6 Reasons Why Your Brand Should Be on Instagram
2018 Social Media Marketing Planning Guide
Question: Should your brand be on Instagram?
Long story short. Yes.
But don’t just take our word for it—as always, let’s look at what the data tells us.
According to Pew Research Center,
To put those numbers into perspective, that’s roughly 2.4 billion people globally and 95 million within the U.S.
Not only does Instagram host a large audience, but it is a very engaged one. Pew Research Center also discovered that 51% of Instagram users make Instagram a daily activity, with 26% logging in weekly, and only 22% logging in less often.
Instagram did some of their own research and reported that their users spend an average of about 25 minutes each day scrolling through visual content, and they log in several times throughout the day, meaning businesses currently leveraging Instagram are able to reach a significant number of people for extended periods of time. It’s a marketer’s dream come true.
You may be thinking, “But is Instagram the right social network for my business?” To help you determine if Instagram is the right platform for you, we’ve constructed a list of six reasons why your brand should be on Instagram.
You Have Products and Services to Sell
Instagram reported earlier this year that 80% of Instagram users follow at least one brand—and for a number of reasons. The number one reason why users follow brands on social media is because they are interested in their products or services. In other words, they follow businesses to shop (or at least are considering a purchase). Instagram also reported that shoppers on Instagram consume 2X more content than non-shoppers, and those who are shopping on Instagram spend 85% of the week exploring the newest products and services.
As a rapidly growing social network, Instagram currently boasts a 1.08% conversion rate—the rate at which people went on to make a purchase after visiting a business on Instagram. Shopping, in general, is most definitely now an online behavior, and people are starting to increase the amount of time spent shopping online.
- 95% of Americans shop online at least yearly
- 80% of Americans shop online at least monthly
- 30% of Americans shop online at least weekly
- 5% of Americans shop online daily
Instagram has incorporated some great features to make shopping easier on the network, with the addition of buttons that encourage users to take action on Instagram posts, including “install,” “learn more,” and, of course, “shop now.” So it’s no wonder that 61% of organizations engaged in social selling report a positive impact on revenue growth (Feedback Systems).
By using all of Instagram’s capabilities—through your feed, stories, shoppable photo tags, or by broadcasting live—retailers have a tremendous opportunity to inspire action from their followers.
You Have Dedicated and Engaged Brand Loyalists
Social media has enabled everyone to become a content creator, which can be a huge benefit to your brand—if you are able to leverage the right voices (those who share your passion, are excited about your brand, and can consistently engage their own audiences).
Brand loyalists (your organically-obtained brand ambassadors) are often happy to share your content on Instagram and tag your business in their posts. Research from BigCommerce revealed that 23% of shoppers are influenced by social media recommendations and reviews, meaning that a strong social presence with engaged users could potentially lead to increased sales. Finding your brand loyalists—your influencers—provides the social proof you need to expand your customer base and influence more purchases.
It is essential that you listen to what your audience is talking about on social. Not only will this allow you to create more relevant content that aligns with audience interest, but if will also help you identify your influencers. Using social listening solutions, you can determine your audience’s topics of interest and identify those within your audience who are already brand advocates. These strong voices already serve as unintentional influencers, so why not leverage them?
You Target Younger Generations
Millennials make up the largest generation in U.S. history, with roughly 92 million now between the ages of 15-35, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In a survey by Accenture, Millennial shoppers spend an estimated $600 billion each year, and by 2020 that amount is expected to grow to $1.4 trillion, or 30% of total retail sales. As the up-and-coming generation of buyers, it’s important to meet this demographic where they currently are, especially on their favorite social networks.
Instagram use is especially high among younger adults. Roughly six in ten online adults ages 18-29 (59%) use Instagram, nearly double the share among 30- to 49-year-olds (33%), and more than seven times the share among those 65 and older (8%), according to Pew Research Center.
Millennials and Gen Xers spend 50% as much time shopping online each week (six hours) than their older counterparts (four hours). If a younger generation is your target demographic, Instagram would be the place to connect with them in order to drive more sales. Seventy-four percent of millennials and 63% of Gen Xers have made purchases based on what they’ve seen on Instagram, as it has now become a platform to discover new products and learn more about what brands have to offer.
You Are Active in Your Community
Instagram, and really any social channel, provides businesses with the opportunity to humanize their brand and become part of a larger community. People like to know that brands aren’t just about profits, but that they care about their communities too.
Shake Shack is one business that is doing a great job of demonstrating their involvement and love for the communities they serve. In this photo, Shake Shack highlighted their newest location in Troy, Michigan, using customers as the primary focus. In the text of the post, they kept things local by promoting an offer for a slice of pie made by Detroit-based Sister Pie, while donating 5% of sales to Gleaners Food Bank, which is located in southeast Michigan.
You Can Leverage Visual Content
It is said that people only remember about 10% of information they read three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information after three days, according to a study by Changing Works.
Instagram is arguably the best network to share highly visual content. Not only can you incorporate photo or video content into your strategies, but you can also make your visuals interactive through Instagram Polls or by engaging with your audience in real-time through Instagram Live. Instagram provides you the space to be creative with your visuals to tell a truly compelling brand story and have meaningful interactions with your audience.
Perhaps you think your work environment isn’t the most visually appealing, or that maybe your offerings aren’t something you think you can pass off as inspiring, interesting, or share-worthy. In this case, you don’t necessarily have to showcase your products or offerings, but can leverage visual content to highlight the people within your business, spotlight your company culture and values, and establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry.
If you have the resources available to you (yes, even your smart phone), and you feel comfortable exploring ways to use visual content within your social strategies, then it’s definitely worth taking that leap. Or, turn to your community of followers and influencers to develop content for your brand.
Adobe does a great job of highlighting the people within their community in their Instagram content. In the image above, Adobe shared an image designed by one of their product users, using the hashtag #Adobe_BW to gain even more traction in their quest for creative content.
You Want to Build Strong Relationships
Social media has made great impacts on the relationships businesses are able to build with their customers.
“80% of Instagram accounts follow a business to feel a closer sense of connection to it—making many feel like they’re part of an exclusive group as a result.”
There’s no doubt that customers care about the personality of brands more than ever before. Users want to feel an emotional connection to the brands they follow on Instagram. It’s no longer just about having the best products or services, but now businesses need the personality to back it up. Instagram provides the perfect platform for your brand voice to be broadcasted (or built, if you are still developing your brand’s persona).
Short answer: Instagram Stories.
Instagram stories allow you to creatively build your brand voice and create that personality that your customers will adore. For example, Beyond Yoga posted a Story that followed a woman as she made her way through her workout while wearing Beyond Yoga clothing.
This is an effective technique, especially for retail brands who have products they can put on display. Instagram Stories enable your brand to get followers close to your product so they can connect to it on a deeper level. The woman starring in this video is also someone users can relate to, as what we see on the hanger isn’t always what clothing looks like on a real person’s body. The message that’s being portrayed through this video is that Beyond Yoga cares about how you feel in their clothes, and customers will resonate with that meaningful message.
If any of these six reasons resonate with you, it’s time to develop an Instagram strategy. For tips and tricks on how to use Instagram’s newest feature, Instagram Stories, register for our upcoming webinar on December 13, 2017: Instagram Stories 101.
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Bryan is the Content Marketing Manager at Simply Measured. He spoils his dog, is a fitness fanatic, and loves research and writing.