If you seriously think about it, social media is an excellent place to earn a good profit – no matter what the platform. With more than 3.5 billion users, social media is growing and claiming its place in marketing. But why is it that social media is considered to be a superstar when it comes to online business?

Mainly because the world of social media encompasses a wide range of different platforms. Like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. But the one that is the most popular is Instagram. Especially with brands! If your brand doesn’t already use Instagram, you’re seriously missing out on a plethora of serious opportunities. Here’s why:

These statistics are HUGE.

And if you’re a brand that’s just starting out, it makes sense to put a lot of time and effort into creating your presence on Instagram. Plus, these statistics show that Instagram’s growth ratio and gives us the reason why the world’s biggest brands prefer Instagram over other social platforms. Even when it comes time to promote their products and services.

Why Brands Like Instagram the Most

Instagram is extremely effective when it comes to helping brands reach a variety of new customers. As well as building a massive following of brand advocates. Still not convinced? Let’s dive a little deeper and find out the 6 reasons why.

1. They can tap into a huge pool of mobile app users.

I’m sure you know about the other platforms out there AND that they’re already on mobile devices. But what you might not know is why. The reason is that more than 52% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. Not to mention the fact that 84.9% of the time people are on their phones using mobile apps.

mobile graphic

It’s obvious that people find it incredibly easy to use Instagram and social media platforms, especially on mobile devices. But still, users find Instagram to be one of the most popular social networking apps. In fact, as of November 2017, 101.42 million mobile users accessed the Instagram app. Given these statistics, it isn’t difficult to see why Instagram is perfect for brands who want to engage these types of customers.

2. They can increase their brand’s reach.

With over 800 million active users, Instagram’s reach in 2018 has massed over 1 billion monthly users worldwide. But you might still be wondering why you should even care about Instagram when Facebook has over 2 billion monthly active users. Here’s why…

There are 6 million advertisers using Facebook to reach out to their target audiences. And with Facebook’s algorithm update, earlier this year, they’ve made it harder for advertisers and brands to get the proper exposure necessary to make an impact.

In contrast, Instagram now has over 25 million business accounts with 80% of users following at least one brand. Compared to Facebook, Instagram has around 2 million monthly advertisers. That means that not only do you have LESS competition, but also a greater chance of actually achieving your marketing goals. Talk about some serious perks!

3. They can share stunning visual content where people appreciate it most.

One of the best ways to get your message across is with high-quality photos. And Instagram is the perfect platform to do just that. Which is why brands use Instagram. Not only is it an entirely visual platform, but it’s a place where people actually want to see the photos of the people they follow. It’s serious eye candy. According to a recent study, images posted to Facebook via Instagram get more engagement than those posted directly.

Buzzsumo - images posted via Instagram

Don’t forget that one of the best ways to get the most out of Instagram is to add relevant hashtags to your posts. Hashtags can seriously increase your chances of getting discovered by Instagram users. Plus these hashtag-centered searches can help you get more visibility.

The key to stunning visuals is to make sure that you fully understand what you want to convey. It also doesn’t hurt to figure out what your core messages are. This will result in a more cohesive and streamlined feed. Make sure you take a look at how to properly build your Instagram feed.

4. They can use Instagram Stories to their advantage.

Today’s audiences want brands to be authentic and that authenticity should extend to their IG stories as well. If done correctly, Stories lets brands embrace the act of storytelling in their conversations with their followers. And when it comes to brands telling a story, Instagram is the place to be.

Instagram Stories has contributed to a 7-10 minute rise in the time spent by an average user on the app daily. Right now, there are more than 300 million daily active users of Instagram Stories. It really has opened up a world of new opportunities for brands. You can even use features like geo-location tagging, hashtags, and text. Plus, you can even run ads on Stories.

5. They can increase engagement rates.

It isn’t just the sheer number of people that make brands love Instagram. What they really love is the fact that they are able to generate the highest engagement rates on the content they post. Micro-influencers are aware of this as well. Which is why 59% of them said that Instagram is the most effective platform for engaging audiences.

Engagement rate is key. Especially when it comes to choosing influencers for your campaigns. And yes, this has become commonplace. There are a few things you need to consider when you look into influencers. For example, you need to look into both their engagement rates and follower counts. The higher the engagement rate, the greater the chances of an influencer being genuine and authentic.

According to a study by locowise in February 2017,

  • Instagram generates 70% higher engagement rates than Facebook.
  • And 669% higher engagement rates than Twitter.

