Why is Instagram Important for your Business?

Apr 28, 2022
10 min read

The robust penetration of the internet has led to the generation of a virtual world that is far more powerful and all-pervasive. Social media has become a pivotal part of business marketing given the far-reaching effects of social networking sites on the masses. In this day and age, social networking isn’t an option anymore; it’s a necessity. According to Statista, in 2020, there were more than 3.6 billion social media users registered worldwide. By 2025, this number is anticipated to cross 4.41 billion.

With such a large number of people on social media sites, having a presence online on these platforms is of utmost importance to businesses. Social media has completely transformed the way businesses work – they provide a huge audience for you to promote your products and services, help you connect with customers directly, generate leads, and increase brand awareness. Today’s buyers are very finicky about their purchases, which is why they research a specific brand several times before making an informed decision. To ensure that customers are assured about the authenticity and trust of the brand, it is crucial for businesses to have a successful, far-reaching online presence and establish useful contacts through networking. That’s where social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn come in.

An Introduction to Instagram

One of the best social media sites there is, Instagram is a platform unlike most. Purchased by Facebook in 2012, Instagram today boasts of a billion registered accounts. Similar to Google, the word ‘Instagram’ has officially become a verb now – a feat worthy of praise. Full of visual surprises and attractive features, Instagram is home to practically everyone, from the common man to celebrities and small and large businesses to major institutions. Additionally, the site gave birth to one of the largest marketplaces there is – the influencer industry.

What started as a mere photo-sharing app among many others that debuted along the same time is now a massive network that features a ton of products and services and helps small entrepreneurs successfully expand their businesses online. The statistics below give a brief insight to how far Instagram has come today:

· Instagram boasts of around 1.3 million daily active global users.

· Close to 1.22 billion people use Instagram each month.

· Based on total website traffic, Instagram seems to have 2.9 billion total visits per month and is one of the world’s top 10 most-visited websites.

· Instagram serves a worldwide audience – India has around 201 million users, U.S. has 157 million, while Brazil has close to 114 million users.

· Approximately 59% of adults from the U.S. use Instagram daily and 38% of these login numerous times per day.

Need we say more? Instagram is not just platform for people to post stories and pictures online; as on today, it is where the action takes place. Indeed, if a business, no matter how niche or technical, does not have an Instagram presence, it may be considered pretty much a major discrepancy by the company’s marketing personnel.

Reasons Why Instagram is Important For Your Business

1.       Suitable for all Businesses

Yes, this one’s pretty out there. Literally, every business has a decent success rate on Instagram, from a high-end cosmetic brand to a medium-sized bathroom fittings business and a small home-based personal beauty brand to a massive software company trying to establish further connections with customers. Hospitality and tourism, for instance, depict this trend more than any other business. Hotels and resorts aptly show off their aesthetically pleasing rooms and other amenities on Instagram to attract customers, increase bookings, and boost the business.

One of the reasons any business can succeed here is that the Gram makes businesses more relatable. Before these businesses established their brand image on this platform, a certain boundary prevented customers from viewing it as a business they could trust. With an Instagram factor, relatability has seen a major boost, driven by business networking and the fact that businesses are able to show off their brand with a touch of personalization.

2.       Home to a Large Crowd

Instagram has access to a massive percentage of people – the site boasts of access to billions, with huge numbers checking their feed numerous times per day. Given its visual appeal, you can actually put a face to your brand that further helps to increase your connection to people. Engagement on this platform is much more than on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Businesses have direct access to consumers, with the help of which they can provide high value and express gratitude and appreciation to their followers. With the user base of the platform increasing by the hour, businesses will be able to gain more and more followers with the help of a dedicated marketing strategy.

3.       Extensive Customer Engagement

As a perpetuation of the aforementioned point, customer engagement is quite obviously, a major benefit of the Gram. With this platform, businesses can effectively engage with their consumers and build connections with like-minded people. One of the best ways business owners choose to do this is by leveraging the ‘Go live’ feature; with the help of they can hold live sessions periodically. These sessions can either comprise a presentation of some kind or a Q&A session. Either way, it helps you engage with the community, build strong and loyal customer relationships, reach newer audiences using effective promotional gimmicks, and increase engagement to boost the business.

