In October, Instagram will celebrate its 13th birthday. Since its initial release, Instagram has amassed more than 2 billion users, and they’re spending an average of 30 minutes a day on the app.
Instagram’s influence on business is equally remarkable, with 90% of users following at least one business page. Half of users have taken the crucial step of visiting a website with the intent to make a purchase after being inspired by what they saw on Instagram Stories.
Statistics like these often leave business leaders to declare to their marketing teams, “We should be on Instagram!” or perhaps the more dreaded, “Why aren’t we on Instagram?” While Instagram can be a positive tool, B2B companies should consider certain factors before creating a presence on the platform.
Let’s explore a few factors to help you make an informed decision.
As Instagram has grown over the last decade-plus, so has its ability to support companies on the platform. For B2B businesses, many of these features, strategies and platform strengths can be particularly helpful for B2B challenges.
1. Broad Reach and an Extensive User Base
With an active user base, Instagram’s platform demonstrates expansive global reach. Instagram presents a unique opportunity to showcase your brand to consumers worldwide.
Since the platform is primarily visual, using photo and video content to capture the attention of consumers comes with the added bonus of bridging traditional language barriers. For B2B companies that are looking to launch in a new market, this could create a cost-effective way for your target personas to engage with your brand.
2. Enhanced Brand Visibility and Awareness
In the competitive digital landscape, brand visibility is essential. Instagram is a powerful channel for visual storytelling, enabling businesses to share their unique identity through creative and compelling content. Leveraging relevant hashtags, user-generated content (UGC) and Instagram’s collaboration feature can further increase brand visibility, as these elements facilitate discoverability and community engagement.
3. Building a Loyal Community and Fostering Customer Engagement
Instagram provides many opportunities for engagement, including responding to comments, participating in conversations, hosting interactive polls and sending direct messages. Strategically using features like stories and live videos allows businesses to create authentic connections with their audience and foster a sense of trust and loyalty.
While Instagram is a positive investment for some, certain factors and limitations may make it more effort than it’s worth.
1. Time and Resource Investment
Maintaining a successful Instagram presence demands dedication and consistency. Businesses must commit to a regular posting schedule to engage their audience effectively. The average Instagram business account posts once a day.
Moreover, content creation, monitoring comments and responding to messages necessitates careful allocation of resources – both time and money. It’s important to consider the commitment required when adding another social media platform, particularly one that needs both written copy (captions) and visual elements (a photo, designed graphic or video).
2. Measuring ROI and Analytics
Measuring the return on investment (ROI) from Instagram efforts can be challenging, especially for businesses with complex conversion funnels. While direct conversions may be challenging to track, focusing on metrics like engagement, reach and website clicks can provide valuable insights into your Instagram performance.
3. Adapting to Algorithm Changes
Instagram’s algorithm is dynamic and subject to frequent updates, influencing content visibility and engagement. Staying relevant amid these changes requires businesses to continually analyze and adjust their strategies to maintain visibility and reach their target audience effectively.
4. Potential Negative Feedback and Crisis Management
Public platforms like Instagram are susceptible to negative feedback and social media crises. It’s crucial for businesses to develop a robust strategy for handling such situations professionally and transparently, safeguarding their reputation and maintaining customer trust. Consider constructing a community management strategy.
It’s up to you! Instagram’s popularity and influence in the business world make it an enticing platform for brand marketing and engagement. However, the decision to establish a presence on Instagram must be aligned with your business goals and resources.
The benefits of broad reach, enhanced brand visibility, customer engagement and improved sales are undeniable. Yet the drawbacks of time and resource investment, measuring ROI, adapting to algorithm changes and managing potential negative feedback necessitate careful consideration.
As you contemplate integrating Instagram into your business strategy, remember to analyze your objectives, understand your target audience and continually assess your performance through analytics. By approaching Instagram strategically, your business can leverage the platform’s power to unlock new opportunities, connect with your audience and grow your brand in the digital landscape.