Is Instagram Right For Your Business?

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 social networks may not necessarily work for you.

It wouldn’t ever be considered ‘bad’ for your business to be on Instagram; it’s just that for some businesses it may not make a lot of sense and vanity metrics such as number of followers can become a distraction.

Here are some reasons you should stop forcing Instagram to work for your business and channel these efforts towards 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, Instagram is perfect!

But 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.

For instance- if you are a life coach and all you’re publishing is quote posts – the same quotes everyone has already read from Tony Robbins and Gary Vee about inspiration – are you providing something that will captivate a potential new followers attention?

However, putting your marketing efforts (and ad spend budget) into Facebook and LinkedIn will help you to get your message, your story, to more readers who can become clients.

In addition, LinkedIn is a great place to be able to post long-form content in the way of articles, while Facebook will enable you to post content that doesn’t have to be beautifully photographed.

2.    Do you have a professional photographer?

Sure, smartphones have evolved considerably and the image quality is now close to a ‘point and shoot’ style camera, however, those perfect flatlays and flawless modelling photos are (more often than not) shot on a DSLR by a professinal photographer.

You may be shocked to hear 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 having professional images may be challenging. One huge mistake I see many businesses making 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, think about how you can creatively use stock images to share your message.

If you still want to use Instagram, you are going to need someone on your team who already has a creative mindset and can 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.

Another common mistake is over-promotion of products and services.

Here’s the thing about Instagram – it’s a social network – people use it to be inspired, not to be sold to. If all your posts talk about your ‘free strategy sessions’ and how amazing your new offer is, you give people no reason to follow you or engage with your posts.

It’s also best to avoid posting your personal photos on your company’s Instagram account- a disaster in disguise. Leave those for personal accounts or Facebook. One great way to hare more personal and ‘behind the scenes’ content with your followers is through Instagram Stories, which mean you can keep your Instagram feed looking professional and perfect.

Always remember: Unless you want to be an ‘influencer’ who does sponsorship deals (a whole different ballgame) there is much more value to your business for you to have 100 followers who are engaged and could become clients, than to have 100,000 fake followers who never will.

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Jarrod Partridge

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