It’s easy to assume that Instagram is just another popularity contest. After all, the top Instagram followers with millions of followers are those of celebrities. Although there is some truth to this, Instagram has evolved over time to become more than that. Now it’s also used by businesses and individuals who would like to increase their brand awareness and make more money. Don’t believe it?
It helps to build more trust in your brand
Each year, BrightLocal conducts a Local Consumer Review Survey and publishes the results. In 2019, the survey showed that 84% of people trusted online reviews as much as they trusted a friend or family member’s recommendation. Considering that 90% of consumers used the internet to identify local businesses, it’s not surprising that 82% of them read customer reviews before making a decision.
This is not the first statistic that shows the increasing reliance on the internet among consumers, which is why most businesses are trying to grow their online presence. Instagram gives every brand this opportunity, allowing every user to voice their opinion. People trust these online reviews and give your brand the opportunity to increase the level of trust among consumers.
Engaging with current and potential customers
Every successful business owner knows that customers want to feel heard and valued. As the world has become more connected, it’s now possible to purchase goods and services from thousands of similar companies. One of the consequences of this has been that consumers now expect the best quality products and services. Where it used to be about competition within your locality, it’s now about being the best in the world.
Statistics on Gladly’s 2018 Customer Service Expectations Survey showed that 26% of consumers would stop purchasing from a company after a single bad experience with customer service. The number rose to 92% after three bad experiences. Although it may be scary to think of these numbers, Instagram offers you a simple solution by allowing you to engage directly with your customers.
Because you know that people want a personalized experience, you can learn about what your customers really want and incorporate this into your brand. It is also an opportunity to find out where you may have gone wrong in the past and work to correct this. Finally, Instagram offers you the ability to inform your current customers about new product releases, discounts, sales, etc.
All these and more are ways that Instagram can increase your brand awareness. The followers you have on Instagram act as brand ambassadors inadvertently by proving that your brand is recognized. Moreover, they will be a testament to how you react to customer suggestions and complaints, further enhancing your brand as one that listens and cares.
Build and grow a community around your brand
A majority of users on Instagram are millennials between the age of 25 and 34 (35%) followed by those between 18 and 24 (29%). Shopping habits have changed drastically from the baby boomer and the millennial generation, which is where Instagram can be an asset for your brand. Several studies done over the past decade have found that younger consumers prioritize transparency and social impact. They are even willing to spend more when they believe that a particular brand supports a particular cause.
Because Instagram is the preferred social platform for these consumers, it makes sense that you would want to show what your brand stands for on the platform. If you do this consistently, you will begin to build a loyal following that becomes a kind of community. For a business, this is very important because you gain loyal customers who keep generating revenue.
Furthermore, such a community can only grow by attracting new followers who believe in the same causes. Your followers will share your images with their friends thereby inviting them to join the community, which in turn helps your brand awareness.
Connect on different platforms
There are currently many different social platforms with varying demographics and content. Because it’s impossible to use all apps, everyone has a favourite they use most of the time. For instance, Twitter is more text-based and TikTok is all about video. Instagram strikes a cool balance between text and video, making it ideal for all kinds of users, hence why it has become so popular.
Your brand can benefit from this advantage of Instagram to promote itself on other platforms beyond Instagram. It is possible to include links to your Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube pages and any others you may have. The platform also allows you to integrate shopping features from your website with your Instagram profile to make the process even easier.
An image is worth a thousand words
There’s a lot of truth to this saying, which probably explains why Instagram has the highest engagement rate of any social platform. Although Facebook has more users than Instagram (2.5 billion compared to 1 billion), Instagram has a much higher median engagement rate (1.60% compared to 0.09%).
Clearly, people are much more likely to engage with an image on Instagram than a block of text on Facebook or another social platform. For your brand, it is an opportunity to interact with your followers and generate more engagement from a single picture. That is good for business as it shows more about your brand and generates hype.
This content is brought to you by Ashleigh Coran.
Feature Photo by alex bracken on Unsplash
Inset Photo by Perry Grone on Unsplash
Inset Photo by dole777 on Unsplash