Using Instagram for Business
In the five years since its launch as a free mobile app, Instagram has ballooned in popularity with great advances in the use of Instagram for business. 300 million people used Instagram as of this time last year. In 2013 alone, it grew in value by 23%. The same year it introduced sponsored post advertising in the US, with big name brands such as Ben & Jerry’s and General Electric quick to seize the opportunity. The function was rolled out in the UK the following year. With a total of 30 billion photos having been shared through Instagram, the opportunities for marketing are obvious, especially for products and services which rely heavily on their visual aspects. Holidays, for example, or interior design and decorating.
According to a study by Socialbakers, Instagram’s “post engagement rate” (a measure of activity on any given internet page, taking into account the amount of people who have seen it as well as the amount who have directly interacted with it) is 3.31%. With Twitter only coming it at 0.07%. It’s fairly obvious that there is plenty of potential here.
Of course, there is as always, slightly more to it than that. “Interaction” can cover many things, not all of them profitable. But if you know what you’re doing, it’s not hard to make Instagram work for you. Key to this strategy is the use of hashtags. Hashtags on Instagram work in much the same way as they do on Twitter, and Instagram will allow you to incorporate up to thirty of them in your post. Research by Trackmaven shows that, despite conventional wisdom having been to restrict hashtags to one or two, the level of interaction rockets for posts using eleven or more. So it’s vital not to underestimate their importance – and remember, each hashtag, used wisely, is another hook to draw in an audience for your product at no extra charge. A mixture of popular hashtags and more specific ones will help you reach a wider audience while at the same time narrowing that pool down to your customer base – essentially, you can cast your net wide and still only catch the particular fish you are aiming for.
With the addition of 15-second video clips, Instagram is ideal for when you want your customers to actually see what it is you’re selling. By smart use of hashtags and the incorporation of video clips, you too can harness the power of Instagram for business to maximise your marketing reach.