With over seven million monthly active Instagram users on the platform in Australia, there is a real opportunity for businesses to tap into this community to create authentic customer relationships and turn their passion into a business.
With 80% of Instagram users following a business and the average Australian checking their feed 11 times a day, 6 out of 7 days per week, there are obvious advantages for a small to medium business (SMB) to be on the platform.
75% of Australians say that they are inspired by individual Instagram posts and are taking action; whether that is visiting a website, searching for more information, actually shopping or telling a friend. Further to this, 60% of people say they learn about new products and services from seeing a post on Instagram.
With the development and introduction of new features and tools on Instagram such as Business Tools and Instagram Stories, businesses now have new and multiple ways to maximise their exposure, connect with their customers, and build a loyal community of customers with whom they can share the business story and everything in-between.
Instagram Business Tools unlocks valuable opportunities and insights for SMBs, allowing any brand, venue or entrepreneur to connect directly with their customers. Services include a business profile, contact button functionality, insights, analytics and promotional tools. It’s easy and it’s free for all users.
Instagram 101 for any business is to be visual, be consistent and know your target audience; however Instagram has shared its top three tips to help establish your business on the platform:
1. Set up a business account
Firstly, set up a business specific profile for your brand, by separating your personal and business accounts. This allows users to keep personal interests detached from professional and creates a clear differentiation between the two allowing you to market your brand in a unique way.
When creating a business account we recommend streamlining your business profile with any branding that exists on other platforms, such as the consumer facing website, by keeping a consistent photo and name for the account. This makes it easy for users to recognise your brand profile.
Make sure your bio is catchy, interesting and able to hook people in right away. By including a link in the bio section back to the brand website you directly connect people to the point of sale and create a call-to-action.
2. Post the right thing for your audience
The most successful brands on the platform share images that tell a story and create an emotional connection to their target audience. By thoughtfully crafting content that is relevant to your audience, you will have the best impact. That means businesses don’t have to invest time and money on a photo shoot or production. As long as you are telling your story visually and utilising the tools Instagram has to offer, there is a spectrum of ways to find success.
Businesses can build value with simple, low-cost, non-traditional approaches. For example, you can showcase your (brand’s) passion and take people along your product journey by going behind the scenes and connecting with your community through video such as Instagram Stories.
Instagrammers are always open to discovery and come to connect with likeminded community members and brands around their passions, so reach them through testing variations of times and formats and engage them directly through comments and positive conversation.
3. Arm yourself with the right (Business) Tools
Business Tools will connect you with your customers quicker than ever before. This free feature provides business insights, so you can really understand what’s working for your current and prospective customers, and what to try next time. This tool also allows you to turn Instagram posts into ads directly through the platform, while also offering customers call and email functionality.
Explore different visual storytelling formats and tools. There are many different creative levers to pull (location, video, still imagery, live, sharing, etc.) and tools to play with (Boomerang, Hyperlapse, Stories, drawing) to ensure your content is unique and engaging.
About the author
Paul Webster is the Regional Product Marketing Lead with Instagram Asia Pacific