Can your busi­ness af­ford not to be on In­sta­gram?

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - BUSINESS - KATIE O’ROURKE SOUTH­ERN CROSS UNIVER­SITY Katie O’Rourke is a busi­ness lec­turer at South­ern Cross Univer­sity

SO­CIAL me­dia mar­ket­ing to­day is con­sid­ered a mar­ket­ing chan­nel and ac­tiv­ity – or set of ac­tiv­i­ties – that mar­keters use to con­nect with fans, cus­tomers, prospects, and part­ners.

The so­cial me­dia land­scape is evolv­ing, with up­dates on plat­forms from YouTube to Pin­ter­est promis­ing greater en­gage­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for brands re­leased daily, and none more so than In­sta­gram.

What be­gan small is now mighty. Orig­i­nally In­sta­gram was purely a photo shar­ing smart phone ap­pli­ca­tion, but Face­book’s lit­tle sis­ter is all grown up and is be­com­ing one of the most pow­er­ful brand tools.

In­sta­gram now of­fers di­verse modes of com­mu­ni­ca­tion in­clud­ing short-form sto­ries, ge­olo­ca­tion, im­age fil­ters, in­sights and an­a­lyt­ics, carousel im­age ca­pa­bil­i­ties, live video, boomerang and tar­geted ad­ver­tis­ing. The statis­tics speak for them­selves;

•As at Septem­ber 2017 In­sta­gram boasted 800 mil­lion monthly ac­tive users, 41 per cent of which are un­der 24 years of age, ac­cord­ing to Sta­tis­tica, and 31 per cent earn more than $75,000 per an­num, ac­cord­ing to so­cial me­dia man­age­ment plat­form Hoot­suite.

•Al­most 60 per cent of In­sta­gram users ac­cess the plat­form daily, and 35 per cent say they look at the plat­form sev­eral times per day, with more than 95 mil­lion pho­tos and videos shared daily, giv­ing di­rect and reg­u­lar op­por­tu­ni­ties to en­gage.

•Hoot­suite also in­forms us that In­sta­gram posts with at least one hash­tag av­er­ages 12.6 per cent more en­gage­ment than those without. Us­ing hash­tags en­ables you to place your con­tent in front of new fol­low­ers who are ac­tively seek­ing out rel­e­vant posts re­lat­ing to a spe­cific topic, theme or lo­ca­tion.

For brands it’s im­por­tant to know that 60 per cent of users say that they have learned about a prod­uct or ser­vice on the plat­form and 75 per cent of users vis­ited a web­site, got di­rec­tions, called, emailed or di­rect mes­saged to learn about a busi­ness from an In­sta­gram post. These con­ver­sion rates are stronger than most so­cial me­dia plat­forms and ev­i­dence that when used well, In­sta­gram is a game changer for busi­nesses.

Ac­cord­ing to Om­ni­core Agency, there are more than 25 mil­lion busi­ness ac­counts world­wide, in­clud­ing po­ten­tial col­lab­o­ra­tors for busi­nesses to work with, as well as com­peti­tors.

Now know­ing the breadth of In­sta­gram, can your busi­ness af­ford not to be en­gag­ing with this in­no­va­tive so­cial me­dia plat­form?

Next week you can read about prac­ti­cal ways to use In­sta­gram for your busi­ness.

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