The Benefits of a Strong Instagram Presence

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Everyone I talk to is more or less aware that they should be on Instagram, but sometimes the why can be unclear. Regardless of what industry your business is in and how long you’ve been operating the basic Why’s stay the same.

Build A Brand Community

Millennials in particular are much more savvy customers. They don’t want to be sold at and advertised to. We are seeing a return to valuing community - particularly online community. Being a millennial myself this is easy for me to understand. We grew up accessing community-style websites, from childhood Neopets accounts to LiveJournal and tumblr in our teens, and Twitter and Instagram in the modern day. This is how we use the Internet.

We feel hostile when that space is invaded by brands who obviously just want to make a quick buck from us but we are extremely loyal and engaged when it comes to brands who really show they’ve taken the time to understand us. Our values, our lifestyles, our needs, our habits. We like to feel a part of something, especially online, even when in marketing, and it's a really crucial but unfortunately often overlooked aspect. This is why I constantly talk about the importance of community over numbers. Community comes first.

Increase Brand Awareness & Legitimacy

Having an official brand Instagram account helps on two related fronts: increasing brand awareness and giving your brand legitimacy for those who may not have heard of you before. In fact, 60% of users discover products on Instagram. Instagram in many ways is the new website. You still need a website, of course, but we are living in an age where only a website just won’t do.

People are more wary than ever, and the likelihood of them making an enquiry or transaction on an unfamiliar website that has no social media presence is far lower than one with. Instagram’s algorithm, when used correctly, can make it easy to get your brand in front of new potential customers.

A Strong and Convenient List of Potential Customers

Before social media there were mailing lists (both digital and physical), and while they are a very important part of any marketing strategy people now expect more interaction with brands via social media. You can’t exactly blast your email list with multiple emails per day (though we all know some who seemingly do…), it would be annoying and people would unsubscribe. Instagram on the other hand? People are perfectly happy seeing 1-2 posts per day and a healthy amount of stories.

Instagram, and social media generally, is really an ingenious way to keep up near-constant contact with customers (and potential customers). And it’s something they expect you to do!

Instagram Influences up to 74% of User Purchase Decisions

This statistic is wild! It actually relates to the fashion, beauty, and lifestyle niches, but with a statistic this high I can imagine it also has a pretty significant impact across the board. It’s also been found Instagram, our of all social media platforms including Facebook, Pinterest, and Snapchat, is one the most likely platform to influence spending.

Enables Better Understanding of Your Customers

If you are getting out and engaging in your community by talking to customers and potential customers you can get a much better sense of their needs, their interests, their communication styles, their expectations. This is so important, not only for building relationships with customers but for informing future marketing strategies. Constantly deepening and refining your knowledge about your customer base is essential and so, so valuable.

I personally don’t think of it as “customer service”. It’s getting to have interesting conversations with a diverse range of people who you can help with your products or services. That’s so cool! It’s super rewarding too. (If you don’t love it as much as I do you can always hire me to do it - and I collect together the marketing information I find out through my interactions for you too).

A strong Instagram presence for businesses can be so powerful. It’s not just about ‘making sales’. Engaged use of Instagram enables a business to really dive in and understand their customers in a way that leads to making more sales. Cool, right?

If you’re interested in developing a custom strategy that suits you and your business, check out my coaching services, or if you’re looking to outsource your Instagram management have a look at my account management packages to see if I’m a good fit for you.

Sources: Hootsuite, RetailDive