6. You can generate higher conversion rates.

No matter what your business is, boosting conversions should be at the top of your to-do list. This is where social media can really help you generate traffic and leads. According to a study by Shopify, the conversion rate of e-commerce businesses from Instagram is 1.08%.

Plus the referral traffic from Instagram results in an average order value of $65. This is a lot higher than Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. As you can see, Instagram is truly best when it comes to boosting conversions and generating sales.

7. Your customers will actually see your posts.

Ever since Facebook started charging for marketing, it’s become more and more difficult for smaller brands to compete with bigger brands. But with Instagram, 100% of your content will be seen by those who follow you. Why? Because there is no way to block content from a newsfeed without completely unfollowing an account.

This means that more customers will be able to view all of your photos and content. This is great for creating more recognition for your brand.

8. You can build a targeted following using hashtags.

Hashtags are an integral part because they give you the chance for your brand to target your marketing to people who are directly interested in your product or service. It doesn’t hurt to use around seven hashtags per post. Just make sure that they’re relevant to your post.

You can always research hashtag topics that best relate to your niche. That way you can find people who are specifically interested in what you have to offer. It also helps you to avoid any wasted effort by directing attention at people who aren’t interested.

Getting Started with Instagram

If you’re new to Instagram, let’s cover some of the basics…

  1. Choose an admin. If you’re not going to run your Instagram yourself you need to choose an admin. This all depends on the size of your brand and your possible marketing team. There might be only a few people who develop your social media presence. Or it might be just you.
  2. Create an account. Stick with a work email for this one. Enter that along with the other required information.
  3. Choose a username. It’s a good idea to pick a name that your customers will recognize. If you already have a Twitter account, try and use the same handle. Brand recognition starts with commonality across ALL platforms. If your twitter handle isn’t available on Instagram, use something similar. Just avoid alternative spellings or numbers – those are an absolute no go.
  4. Make it a “business” account. If you want, go into the settings and change your profile to a business one. Then go ahead and add things like hours and physical address. Doing this will link your Instagram to your Facebook.
  5. Write the bio. Go ahead and figure out what you want your audience to know about your brand. Start with what sets you apart from the competition. Don’t be surprised if it takes you a while to come up with your bio. You can use things like taglines and mission statements. Don’t forget to include the website address.
  6. Choose your user photo. It’s a good idea to decide on a photo that shows the essence of your brand. Don’t worry if you choose your logo, that works too!

How do you increase your engagement?

Unfortunately, Instagram requires a lot more than creating an account and watching the followers flock to you. Therefore you need to understand your buyer personas and their needs. Take some time to figure out the questions you can answer for them and the pain points you can address. This will help you figure out the information you need to share in order to build your brand.

If you don’t figure out your buyer your message could be way off base. As a result, you might end up with a ton of followers who aren’t viable prospects. But don’t worry, all hope isn’t lost. There are several ways that you can encourage them to engage more

Post Relevant Content 

Here’s the thing, your posts need to back up the claims in your bio. The pictures need to be high-quality AND interesting with a solid caption. So yeah, it’s best to avoid boring photos with rambling captions. You also need to create a system of consistently sharing killer photos with captions and hashtags.

Be sure to include links to your blog, videos, and other information about your brand. But don’t do it on every post. Instagram IS NOT the place where people want to be sold something. You should focus more on building a rapport and connecting with your audience.

Make the Move

Instagram isn’t the place to be shy. Don’t wait for prospects to find you first. Once your page is up and you’ve shared at least a dozen photos it’s time to make a move. Go ahead and link and comment on other people’s posts. Engaging your audience is essential when it comes to gaining followers and increasing your brand’s awareness.

This is why it’s a great idea to like and comment on a certain number of posts every day. Doing this will build your base of followers with people you actually want to see your content.

How can you boost sales?

Instagram is perfect for organically boosting your sales. You’re able to get your message in front of potential customers, connect with them, and build relationships. And if you’re lucky, those relationships will turn into profitable partnerships. Luckily there are a lot of ways you can increase your revenue via Instagram. You can do the following…

  • CTA’s – call to actions are a great way to prompt your followers to do something.  Tempt them to click on a link, register for a webinar, or download an eBook. Make sure the CTA is concise and understandable. Use them s
  • trategically and you’ll reap the benefits.
  • Instagram Ads – Yes, you can advertise on Instagram. Ads are a great addition because the reach is further and they are seen by a lot more people. More visibility means more followers, which leads to more engagement and subsequently more sales.

We hope this has helped you realize what makes Instagram so great AND how to get started! Be sure to check out our other Instagram articles for more information.