It goes without say that Instagram is the social network trending at the moment and the stats are there to back up this claim. Research shows that Instagram is currently receiving 15 times more public engagement than Facebook.

However, for a business, it is important to know that what works for others on other social networks may not necessarily work for you.

Moving on, why would I say such a controversial statement?  Well, I wouldn’t call it ‘bad’ for your business; it’s just that for some businesses it may not make a lot of sense. Here are some reasons you should stop forcing Instagram to work for your business and channel these efforts in other marketing techniques.

1.    What if you are not a visual brand?

Well, Instagram is a visual tool; for your account to be successful it is important you have appealing content to share. For creative businesses with a keen focus on fashion, food and architecture, this will be a splendid move! What about for the ‘not-so-glamorous businesses’ that may attempt to use Instagram as well.  Sadly, the same can’t be said for these non-visual kinds of businesses. You see where am headed right? For instance- if you are in a heating and air conditioning business or an automotive parts store business, how do you think it will end? You are simply wasting your valuable time. You are possibly thinking, “But hey, there are a number of people in Instagram who are interested in our products and services. We should also market on Instagram!” True, you do have an audience, but are they potential customers?

Putting your marketing efforts into Facebook and Google+ will yield more fruits than you can imagine. Besides, these networks will assist you reach people who could turn into actual clients rather than just followers.

In addition, Google+ will help your business when it comes to SEO while Facebook will enable you to post content that don’t have to be necessarily beautifully photographed.

That said, brings me to my second point, follow me…

2.    Do you have a professional photographer?

Don’t be too quick to shrug off this point bruh! All of those catchy brand photos you meet on Instagram aren’t just taken with Smartphones. You will be shocked to realise that most brands have professional photographers who work hand in hand with their social media team to post these often flawlessly staged photos on their Instagram account. Good photos are important if you are looking to gain followers.

If you offer non- tangible services in your industry even a professional photographer may be challenged. One huge mistake I see many brands making, besides being already on Instagram, is posting low quality photos. Of course there are hundreds of different photo editing apps (and by the way Smartphones are coming out with better cameras too) no photo will ever look as clear as one taken from a professional camera. If you don’t have the resources/ finances/ time to manage one, simply keep off this platform, it’s not for you just yet.

But if you insist on the adventure, you are going to need someone on your team who already has a perfect and creative mindset to turn your not-so-photogenic brand into something of beauty on Instagram. I am not being over dramatic here- the truth is that photographers understand lighting and angles- it’s their niche of expertise. They understand just how to get the best shots of whatever they are shooting and come up with an image that is visually interesting.

3.     You’re probably misusing the app

It is quite understandable if you don’t know how to use all the features an app comes with, but wait, you don’t need to create a hashtag for literally every single word in your Instagram caption with the hope of marketing your business.

Actually, you don’t need a novel of captions; neither do you need to post your personal photos on your company’s Instagram account- a disaster in disguise. Leave those for personal accounts or Facebook. It is on Facebook where you can share photos from say company parties, volunteer outings and fun events that take place at the office.

Unlike Facebook, brands use Instagram to creatively show off their products or services and even new stock. Depending on the business a company is involved in, some people may get away with more light-hearted and intimate photos.

I am sorry I had to be the one to break it down to you, but Instagram is simply not for every business. But that’s not the end of it all for your business- there are other ways as discussed above. Just remember that if you can’t play on this social media site well, don’t bother playing on it at all

Psst! It is needless to have hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram yet you only have 300 potential customers. Rather, building a network of maybe 500 customers (depending on your type of business) who are engaged to your business is a more healthy approach to social media marketing. Just inflating your number of followers is not good for your business; remember- a bird in hand is worth two in the bush!