Orlagh O'Rourke

April 17, 2018

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In our previous article, we talked about the negatives and positives of Snapchat, and how you can incorporate the social media app into your business’ marketing strategy. The point of these articles is not to try and persuade you to use these platforms, but to simply provide condensed information so that you can make the most educated decision for your own company. Social media marketing can be tricky, and it sometimes can be overwhelming to decide what platforms to use and why. However if you take time to research, talk with your team, and solidify what goals you want to achieve, you can find the right plan for your business. In this article, you’ll find the breakdown of Instagram, how it can be beneficial for you, and the pros and cons of this famous social media icon.

In a nutshell, Instagram is a photo-based sharing app which allows users to post photos, videos, and stories on their personal feed. It was initially released in 2010, and it now has over 800 million followers worldwide. There is no doubt that Instagram is influential, with it being called “one of the most influential social media platforms in the world”. The popularity of Instagram stems from the easy accessibility and personal customization features of the app. For example, Instagram has a variety of filters and geotags, and photos can be edited before they are sent out. With 19 filters in total, there is one for every occasion! Also, users can determine whether to share their photos publicity or privately, which allows people to have control on who exactly sees their content. If you make your profile public, anyone can look you up and see your content. Thus, this is quite useful for a small business trying to gain more attention in their city. You can also post up to 10 photos at one time, which is extremely useful if you want to post about a company event or community service project that has multiple photos. Instagram certainly is an convenient application, and it definitely has the potential to help strengthen any social media campaign.

According to BrandDignity, 21% of surveyed small business owners did not use instagram because “they felt like it wouldn’t be effective enough.” However, instagram is actually one of the most downloaded and used social media apps on the IOS store. In a Fast Company survey, it was shown that "Instagram users were 58 times more likely to comment, like, or share a brand’s post than on Facebook”. With more and more people turning away from Facebook and going to Instagram and Snapchat, small businesses definitely have a major window in Instagram to access their targeted audience. Instagram is useful because once a user follows you and your profile, they are automatically updated with every new post that you make. There’s no worries about trying to reach out to your audience, or resending your customer every new message that you write. Once a user follows you, they gain access to your feed. Also Instagram has hashtags and geotags that you can personalize for your business. You can simply type in a hashtag into the search bar and all posts who have this hashtag will appear. This is very useful because if you want to do a Instagram campaign for your business or want to engage users and encourage user-made content, a quick search can pull up all of your active customers. Geotags are useful because they show the location of you business and the area surrounding it. If you include geotag in your post, customers and click on the tag and immediately see where you are located and the photos tagged in that location. The Current Agency definitely makes use of this feature! Our clients can pull up our location in seconds, find out where our offices are in Tallahassee, and look back at our past content just in case they missed it the first time!

Another interesting feature of Instagram is the Instagram Story, which was actually just recently added to the platform. Similar to the concept of the Snapchat story, the Instagram story allows you to share videos and photos with your followers that last for 24 hours. Once those 24 hours have past, the story disappears. Users are able to add continuously to their story throughout the day, and can customize it with filters, stickers and doodles! The story feature is a great way to engage with customers, update them with your daily activities, and give people a look inside your company and their brand. The Current Agency especially loves this feature! We like to work hard and play harder, and it’s not uncommon for one of our stories to show a successful business meeting, and the next a heated ping-pong competition with our interns and staff working hard! Stories are able to show off a companies’ own personal brand, engage customers with unique content, and provide a consistent flow of feed to increase and maintain user interaction.

Instagram is also able to link up and connect to other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. If you have an amazing photo that you want to share, Instagram allows you to share it across all your social media channels. Once you post, people on these sites will see you instagram profile and may be encouraged to go follow it. This not only saves you time, but it can also help spread your message and promote your brand. It’s quick, easy and an efficient way to promote your company’s brand.