Accessible Marketing

Should my business be using Instagram?

by Judith Hutchinson

Should my business be using instagram

What’s all the fuss about? 

If a picture paints a thousand words then Instagram is certainly a force to be reckoned with.  The picture and video sharing site now claims to have over 400 million active users (150m users per month).  It was acquired by Facebook in 2012 and since Facebook has shareholders it has started to focus on how it can get businesses to use it (and show them how they should invest in the platform).  The Instagram business page has lots of info and tips on how other brands have used Instagram ads to increase their exposure.

In the past Instagram has been seen as a platform for mainly B2C (business to consumer) brands.  But with B2c and B2B (business-to-business) marketing becoming ever more intertwined (Human-to-Human is now a marketing term!).  There are indeed examples of B2B brands using Instagram successfully.

Is it best for small businesses?

The fact is small businesses don’t have huge marketing budgets and nor do they have teams of social media marketers.  So it’s really important to weigh up the ROI that you are likely to get for both your time and monetary investment.    I don’t think you should see Instagram as a short term/quick win strategy.  It needs to be seen as a long term brand builder.   It really does depend on what your plans are for your business. If you are a tourist attraction wanting to continue to build an online community with new visitors then yes Instagram could be useful for you. If you have a ‘visual business’ E.g. crafty, creative types such as hairdressers, photographers, bakers and so on then yes Instagram can work wonders.  If you manufacture metal widgets and sell to other manufacturers then perhaps there are better places and platforms for you to be (or maybe you just need to be creative in how you use Instagram?).

What Can you Do to Decide? 

If you are unsure about whether or not Instagram is a good social media platform for your business, I would suggest you:

If after the above you are bitten by the Instagram bug then look at how this fits with your other marketing activities, think about how you can use it (original content, contests, hashtags, regramming, attributing pics, advertising etc).  Once you understand it and appreciate what’s involved (time and money) and have a decent view of what you want to do with it – get yourself set up with a business account and happy snapping!

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