Between the endless selfies, pictures of food porn and filter photography, it can be hard to see the value of Instagram.
However, given that this platform has just reach 300 million users surpassing Twitter’s user base, it might be time to think again.
Instagram first entered the social scene in 2010 and like the Kardashians, it took the world by storm. Within 24 hours of launching, it was the number one app in the iPhone app store. It wasn’t long before the site became insta-famous reaching
Why Does It Work?
What made this site so captivating? In a word, pictures. Aside from breaking up the huge amount of information we consume daily,
60,000 TIMES FASTER CONSUMPTION.
If we look at why social media really works, it’s because community is at the heart of it. People can connect and stay in tough with each other regardless of where they are in the world. Pictures and memories and moments in our lives that we want to share. Instagram allows us to life-cast and share the big moments with those who aren’t able to be there themselves. It’s not really surprising that Instagram has become the platform of choice for so many people.
Should Instagram be YOUR Platform of choice?
There are hundreds of reasons that can be used to describe the benefits of business for any of the major social networks. However, there is only one reason why you should invest your time on any of them. That is, because your customers are investing their time there.
Now, with statistics like 300 million users worldwide, the chances are that you have an audience using that site. Not to mention the fact it was bought by Facebook in 2011 for a sweet $1 billion, something to definitely consider.
As a business owner, the real way to know is to do the research. The only reason that social media matters to you as a business is because your customers are there. Where there is customers, there is opportunity to grab their attention and get their eyes on you and what you have to offer. If you’re customers are on Instagram, get on that platform asap before your competitors all get the message and jump on the bandwagon. If not, then no. Don’t waste your time.
If there isn’t a presence YET, but it looks like that’s where your customers are headed, of course you can go to that place and make the case just don’t end up marketing in a place where there is no-one there to listen.
You want your customers to hear you!
I’m pretty sure, this is the point where we all visualise that tree in the woods with no-one around to hear it ;)
How to find out if your customers are on Instagram?
Naturally, as a visual site, there are specific industries that tend to do well on Instagram such as Photographers, Retail Stores and Restaurants. Nothing quite makes you want to book your table when there is a delicious plate of your favourite food staring at you and your tummy is rumbling. With that being said, there are a number of ways you can take advantage of Instagram. It’s all about being creative and focused on what your customers want to see. Before you do that, you need to know your customers are even on the platform.
As general as this answer may seem, please don’t underestimate it. You NEED to understand your customers and who they are as people. Demographics, consumer behaviour, purchase history and all the stats we read about are great but that only one part of the puzzle. You need to understand your audience as people. What do they like? What don’t they like? How do they spend their time? How do they interact on social media?
Knowing your customers on this deeper level will make it easier to find where they interact online. If this is all new to you, get into the habit of paying attention to your customers. When they are in your store, waiting room etc. Are they on their phones? When they are talking, what type of language do they use? When you ask them if they use Instagram, what do they say? It can really be as simple as asking your customers next time to speak to them.
Once you know they are on Instagram, you can begin to put together a strategy and train them to interact with you on the platform through the marketing channels they are currently engaged on. More research helps with this too. Once you find your customers, you can look at their profile and figure out any trends that you may have missed. You can begin to build a social media persona that they can relate too. Ultimately, you can build your Instagram profile up to a point where it becomes a viable marketing communication channel that impacts positively on your revenue streams.
If for some reason your customers are not on Instagram, don’t try too hard to force it. Go to the platform they choose and put in the effort to engage in a way that they enjoy interacting. You serve your customers not the other way round so just because a platform is great for many, it doesn’t mean it’s great for YOU.
Be strategic and let your decisions be guided by the path your customers choose to walk down.