Once one of the smallest kids on the block, Instagram has stealthily taken over the social media scene. Starting as a small photo-sharing community, it has grown into a behemoth.
There are one billion active monthly users (including one million in Australia) sharing, ‘liking’ and commenting on photos online.
Small businesses are flocking to the platform hoping to get a slice of the pie. You’re probably eyeing it up for the very same reason. But is it a worthwhile use of your effort and time?
The advantages of using Instagram for your small business
Instagram has several aces up its sleeve, especially when compared to other social networks. These are:
- Engagement: Instagram users are 15 times more likely to like, comment or otherwise engage with a brand than on Facebook
- Visibility: Everything you post on Instagram shows up in every single one of your followers’ news feeds
- Affordability: It’s possible to reach millions of people on little or no budget by using hashtags, geotagging and other free tools
- Simplicity: It’s very simple to use – just snap a photo, write a caption, hashtag and share
One of the biggest advantages of Instagram is that it can level the playing field, so that a small business can outperform a big business. All a brand has to do to grow its audience is to consistently post high-quality photos or videos that people find beautiful or interesting.
Or at least that’s the theory.
In reality, it depends on what your small business is selling, and to whom.
When Instagram isn’t right for your small business
Instagram might be a wildly popular app but that’s within only one demographic:
- 90% of its users are below the age of 35, with 41% aged 16 to 24
If most of your customers are older than 35, then Instagram might be a waste of time for your small business, because your customers probably won’t be there.
The same goes if your products or services simply don’t photograph well.
But if your products or services do photograph well, and if your typical customer is just the sort of person who “does it for the ‘gram” (and you know what we mean by that) – what are you waiting for?