Is Instagram a Tool for Small Businesses?
Short Answer: Yes, Instagram could be the path to success for your small business.
Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms. Recent statistics released by Instagram revealed that there are more than 800 million active users on Instagram per month. These users share 95 million pieces of visual content every day (Instagram, 2017). Furthermore, the network has the highest engagement rate as compared to other social media networks. For instance, the engagement rate per post on Instagram is 4 percent, whereas Twitter and Facebook have less than 1 percent engagement rate (Osman, 2018).
Given the high engagement rates per post and the overall popularity of the network, Instagram is a honeypot for small businesses across the globe.
Here are some interesting stats about the business side of Instagram
- Instagram has more than 2 Million Monthly Advertisers and 25 Million Business Profiles (Instagram, 2017).
- More than 71 percent of the US Businesses use Instagram (eMarketer, 2017).
- 80 percent of users follow businesses on Instagram (Instagram, 2017).
- Over 120 million Instagram users visited a website, received directions, and emailed or direct messaged to learn about a business (Instagram, 2017).
- 60 percent users say that they discover new products through Instagram (Instagram, 2017).
- 30 percent of the Instagram users have purchased a product, they first discovered on Instagram (Mandell, 2017).
- Out of 800 million active users, 88 million users of Instagram are from United States (Mathison, 2018).
U.S. Small Businesses consider Instagram as an essential component of their social media strategy. According to a recent SproutSocial report, geotagging, and location-based hashtags are a terrific way to increase exposure to Instagram. For instance, geo-tagged posts get 79% more engagement (Osman, 2018). U.S. small businesses know this fact, and they are already making the most out of it. Same is true for the Michigan-based small businesses.
Here are few Michigan small businesses that are great Instagram examples:
Tapper’s Jewelry – 7,900 Followers
Tapper’s Jewelry has been in Michigan since 1977. It has an outstanding collection of luxury timepieces, fine designer jewelry, and high-quality diamonds.
They are getting the most of their Instagram account by sharing emotions attached with jewelry. For instance, many of their posts depict happy couples and catch their emotions in form of hashtags. Furthermore, they also put Geo Tags on their content. As a result, they are getting an average of 150 interactions on their posts.
Key Takeaway: Look beyond your products to how your customer uses it and depict emotions in your Instagram content.
Le Bon Macaron – 8200 Followers
A Family-Owned French Macaron bakery in Michigan. The business was going as usual until Chelsea joined the business in 2015. She is the head of social media strategy. Her strategy revolves around Instagram.
Le Bon Macaron gets an average of 250 interactions per post on Instagram.
Their strategy is to keep the things simple and focus on the products. In addition to geotagging, they also focus on the events to promote their products.
Key Takeaway: Keep the things simple and lets your products do the talking. Add some flair by adding relevant hashtags.
Emma Burcusel – 3700 Followers
Emma is a Family and wedding Photographer operating in the Metro Detroit Area.
She is a smart Entrepreneur and knew the importance of Instagram. Therefore, she started sharing her photoshoots on Instagram. With occasional set images to let the followers know who is behind the overloaded awesomeness. Her strategy leads to an amazing 150 Interactions per post on Instagram.
Key Takeaway: Don’t be anonymous, let your followers see the real human behind the brand.
These examples are ordinary companies who are making it big on Instagram.
The Million Dollar question is how to launch successfully on Instagram as a small business?
One answer is simple—study the successful brands and follow their strategy.
Here are few tips that will result in a quality Instagram experience for Small Businesses.
- Give Customer the feel of your products by posting authentic high-quality images.
- Use hashtags and geo-tagging, efficiently and effectively.
- Post behind-the-scenes images to engage with your customers.
- Acknowledge satisfied customers by sharing images of them with the products (ask for permission).
- Announce discounts or sales through Illustrated images or videos
- Ask open-ended questions in the product descriptions and responds to user’s comments promptly.
- Show the community involvement by sharing images/videos that highlight social work.
- These tips will enable the small business to successfully launch on Instagram. However, as users share more than 95 Million images on Instagram daily, therefore 70 percent of the posts have low engagement rates (Osman, 2018).
Achieving high engagement rate per post is difficult—but possible—through smart decisions and highly effective tools.
Recently SproutSocial conducted research on the best time to post on Instagram (York, 2017). The image highlights the major findings of the study.
The main points of the study are:
- For achieving maximum engagement, the recommended times to post are 2 am., 8 a.m., and 5 p.m. Pacific standard time.
- Posts on weekdays get maximum views than on weekends. Particularly posts on Mondays have the strongest correlation with engagement.
- 3 p.m. (Pacific standard time), is the least optimal time to post on Instagram.
Here are some great tools that can be helpful in optimizing Instagram account for small business.
HootSuite: This is a great tool to schedule posts on Instagram. Spend time preparing content, set schedule in Hootsuite and wait for the magic to happen.
Canva: Use Canva for designing your posts. Add text and fancy effects to your images to make them super impressive.
Iconosquare Analytics: This is a great tool for analytics and reporting purposes. This tool can track the number of followers, comments, and likes. Use this tool to tracks how well the posts are performing.
Instagram is a powerful tool for small businesses to get exposure. Using the tips, tricks, and tools highlighted in this article can assist small businesses to launch their Instagram account with a bang.