I wrote this blog – to answer the question, “Do I need to be on Instagram?” – two years ago. But Instagram has changed so much I realized I needed to rewrite this post. What a difference two years makes!
The short answer is – it depends – but people don’t like this squishy answer. Here’s what I mean: where you should focus your marketing efforts depends on who your audience is, who are you marketing to? The answer to that question should drive ALL your decision-making and your marketing efforts (and your budget!).
Two years ago, Instagram was great for marketing to certain types of audiences, but the channel has grown so much and created so many new tools; it’s reach has expanded considerably. Think about it – are you on Instagram? Which do you post on more – Instagram or Facebook (or LinkedIn)?
Instagram is now a great channel to test to see if it’s right for your business – especially if your target demographic is Millennials – people in their 20s and 30s. Please notice I said test here because nothing in social media (or marketing) is guaranteed. A channel can appear to be the right fit, but how the marketing is executed, and what resources are devoted to it, does make a difference.
For example, if your idea of marketing on Instagram is taking pictures on your phone, once in a while, and posting them, then my answer is no, Instagram is probably not for you. Why? Because people on Instagram expect to see beautiful, interesting, compelling imagery. Are you prepared to create or buy great imagery – on an ongoing basis?
And are you ready to talk to people on Instagram? Because social media channels are not billboards; you don’t put them up and walk away. Social media is about people wanting to “be social”; they want to interact and give feedback and ask questions. If you aren’t watching your Instagram account, ready to respond to questions and comments, then Insta (and all social media) may not be the right fit.
And finally, how are people on Instagram going to find you? Instagram and Facebook are now “pay to play” channels – which means that there’s so much activity and traffic that, if you’re not willing to boost your posts with some funding, it may be difficult to grow your followers. Without a strategy – including a hashtag (#) strategy – and maybe even budget, Instagram may not be for you.
If, based on all this, you’re ready to spend some time and resources creating beautiful or interesting posts, go for it!
If you’ve never done this on your own, I suggest you find someone to help you get off on the right foot, quickly. As time goes on, expertise in each digital marketing channel gets deeper and more complex, so it’s hard to start out as a novice and generate good business results quickly. Get started knowing how to do it right and become a rock star.
Let me know if you’d like to learn more! Reach out to me at [email protected].