This post is the last of the series, “Not All Social Media Is Created Equal”. Today we will focus on Instagram.
Make sure to read about the other social media platforms below.
There are over 700 million monthly active users on Instagram. Instagram Stories has more than 250 million active daily users – overtaking Snapchat’s active daily users.
Here are some great statistics:
- 70% of US businesses are using Instagram
- 80% of users follow at least one business
- Over 120 million users visited a website, got directions, called a business, emailed or direct messaged a business
- 30% of users have purchased a product they first discovered on Instagram
- There are over 1 million advertisers
- 38% of users are female and 26% are men
- 59% are 18-29 years old
- 51% of users access the platform daily
- 35% say they look at it several times per day
- 96% of fashion brands use Instagram
- Users engage more on weekdays
- Research shows you should share on Mondays at 2:00 am (yes, you are reading that right), 8:00 am and 5:00 pm – don’t share at 3:00 pm
- Photos with faces get 38% more likes
- 50% of text on Instagram contains Emojis 🙂
- Posts with at least one hashtag get 12.6% more engagement – optimum number of hashtags is 11
Ways to use Instagram for your business:
- Write a great bio – if you look at mine, I use emojis, talk about what I do and a little bit about my personal life. You want to make sure you create a great first impression through your bio and profile. Your bio is one of the first things people see when they click on your profile. The bio can entice people to follow you, scroll through some of your content or even click the link back to your website.
- Include a link – the only place on Instagram allows you to have a clickable link is in your bio. Most people use this link to drive traffic back to their website. Other ways to use this link is if you are having an event that requires registration, a landing page, a free offer, or to your blog.
- Create a business profile – if you are a business, you should have a business profile instead of a personal one. All you have to do is go to your Instagram settings and click on Switch to a Business Profile. Follow the instructions and then you will have a business profile.
- Set goals – what do you want to achieve with Instagram? Are you going to be showcasing your products or services, do you want to build your community, increase awareness of your brand, increase brand loyalty, or share company news and updates?
- Stay consistent – make sure all your images have the same look and feel – colors, font, logo, branded hashtag, etc. Think about your brand colors and your visual style. How can you make your content feel aligned with your brand’s overall aesthetic.
- Post regularly – consistency and posting frequency help your audience learn when to expect new content from you. Align your content with your Instagram goals. You should be posting daily by scheduling your posts. Instagram’s API doesn’t quite allow scheduling yet, but by using third-party apps, like Hootsuite, you can create and schedule all of your posts. When it is time to share on Instagram, Hootsuite will send you a push notification on your phone. All you have to do is follow the prompts and it will then be shared on your Instagram.
- Look at your numbers – once you switch to a business account, you can look at your Insights to see what is working and what isn’t. Just like any other social media profile, you need to look at these numbers in order to have success. Is your content helping you reach your goals? Are you getting new business from your posts? If the answer is no, then you need to look at what you are sharing.
- Respond to comments – responding to comments is a great way to build that KNOW, LIKE & TRUST with your audience. If someone takes the time to share, it’s important to respond back to them and show them you are listening to them. A study done by the Internet Advertising Bureau found that 90% of consumers would recommend a brand to others after interacting with them on social media.
- Share to Facebook – before sharing your content to Instagram, hit the button to share to your Facebook Business Page, then share your post. Once your post is shared on Instagram, it is automatically shared to your Facebook Business Page. A Buzzsumo study found that images posted to Facebook via Instagram received 23% more engagement than natively published images.
- Use hashtags – hashtags categorize content on many social media platforms. They allow Instagram users a way to discover new content and accounts to follow. Posts with over 11 hashtags tend to get more engagement. Create a branded hashtag for your business. Research it first to make sure no one else is using it or it is being used not in a good way. On almost every Instagram post of mine, I use the hashtag #SavvySocialMedia. Now when someone clicks on that hashtag, people can see all of my posts.
- Showcase your products or services creatively – create demo videos, show real-world case studies, share customer stories and experiences, go behind the scenes, do a video when you are at an event, etc.
As you can see from this blog series, each social media platform reaches different people and has it’s own ways to help grow your business. Make sure to look at the other platforms in the series by clicking the links above.
My next blog post will be the last in this series. It will focus on how to use Instagram to grow your business.
Until then, Keep Calm & Love Social Media!
Also published on Medium.