With more than 25 million Instagram business accounts and more than $7 billion spent on Instagram advertising last year, it’s clear that brands are investing in this channel.
Others, however, remain on the sidelines, and one of the chief reasons is that they (incorrectly) believe they have nothing to post.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Whether you’re a trendy B2C company or a traditional B2B company, there’s a place for you on the ‘gram.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your business doesn’t have anything visually interesting to post.
With a little creativity and strategic planning, you’ll find there’s plenty you can post on Instagram.
Here are nine reasons you should use Instagram as a business, no matter what your industry is.
1. Customers Expect It
Customers will search for you on Instagram.
They might search for you specifically by name, or by hashtags relating to your business or location.
Either way, not finding you is a bad experience.
Even if you don’t plan to be incredibly active on Instagram, the best practice is to create an account that, at the very least, has your business name, contact information, and a few posts to showcase your brand.
In any case, you don’t want that search to come up empty – or, even worse, lead them to a competitor.
2. It’s a Trust Signal
Having an Instagram account – especially a verified Instagram account – is one more signal that your business is reputable, real, and transparent.
If you’re doing online business exclusively, having yet another social account where your customers can get to know your business is highly valuable.
3. Your Customers & Users Can Tag You
Let’s say you offer a client exceptional service, or a customer is over-the-moon about a product they just bought from you.
It’s highly possible they’ll take to Instagram to share the story, and their glowing review is gold.
That’s the kind of thing you definitely want to be tagged in so that it can show up on your Instagram account.
But here’s the thing – if you don’t have an Instagram account to begin with, the customer will never be able to tag you and it’s a huge missed opportunity.
4. You Can Tag and Sell Your Products
If you sell products, the ability to share Instagram photos and videos that link directly to those products is a major win.
To take advantage of this feature, you need to create a product catalog from your Facebook page (that’s where Instagram pulls the product info from).
5. Point Back to Your Site
It isn’t just products you can showcase from your Instagram account – it’s also your white papers, infographics, blog posts, and any other content you post on your website.
Instagram is one more social channel where you can drive traffic back to your site.
You can toggle sharing to Facebook or Twitter on directly from Instagram, as well, or use a social dashboard that lets your post the same message to different social channels with a couple of clicks.
6. Online Reputation Management
When it comes to online reputation management and search engine optimization for your brand name, having an Instagram account is a must-do.
Your online reputation is critical to your business, and for that reason, you have to be vigilant about what comes up when customers search for your business or brand’s name.
In addition to your website, your social channels usually show up on the first page of the search engine results, as well.
For that reason, it’s a best practice to create business accounts on all social networks (including Instagram) with your brand name, even if you don’t plan on using them frequently.
The idea here is to control the search engine results page as much as you can by creating profiles and content that points back to your brand.
That way, in the event you do get bad publicity online, your website and social accounts have a fighting chance to rank above any negative content.
7. Your Competitors Are on Instagram
If you don’t have an Instagram account and your competitors do, you’re giving them a competitive edge, plain and simple.
If you’re stumped on what kind of content to post to Instagram, look at what your competitors are doing.
It’ll give you plenty of inspiration for what you can do, too!
Instagram is also a useful networking tool.
You can like, comment and send messages to other like-minded businesses or individuals and form a relationship with them over time with meaningful interactions.
That way, if you ever want to reach out to them in the real world or run into them at an event, you’ll have already laid a foundation on Instagram.
9. You Can Attract Talent
Whenever people are considering working with or for a new company, they want to know what it’s really like.
Giving them a transparent glimpse of behind-the-scenes moments on Instagram (and social media in general) is a great way to show off your company culture.
Featured Image Credit: Paulo Bobita