Instagram is much more of a niche social networking site than many others, such as Facebook and Twitter.
Instagram is a visually oriented social media platform and each post you make must include a photo or video. Consequently, Instagram doesn’t necessarily work effectively for all companies; instead, a company that had lots of engaging visual content to share would most likely generate the most success from using it.
Unlike most other social networking sites, Instagram is almost entirely mobile. Although there is an Instagram website, it is very limited in terms of features available, for example; you are not able to make posts unless you are on the mobile app. As well as this, the website is a lot more difficult to navigate, making people a lot more inclined to just use the mobile version.
Instagram is used by businesses to showcase products and services through visual content. In order to help you with the content you share, Instagram offers several other apps, which you can upload to Instagram and other social media sites directly from. These are:
- Layout from Instagram: up to 9 of your photos at a time to create fun, personalised layouts.
- Hyperlapse from Instagram: Create amazing time lapse videos, speeding up your videos to up to 12 times the speed
- Boomerang from Instagram: Create captivating mini videos that loop back and forth
Instagram comes with advanced, built in photo editing tools, that allow you to adjust features such as: brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness, warmth, etc. In addition to this, Instagram offers you a large variety of predesigned filters. This eliminates the need for external apps as you can do all your editing within Instagram.
Instagram offers you the opportunity to make your profile into a business account. This mode allows you access to plenty of features that will benefit your business. One of these features is the chance to add a ‘Contact’ button that allows your customers to call, email or get direction. This quick and easy access to your company’s contact details will make customers much more likely to get in contact with you.
As well as this, Instagram business mode provides you with Instagram Insights, which you can use to measure the success of your social media strategy. Instagram Insights allows you to see each post’s reach, impressions and engagements of each post and your weekly profile views and page actions. In addition to this, if your account has over 100 followers you are able see follower demographics. This gives you information about your followers, including; gender, age, location and when they are most active. A successful Instagram account will generate a large amount of engagements, in the form of likes and comments, per post and will see a noticeable increase in followers.
Like most social networking sites, Instagram offers the opportunity to use hashtags within your posts in order to make your posts reach a larger audience and generate a larger amount of engagements. Studies show that the more hashtags you use, the more engagements receive. You are able to use a maximum of 30 hashtags per post. You should ensure that you only use relevant hashtags, that are easily connected with the image or video you are posting. Using irrelevant hashtags for the sake of popularity will cause your post to not reach your target audience and have negative effect on your business.
Instagram only provides you with one space for a clickable link, which is in your bio. That means you can’t include links within the posts and comments you share as the URL will not be clickable, which would look unprofessional and reflect negatively on your company.
When you are sharing your posts on Instagram, you are given the opportunity to repost your Instagram posts to your other social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, directly from the Instagram app. By doing this you will be able to drive more traffic to your Instagram page and consequently get more engagements on your posts.