How to Use Instagram for Business: A Beginners Blueprint
on Dec 25, 2018 (Last Update: Nov 26, 2020)
Ever since its' launch in 2010, Instagram has grown exponentially and still does every single year. After the platform introduced advertising in 2015, over a million advertisers have joined Instagram; 90% of the world’s top 100 brands currently operate an Instagram account.
With an average of 800 million active monthly users and an average of 500 million active daily users, it’s easy to see why so many businesses chose Instagram as a viable marketing resource and outlet over the last few years.
Brands and businesses are looking for an engaged, loyal customer base. Instagram offers just that: 22% of the platform’s users log in at least once a day, 38% check their Instagram feeds more than once a day, and on average, people spend a total of 53 minutes on the platform every day, scrolling through, commenting on and liking posts created by their friends, relatives, celebrities and favorite brands. But statistics aside, what are other reasons that make Instagram such an essential tool for your career and business?
Reason #1: Networking
Instagram is an endless resource of networking opportunities in an infinite number of niches. You can be a makeup artist looking for models to work on, photographers to work with, or find a place to publish your work and put yourself out there, broadening your audience base and gaining exposure, practically for free and at the tap of a finger. As a platform, Instagram allows you to be as proactive or reactive as you wish - you can reach out and engage with other people’s content, or you can post your own and hope for the best. The more relationships you build within your professional or target niche, the better your chances are to snag some incredible opportunities that wouldn’t be available for you, otherwise.
Reason #2: It’s Visual
Since it’s so visually oriented, Instagram allows its’ users to be as creative and unique as they wish. Attracting potential leads and generating sales is a lot easier when your customer base has unlimited access to your product at their fingertips. The visual emphasis on Instagram means anyone can showcase their talents, products, skills or property without fear or “showing off.”
Reason #3: Social Proof
Social proof is the foundation of success. Based on psychological theory, this concept suggests that the more people follow you and know you, the likelier others will follow in their footsteps. Take Instagram influencers; for example, you can reach out to them, have them support your brand or business, and just by having their names linked with yours you will grow instantly - the bigger the influencer, the bigger the crowd.
Reason #4: It’s free to use and isn’t costly to enhance
Which is probably the best thing about using Instagram for promoting your career and business. You can use Instagram alone, for free, and work your way up slowly, or you can purchase promotional services from providers and buy likes, comments, and you can even buy real Instagram followers if you want to save time and give yourself a boost. For example, if you wish to increase your engagement on your posts, you can always use “calls-to-action.” If you feel like you still need a little “push” up the ladder, you can always combine those CTA’s with paid for Instagram promotional services - this way you can not only buy likes for your Instagram business account, you can also receive Instagram comments from your loyal, interacting followers!
Reason #5: The conversion rates
On social media, looking to benefit from mainly from direct sales and transactions won’t get you very far. What you can earn from, on the other hand, is conversion rates. Instagram is rated 4th in highest conversion rates among social media platforms. Case studies found that the average rate at which Instagram users click on links to a business’s website and make a purchase is 1.08%. In other words: out of one hundred people who found your site through your Instagram business account, one will proceed to make a purchase. These numbers may sound insignificant, but when you look at the average number of daily users on the platform - it all makes sense.
Reason #6: Insights
Instagram Insights is an analytics tool that gives the account owner information and data on their followers demographic, actions, and content engagement. This information is essential for anyone trying to promote their business and brand on the platform because it simplifies measuring and comparing different campaigns and content performances. That said, it’s worth mentioning that getting access to this tool requires opening a business account on Instagram.
Reason #7: Easy to use and informal
Because Instagram is a social platform, the users are already feeling very comfortable following their favorite brands and even contacting them if they must. Doing so not only creates a strong bond between businesses and customers, but it also enhances the customer’s experience with the brand and the more related to your brand on a personal level the people are, the higher the chances are that they will stay loyal for a longer term.
Reason #8: Everyone is already using it
Although it might sound counter-intuitive, since we all want recognition as individuals, trendsetters and unique, this holds a lot of value. It’s very probable that your competition is also on Instagram, which allows you to stay ahead of the game. You can keep an eye out for what they’re doing, how people are responding and what your business or brand can do even better to win the audience’s hearts and minds. Another perk for it being so commonly used is that you can show your appreciation and gratitude towards your customers by making them brand ambassadors. All you have to do is ask them to tag you in their posts (that are relevant to you, of course; showing your product, speaking about it, etc.) and merely repost their content on your page with credits given to them. User Generated Content (or UGC) is an effortless and effective way to create buzz around your brand on Instagram.
Ultimately, using Instagram for your business and your career advancement and growth is only sensible in today’s social-media-oriented era. Being one of the largest platforms in the world, Instagram is used both by businesses and “regular”, run of the mill people on a daily - hourly, even - basis, and the opportunities to utilize the platform to your own advantage are truly endless.