The Gram helps you easily understand customer behaviour, in terms of their likes, dislikes, preferences, and their buying patterns. Customer opinions matter a lot for the success of a business, and this platform provides easy access to understand that as well.

4.       Convenient Competitor Analysis

Instagram is one unique platform that allows you easily track your competitors. You can find out how appealing their posts are, how often they post, what they post, how they hold their live sessions, how their audience reacts to their posts, and so on. You can even find out if they are holding contests or giveaways if they are following the latest trends, and what kind of creative strategies they seem to be implementing.

Tracking down competitor behaviour and formulating a good competitor analysis plan will help you rethink your own strategies and come up with one that is effective and foolproof.

5.       Make Money Directly

Unlike other marketing outlets, Instagram helps you earn directly. If you’re a regular Gram user, you may have seen promotional posts describing product benefits with a direct link below the post called ‘Shop Now’ that lead customers directly to the business’s buying page. Commercial posts on the site help businesses add tags to their products, with pictures, descriptions, and suitable links.

In the past, more often than not, consumers looked up to companies to make purchasing decisions. Today, with the advent of social media, they look up to their fellow consumers to make a buying decisions. By using Instagram to promote your products, you will gain access to a huge consumer pool that can enter your site to buy your products, helping you earn directly.

6.       The Hashtag Success Rate

The proliferation of hashtags on social media has been exceptional. At its simplest, a hashtag is a metadata tag preceded by a hash ‘#’ – essentially a vital keyword that comprises the message in your Instagram post. When hashtags are shared by numerous users, they enable Instagram posts to become viral and gain more visibility, thereby increasing the chances of your brand gaining more popularity. Hashtags are also used to increase social awareness – in recent times, #blacklivesmatter, #humanrights, and #metoo have gained a lot of traction.

Companies can effectively utilize this trend to tag their product and sell them successfully. Once a business uses certain hashtags, consumers are able to reshare the same and eventually, the hashtag gets viral enough for people to know what the business is about, thereby making it more recognizable.

7.       Visually Strong and Creative

Instagram is one of the most creative platforms out there, with a slew of features that help users create attractive posts, reels, interactive videos, contests, shout-outs, and so on. It helps businesses identify themselves as a brand that has personality. More often than not, visuals are more powerful than words – the Gram effectively leverages this thought and encourages users to post visually appealing content to get a good response. Visual feeds also help your brand establish a distinguished reputation as opposed to its peers.

With visually compelling pictures, it is easier to convince users to get to your site; there’s no direct convincing involved. Creative, visual posts also prove to be an effective marketing strategy – as per reliable reports, visual posts deliver a mammoth 650% higher engagement than text-only posts. Using attractive visuals helps you increase consumer engagement and retention rate, which in turn translates to consistent buying patterns.

8.       Storytelling – The Secret Tool

If there’s one thing the Gram is popular for, it is the ability of storytelling. And, it is not surprising that storytelling is the way to go when it comes to improving brand image and retaining consumers. People love to listen to stories, no matter how repetitive. It is this fixation with storytelling that business owners can learn to incorporate on a site that encourages the same with exceptional features. From a business perspective, spinning your brand’s growth in the form of a story can be a very effective marketing strategy.

A compelling story also resonates emotionally with the audience. Imagine a brand that has built itself from scratch and become a successful business. It is likely to gain more customers by showcasing its story of growth and development as opposed to using tried-and-tested promotional gimmicks to gain an audience. No matter how simple or mainstream, a good story always engages the audience and increases their loyalty to the business.

