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Why Small Businesses Should Stop Ignoring Instagram

I never liked Instagram. Never made use of it for my own photos, never used it as a social media manager, and never recommended it to brands and businesses. But even before Facebook acquired Instagram, the number of people using the platform continued—and continues—to grow at a rapid rate.
So even though I still think it’s the most narcissistic social site out there, I can’t ignore it anymore. And neither can small businesses. If you’re looking to expand your presence to another channel that’s getting bigger and bigger, and that continually rolls out new features to its users, then it’s time to pay some attention to Instagram.
Still not convinced? Robert Katai, who predicted the scale of Instagram’s popularity back in 2012, proposes four sound reasons why small businesses should be on Instagram…

1. Instagram is a mobile app.

A report by the Pew Research Center states that nearly two-thirds of Americans are now smartphone owners. And according to TechCrunch, smartphone owners use apps more than tablet users do. Evaluate your own behavior—or, if you’re not a good example, the behavior of your target audience. Chances are that you/they rely pretty heavily on mobile use.
At the moment, more than half of my own Facebook friends use Instagram to share photos taken on their mobile devices. And the fact that Instagram’s 400 million users can connect their accounts to Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr makes the app that much more appealing.

2. Instagram supports videos.

We all know how important video is for online marketing strategies (no matter what kind of company you have). And because of current technology, you don’t have to be an expert to produce this kind of media.
Although primarily a photo-sharing service, Instagram introduced video recording and sharing of up to 15 seconds of footage, which was just recently expanded to one minute. The app also enables you to crop existing videos from other sites and share them on Instagram. By doing this, Instagram has secured its position as the top visual content platform for businesses.

3. Instagram is a top ads platform.

Ads usually take up a significant proportion of a business’s marketing budget, so it’s essential to get them right. Great ads usually have a striking visual component to them, so what better than Instagram to design and launch a beautiful ad?
Instagram’s ad formats include photo, video and carousel ads, as well as various advertising solutions to suit your business’s needs (website conversions, increasing brand visibility, etc.). Remember, though, that Instagram provides a “mobile-only advertising experience.”

4. Instagram is all about attention.

Given the countless number of startups and small businesses out there, the one thing that your business needs above everything else is attention. And this is one site that’s optimized for attention-seekers. That’s why it’s used by many celebrities and most major fashion brands, and is considered to be the most important social network by American teenagers.
With features such as hashtagging and adding a location, which only increase the visibility of your posts, Instagram is designed to get you and your business some much-needed attention. So it might be time to stop ignoring it…

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