profile. One of our fashion boutique customers used the story feature to showcase the behind-the-scenes delivery of a new collection. A pastry shop client created a story slideshow featuring the many pumpkin pies they baked for Canadian Thanksgiving weekend.
As with Snapchat, after 24 hours the “stories” are gone. If you feel the need to cut down on the content you’re uploading to your profile, Instagram has your back. The downside? Followers won’t be able to like or comment on your Instagram Story.
To capture the fun features that get the laughs, Instagram now allows you to draw and write on your uploaded content. The new tools will enable you to get creative and have more fun with the app. To be used sparingly in the business environment perhaps, but certainly tools to enhance your creativity.
Keeping up with advancements in social media is no easy task – we know firsthand! Once you’ve got yourself a business account, think about which of the new Instagram features best suit your products and services, customers and potential customers. Try out an Instagram Story or a longer video post, and see how your audience responds in likes and comments. In getting yourself familiar with some of Instagram’s newest features, you will begin to see how to apply them to advance your social media efforts and better engage with your audience.
Post written by
Founder and president at Digital Marketing Experts – DMX, a premier Google partner agency located in Toronto, Canada.
Visit the Original Article Here – https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2016/11/16/why-instagram-is-social-medias-rising-star-for-business/#32a58673af4e