Is Your Business Using Instagram the Right Way?

: Is Your Business Using Instagram the Right Way

Let’s open this up with some stats. How popular is Instagram right now? According to research, there are currently more than 800 million monthly active users and some experts predict a billion users in 2018. And, “that’s more than double the monthly active users of Twitter and over three times as many users on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger,” so says an article we are about to dive into. Are you ready to leverage this hugely popular medium for your business? Let’s do it!

Know Your Marketing Stats

In her Sprout Social article “18 Instagram Stats Every Marketer Should Know for 2018,”Maddy Osman details some key statistics, essential for using Instagram more effectively, summarized and outlined below.

Branded hashtags: By now, everyone knows what a #hashtag is. In a nutshell, it’s a way to organize categories of content. It also makes it easier for users to find you, which is the whole point. According to Simply Measured, 7 out of 10 hashtags on Instagram are branded. This is important considering that posts with one hashtag (at a minimum) experience 12.6% higher engagement than posts without any. While you can technically use 30 hashtags, experts say to stick to 11 as the magic number. If you are about to launch a campaign, announce a new product, introduce a new promotion, or anything else noteworthy, be sure to establish a branded hashtag and put it out there. #doit

Advertising mecca: Instagram is not just for individuals. Did you know that there are currently 8 million Instagram Business profiles? This is up from 1.6 million in September 2016. In other terms, the amount of businesses using Instagram went from 48.8% to 71% here in the US. Additionally, most advertisers on Instagram are small businesses, largely because Instagram provides Business Profiles and new ad platforms, giving SBOs access to contact details and useful analytics.

Businesses are cool: Once your business is approved for a Business profile page, you have a visible spot to post not only your details (address, phone number), but also your unique personality. People want to hear from you. In fact, “80% of users say they follow at least one business on the app, with 60% hearing about a product and service through the platform.” (30% of users also say they purchased a product after discovering it here). According to this article, businesses report that 120 million Instagram users connected with them in various ways like direct message, phone calls, emails, or website visits, all powerful leads. The analytics are just as critical, giving SBOs insight into demographics, impressions, engagement, and performance, all needed for successful future posts.

Mobile ad revenue is impressive: With updates like Instagram Stories and Instagram Shopping, advertising is lucrative here. According to Statista, their mobile ad revenue is expected to hit almost $7 billion in 2018, a substantial jump from $5 billion two years ago.

Videos are popular:  While photo ads are the most prevalent on Instagram, single videos are gaining steam at 25% of total ads. Wistia reports that videos should be short (about 30 seconds) otherwise engagement drops the longer it goes. Since videos are sometimes viewed while muted (Digiday reports that 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound), make sure to add captions for context if people won’t hear the speaking and/or other audio.

Ads in abundance: According to Klear, advertising is on the rise big-time. It reports 134,000 ads in July 2017 and 171,000 ads in December 2017, a 28% jump in six months. If you are thinking of advertising on Instagram, this article suggests striking while the iron is hot right now.

Location matters: Geo-tagging is effective since location-tagged posts get 79% more engagement.

It’s crowded: Just because Instagram has the most engagement in town, it doesn’t mean you will be seen. Of the 95 million daily shared photos, about 70% of posts aren’t seen due to past engagement algorithms. To up your game, post great stories and tag relevant places that people are searching for.

Weekdays are the new weekend: This article says that “Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.” is the best time to post. Diving deeper: Thursday is peak time for engaged users, Sunday is the least engaged, and magic sweet spot windows may be “Wednesday at 3 p.m., Thursday at 5 a.m., 11 a.m., and 3 to 4 p.m. and Friday at 5 a.m.” Pretty specific data to test out!

Collaboration matters: Zine reports that 80% of influencers choose Instagram for brand collaborations. To better illustrate how popular this is, blogging (influencers’’ second pick) comes in at a mere 16%. Collaborate here for maximum impact.

Photos are engaging: While videos are gaining steam (consumption is up 40%), photos get the most likes, 36% more to be exact. While videos can be viewed without action, photos prompt immediate engagement.

Products are king: While the 80/20 rule always should be enforced (80% bigger picture inspiration, 20% self promotional), L2 research says “65% of top-performing brand posts on Instagram feature products” and users enjoy it. Keep the mix right for your audience and you may see the benefits in dollar signs.

More faces: This article calls for more face, since Instagram photos with featured faces get 38% more likes than those without. This doesn’t mean a selfie portfolio; include team photos, and snapshots from fun events or lifestyle photos.

User-generated content is important: If a person sees a photo from a person (versus a brand) they are 4.5% more likely to convert, a number that increases to 9.6% if they interact with the photo. When and if it makes sense, figure out how to incorporate products into your user-generated content strategy.

Clarendon for the win: Of all the 40 Instagram filters, Clarendon is the most used across 119 countries. The reason for this (in addition to being the first option after the Normal default) is the all-purpose effect of brightening, highlighting, and intensifying shadows. Gingham is second, and here’s some other popular ones by category: #Nature filters: Valencia, #Fashion filters: Kelvin, #Food filters: Skyline. #Selfie filters: Normal.

Emojis make it better: Following up with the filter choices, there are 2,666 different emoji options to choose from. This visual is important to people, since “50% of captions and comments on Instagram contain at least one emoji.” Even hashtags can have emojis. The most popular ones (in a 2015 study) are feel-good icons: the red heart, smiley faces, kisses, and positive hand gestures.

Young crews live here: The primary Instagram users are between the ages of 18 -29, representing 59% of the total user base. If you want to talk to the younger people, you need to be here.

It’s global: Instagram reports that 80% of its audience lives outside the US, so be sure to factor in culture and broad appeal into your posts.

Is Instagram On Your Marketing Short List?

So, are you ready to leverage this hugely popular medium for your business? There’s no time like the present!


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