Instagram is easily one of the fastest growing social media platforms right now. Infact Techcrunch claims that “Instagram has doubled its user base, to 700 million monthly actives in two years”. Here’s a quick diagram showing just how quickly things have taken off for the Facebook owned platform Instagram. As you can see, the growth of Instagram has risen dramatically faster than in its previous years, arguably due to the amount of new features being added to the platform – making for a superior and more diverse user experience.
Some of the new features implemented in the last year include the ‘my story’ feature, that many might recognise from rival app ‘Snap Chat’. This feature allows users to upload both photos & video content to their ‘story’, displaying this content for 24 hours only before it disappears for good. It shows you who’s watched it, and displays them in order of upload – Like a story! This in turn makes Instagram user much more active, prompting them to post content regularly throughout the day, including content that may otherwise not be deemed worthy of their main perminant Instagram feed. Many user use the My Story feature to show behind the scenes content, or generally share their days experience with friends. Equally businesses can exploit this feature to serve adverts or promotional material, with a few clever ways to get around the current 15 second time restriction on each post. There’s some really creative ways to stand out from the crowd – Look out for our future technical blog post on how to make video content for Instagram’s My Story feature.
Other features that make Instagram a great business tool
Location tagging: Instagram allows you to tag your location in both its main image feed, as well as the My Story feature. This can show other users where you are based, & allows others who search by location to find your content this way. Tagging your location in ‘My Story’ can randomly trigger your post to be included in ‘local stories‘. Local Stories draw content from multiple users into one feed for that specific location, usually collated by town or county. This instantly gives your post more exposure to users who do not follow your account, but are watching the ‘local story’.
Hashtags: Hashtags on Instagram work in the same way as any other social network. It allows you to tag your images and videos with relevant hashtags, helping other users find your content. Businesses who regularly post using the same relevant hashtag can end up dominating the hashtag image feed – resulting in more visibility. For example, if you’re a wedding photographer, regularly posting images with #WeddingPhotography could result in your images being found by potential clients. The more images you post, the more likely your account will get found.
Shoutouts on related accounts: Instagram is flooded with accounts with large followings, often with hundreds of thousands, if not millions of followers. Finding accounts that are relevant to your industry is usually very easy. Tagging these accounts in your images can often result in you getting more traffic organically, as your image will show up in that accounts ‘tagged image feed’. ALSO, many of these larger accounts will also offer an advertising service, meaning you can pay them to re-post your image/video to their larger following. This naturally drives interest to your account as users click through to your own page. If your content looks appealing it’s likely they will start ‘following’ you too! It’s an alternative paid advertisement method.
Facebook paid adverts can link to Instagram: As Facebook owns Instagram, it’s no surprise that Facebook now offers cross posting to Instagram. This means if you are using Facebooks Sponsored Post platform, it’s now an option to automatically choose for your adverts to be shown on Instagram as well as Facebook with no extra setup time – Subject to a few specification requirements.
Contact us features: Instagram allows you to link to your website, as well as a clickable ‘contact us’ button allowing for easy email or telephone contact from potential clients. There’s also an in-app private message feature for private one-to-one discussions.
Don’t wait, sign up to Instagram for Business.
If your business is already active on social media, or if you are looking to open your very first social media business account, we highly recommend that you choose Instagram as a platform. It’s extremely user friendly, with great in-app editing tools to help make your content look great! Remember content is king, and that’s where ElDRAW can help your business create effective photo & video footage amongst your own self shot content. We feel Instagram is here to stay for the long run, and it’s potential is truly powerful – Don’t wait, sign up and create an Instagram Business Account today.