Why Instagram is a powerful tool for business.
Hi there. 👋
My name is Emily. I am 22 years old, and I have been on Instagram for ten years.
I am a part of a generation that grew up with Instagram; it was partially responsible for defining how we learned to interact with the world and with each other. I watched businesses sprout up because of Instagram, and I watched businesses grow because they took early advantage of the visibility granted to them by the platform.
I consider my knowledge (and my generation’s knowledge) of things like Instagram, Snapchat, what have you, to be different than that of those older than me/us. The easiest way to explain it is to compare the non-native French-speaking abilities of someone whose palette formed to the syllables and phonetics of the language early on in their lives, versus someone who never spoke or heard it when they were little, and tries to learn it later in life. The former of those two individuals will have a more natural time speaking, whereas no matter how hard the latter tries, they are always going to sound a bit more unnatural.
Yes, that was an extremely elaborate way for me to say I am a native speaker of Insagrammish. I hope you have been won over by my spectacular display of ethos and analogous writing, leading you to now believe everything I say in the rest of this blog.
ANYWAYS—Today, Instagram enjoys over 1 billion user accounts, and half of those accounts are active on a daily basis. So I hate to love to say it but… if you’re a business and you don’t have an Instagram account, what are ya doin??
Now, I know I’m a marketer, but when I’m not at work, I 1000% revert back to my consumeristic ways (how does one not?).
I peruse Instagram on the daily; looking through my friend’s and family’s photos, but I also spend a significant amount of time on business pages, flipping through sponsored influencer content, and getting served ads (nowhere is sacred anymore). Those moments on the app during which I come into contact with brands, companies, and local businesses are often quite pivotal in my final monetary decisions as a consumer.
So, in order to more finitely answer the question of “why Instagram?” for your (or any) business, let’s look at Instagram through both sets of my eyes.
Firstly, we’ll glance through my consumerist goggles; the interactions I have with businesses as I use Instagram to learn more about companies. Secondly, we’ll toss on my snazzy blue light glasses and cover the tangible benefits of Instagram in marketing campaigns and content strategies. Both will lead us to glorious conclusions of why Instagram benefits are unique and powerful for businesses.
#1 People Spend Time on Instagram
I literally just told you I use Instagram every single day. And I wouldn’t be on there every day if other people weren’t as well; I’m not just staring at days-old content! (I do, however, remember when content creators weren’t a thing and there was not anywhere close to the amount of entertainment and information to scroll through as there is now).
The point is, many, many people find themselves on Instagram every day. If your business is not on Instagram, plain and simple, you are missing those eyeballs that could be landing on your business’s page.
Part of the reason why Instagram accounts are so important for businesses nowadays is because they have a completely different reach than something like a billboard, magazine ad, or Google ad campaign. A billboard has restrictions based on physical location, making it an odd option for businesses who aren’t either local to an area, or big enough to not care about the budget it takes to slap up a billboard (hey Mickey D’s). But Instagram can reach anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time. That’s the beauty of the World Wide Web, baby.
In regards to why Instagram can be more beneficial than Google ads, we got input from one of our Social Media Managers here at Marketwake:
"Google Ads are great for reaching new eyes on a 'strictly business' basis, but Instagram allows companies to highlight their personal and more humanistic attributes, which increases the positive sentiment of an audience member looking to form a meaningful and trusting relationship. When it comes to longevity, Instagram outperforms Google Ads in the development of both brand awareness and community growth, so if you're looking to grow your business long-term, Instagram is your answer."
- Sydney Watts, Marketwake Social Media Manager of 3 years
#2 Instagram is Not Just Good For Customer Acquisition—It’s Good For Employee Acquisition
When I was looking to apply to work at Marketwake, one of the first things I did was look them up on Instagram (I’m not kidding). I wanted to know what it was like to work there, and Instagram has a much more personal tone than a website could ever carry. Perhaps most importantly, Instagram gave me the ability to see how updated certain information was, or see occasionally, through reels and stories, life at Marketwake in real time.
The glimpse into life at a company that Instagram can offer is an incredibly valuable tool that companies can use to boost visibility amongst potential applicants for jobs, as well as to further persuade current applicants that your company is a good place to work.
If you are a business that is trying to figure out how to promote your business on Instagram and you either already have an account, or you’re thinking about starting one, consider adding a reel or a weekly post dedicated to showcasing your office’s culture, your employee’s hobbies, or the number of dogs you have in the office on a daily basis.
#3 Get Feedback in Real Time
Instagram has come a long way since its inception, and has since added a “business account” lever for you to pull.
And we know it’s not the wrong lever, because no lever that allows you instant feedback on the performance of your posts and their engagement levels, as well as the demographic information of your followers and those engaging with your posts, could ever be bad for a business. Heck, Instagram even does one better and suggests the best time of day to post!
All you have to do is create an account, go into settings, and switch the account to a “business” account. Boom. Instant data influx.
This large pool of data to which you have access is one of the biggest reasons why Instagram is a huge gain for any company in any industry.
#4 People Are Starting to Expect It
Part of the reason why Instagram is becoming such a powerful business tool is because people are searching for business’s accounts on the app regardless of the industry in which they exist. Since Instagram has a more inherently colloquial tone, having it as an engagement option for potential customers, as well as current customers, is a great way to make them feel a bit more connected to you as a business, which leads to easier trust-building and longer-lasting relationships. Because the fact of the matter is that engagement is the new girl on the block right now, and she’s coming in hot.
This might almost seem like a given for B2C companies, but for B2B companies, customer experience (the result of meaningful engagement with customers) is the next thing. Are you listening to us? The. Next. Thing. 👇
“Companies that earn $1 billion annually can earn $775 million more within three years of investing in customer experience with “modest” results.”*
* Think software companies don’t need a humanistic component to their brand? Think again. This same study found that software companies could be the biggest beneficiaries of boosting their customer engagement and experience.
As either a current (or, if not, hopefully future) business-Instagram-account-owner, make sure your content and demeanor on Instagram makes customers feel as though they know you as a friend, and could interact with you on a more personal level. After all, Instagram is (in the words of a bona fide expert)....
“...the gatekeeper of a brand these days. People used to go to a website to learn more about a brand, but now we are seeing a shift in behavior, especially within younger generations. People are going to social channels first to learn more about a company.”
Did someone hear a mic drop? I think I might have. But let’s move on to the final reason why Instagram is the golden girl of social media business tools:
#5 Creating an Account is FREE
People—come on. Instagram benefits not only include:
1. Hanging out where target audiences probably spend at least some of their time
2. An increase in positive visibility to potential employees
3. Instant feedback on engagement levels and audience demographics
4. Meeting people’s expectations nowadays (which is simply never easy, is it?)
But it’s ALSO free? Again—Whatchu doin??? Stop wondering why Instagram could be good for your business and start asking yourself why Instagram isn’t downloaded on your phone with an account dedicated to your company!
How to Promote Your Business on Instagram
This, my friends, is a slightly different story. In the closing of this blog, I will confess that getting Instagram content right can sometimes be a hardship if you do not speak Instagrammish like Marketwake’s social media managers do.
So if you do not, indeed, know the ins and outs of posting content on Instagram, get in contact with our team! Reach out to us for more information about how Marketwake’s expertise can boost your visibility to all your target audiences, give your brand a clearer voice, and raise your revenue because your customer engagement will shoot through the roof. 😉
Want proof? Head to our Instagram and follow along!