Most of us now know that having a social media presence is a powerful business tool. Engaging with your target audience, building up trust and nurturing existing customer relationships are just a few of the reasons.
Chances are, your business is on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. But how about Instagram?
Traditionally the go-to destination for endless selfies, cat pictures and snaps of just-prepared meals, this photo- and video-sharing mobile app has now become a dynamic weapon for small businesses, too.
Yet despite it having 600 million global users (more than either LinkedIn or Twitter), only about one in four small businesses have actually set up an account.
Chances are that for whatever reason your business is one of those one in four. If so, we look at why it might be worth taking another look at this social networking giant…
Worried that only brands with a strong visual element, like fashion, food and lifestyle businesses, can excel on Instagram?
It’s true that any business with something beautiful or stylish to sell has a head start. But you can still engage effectively with followers even if your business is in an area not traditionally classed as glamorous - including those in the Business to Business (or B2B) sector.
Instagram isn’t just about posting sales images. In fact, if that’s all you do on there you’ll quickly turn people off. Just like other forms of social media, it’s best to take your target audience behind the scenes of your business and help them get to know you.
In order to see how visual your company actually can be, think how you can celebrate your team and their achievements, and the quirks, events and personality that make your workplace special. When it comes to visual marketing, your people and their stories are probably its biggest asset - no matter the product or service you sell.
You can also bring your products or services to life with the stories of how they’re created, and share photos from customers highlighting how what your business does makes a difference.
When you’re deciding which social media to focus on you need to bear in mind your target audience as well as what you want to achieve from your efforts.
Over 20% of small businesses polled recently said they believed their customers didn’t use Instagram. And while it might be true that your target audience spends more time on another site like Facebook, here’s a fact you can’t ignore: people on Instagram are more likely to be shoppers.
Recent research shows that half of all Instagram users follow brands’ accounts, and 30% have ended up buying something they first saw on the site. Meanwhile, nearly three quarters of users say that their chance of buying a product increases after seeing a photo on Instagram.
Of course, you might feel this is more relevant if you’re in a Business to Consumer (B2C) area, but it gives you an idea about how influential Instagram can be if it’s used correctly.
Today’s consumers expect businesses to engage with them online - and in this digital age visual content is more crucial than ever.
Plus, as we tell clients we help at HR GO, being able to display a vibrant company culture can boost your chances of recruiting great candidates - and having an Instagram feed full of happy employees and a fulfilling workplace certainly ticks some boxes.
If you’re not sure if Instagram is for you, see if your competitors are on there. If they are, study what they’re doing. How are they visually representing themselves and engaging with their target audience or potential employees? How can you set your business apart from their message?
Visual marketing is here to stay so it’s wise to start using it to your advantage before your rivals do. And if you’re the first in your field to start using it? You’ll be setting yourself apart even more...