Instagram, one of the fastest growing social networks, is used by brands for sharing images and short videos of people, events, places, etc. According to Forbes.com, within the last year, 55 percent more brands are using Instagram than just one year ago, accounting for its 150 million users worldwide.
While it may be one of the most popular social platforms, it may not make sense for all companies. Below are a few things to consider before creating an account for your brand.
Unlike other social media platforms, Instagram is a mobile-only app as it requires users to upload their videos and photos from their mobile device vs. their desktop. While the platform does have an online presence, it functions much differently and only allows users to view content rather than share it. If your target market is primarily a desktop-using bunch, consider focusing your efforts on other platforms that are more likely to reach your followers.
What type of business or organization do you operate? Are you selling a tangible product that you can showcase with pictures? Do you provide a service that allows you to provide before or after photos? Are you a non-profit who wants to create awareness for a particular cause? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Instagram is a great channel for you to reach people who already have interest in your brand.
Typically, image-focused companies, such as clothing and fashion, makeup, fitness centers, restaurants, etc. use Instagram as a way to generate buzz among their followers. Posting pictures of the latest trend, new creation or the most popular dessert on the menu will get followers excited and interested in what else you have to offer.
Instagram users are primarily 18 to 29 years old, so it is important to consider who your target is before you devote the time and energy to maintain an account. For example, nation-wide retailer, Free People, has over 1.3 million Instagram followers, most of whom appear to be young women between those ages. Their posts include pictures of inventory, trends and feel-good images that resonate with their young audience.
Industries that are geared toward an older demographic such as insurance or retirement planning may be better served on platforms that skew older, such as Facebook.
Instagram also gives followers a behind-the-scenes look at your brand’s products and services, making them feel like they’re getting an exclusive preview before the rest of the world. These posts add value and encourage followers to beingpart of your social following. If your business or organization is highly regulated and doesn’t allow for much freedom in terms of posts, you may want to consider exploring other social platforms as they may be more conducive to your brand.
As with most social media platforms, the more you post, the more likely you are to generate followers. Posting a combination of videos and images 3-4 times per week will keep followers engaged with your content. If you feel as though maintaining an active account will be a challenge for your team, you may want to reconsider adding Instagram to your social media mix.
Also, keep in mind that engagement among followers in this platform is higher as content is not limited. Unlike Facebook, there isn’t an algorithm (yet) that analyzes the posts the platform thinks you want to see, so users see all content regardless of their Instagram habits. If you post it, your followers will see it.
If you’re still not sure whether or not Instagram makes sense for your business, feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.