9.       Influencer Marketing

Instagram has given rise to one of the biggest businesses there is – influencer marketing. Influencers are essentially people who boast of a loyal audience and already have a certain connection with them. Unlike celebrities though, influencers may be common people with specialized interests through which they have gained a loyal customer base. Instagram allows businesses to connect with influencers and establish partnerships with them, through which they will be able to gain a dependable brand ambassador for their company and a huge consumer pool that trusts the particular influencer in question.

Credibility is a major point to be considered when purchasing products. Here’s where influencers help – they help boost sales and launch advertising campaigns that can increase the visibility and reach of your brand. With just a few of their posts, they can help you target demographics that you may not be able to reach otherwise, thereby increasing your ROI and expanding your business across millions of followers.

10.   Trackable Performance for Strategy Optimization

Analytics is one of the best ways to understand how your business is performing; in today’s times, tracking business performance is of utmost importance to understand customer mindset and product popularity. With tracking metrics, businesses can establish firm marketing plans by monitoring the best practices. Instagram insights help you understand what to post and when. Paid tools such as Sprout Social even help you stay up-to-date with consumer trends and spark a call-to-action.

Instagram allows you to effectively drive traffic on your site, a substantial portion of which can be converted to leads. Millennials surf Instagram like no other demographic, so merely posting a link on the Gram will direct traffic on your landing page, which can be tracked and insights can be drawn about consumer feedback and behaviour. You can also optimize your site once you come to know how your products are being received and how the brand is being perceived among the audience.

How to Use Instagram For Your Business?

Instagram undeniably offers a multitude of advantages to business owners. According to a study conducted by Instagram itself, around 81% of its users claimed that the site helped them conduct research on products and services. Not being a part of this platform may make you miss out on a major demographic and lose the chance to expand your business online. To that end, enlisted below are a few tips on how you can use Instagram for your business.

· To begin with, do the obvious. Set up a business account and comb through your Instagram profile to ensure that all business-related categories have been taken care of. Also ensure that the entire profile looks professional and sophisticated, at the same time, aesthetic and visually pleasing.

· If you’re a regular visitor on the Gram, you would’ve noticed that the feature of ‘link in bio’ is pretty popular off late. Leverage the use of this feature to the fullest and prepare a landing page that incorporates the best of your work.

· Boost your business using Instagram’s ‘save Post’ feature. This one’s more for research and inspiration; if you find posts that you can use later on, save them and sort them into a collection. These can include customer reviews, inspirational ideas, potential influencers, etc.

· Add the location name to the post so that the platform can sort them all as per geographical location and help you reach more customers.

· Instagram offers a ‘Stories Highlights’ feature that’ll help you explain more about your business, its goals, FAQs, locations, etc. Highlights help prolong the life of your stories – this is especially important when posting testimonials and customer reviews.

· The year 2020 saw a stream of changes in the way businesses conducted themselves. To that end, the trend of working from home gave rise to the excessive use of the ‘Instagram Live’ feature, where millions of entrepreneurs chose to hold live sessions to personally connect with their customers and enrich the brand. This communication mechanism can help boost your business and make you stand out.

· Use Instagram to publicize an exclusive sale of your products or host a giveaway. Run a ‘followers only’ promotional gimmick for a few hours, and watch the number of your followers grow. You can use the ‘Countdown Stories’ sticker to build hype. Hosting a giveaway is also an excellent option to grow your business; create additional hype for your business and get more engagement by asking people to follow your account to get free stuff.

· Use the DM feature as much as possible. People respond positively to entrepreneurs that respond in a timely manner. In today’s day and age, engaging with customers is of more importance than ever. To manage the multitude of messages you’ll be receiving, you can use Sprout’s Smart Inbox feature.

· One of the best ways to effectively use Instagram for your small business is to track your analytics. You can understand the engagement metrics, what posts are working and what are not customer insights, and more, with analytics.

Instagram is currently trending like hot cakes; whether it is a small business or large, being a part of this platform is the way to go forward. It is one of those sites that serve as a virtual word of mouth and builds extensive trust among consumers. With an extensive user base and convenient features to buy and sell, Instagram has established itself as one of the most noteworthy social media networks there is.