If you're reading this, you're into social media marketing, and you probably won't be shocked to hear that I am asked these questions all the time at the moment. “Should I use Instagram?” or “How will Instagram help my business?” The reality is, it isn't a simple yes/no answer, and the impact of this platform in terms of your social media management tactics needs to be considered.
UK Instagram users – how many are there?
Our first consideration really needs to be whether our audience is using the platform or not. Trying to delve into the stats is tricky as most reports discuss Global usage. But each year Hootsuite and We Are Social release their State of Digital report, which in January 2021 showed 53% of adults in the UK were using Instagram with just under 60% of those users identifying as female.
In the last couple of months, we've seen reports that on a Global scale Instagram usage is now overtaking that of Facebook – If that's true in the UK or not, I really can't say with confidence. However, I suspect the use of Instagram is being inflated by its association with Clubhouse which has seen users grow rapidly in the same period.
So what does this mean? If you're looking at your prospects, around half of them have an Instagram account.
But that isn't enough to make a decision on!
Instagram's many moving parts
If you decide to take the leap on this platform, you need to commit. Of all social media profiles, this is the one that needs the most planning and the most resource (in my opinion). I should probably point out I'm writing this from the perspective of someone who isn't the world's number one Insta fan!
Just in terms of producing content we need to consider the following:
Posts for your grid – the posts that show in feed and sit on your grid (your profile). These posts should communicate what you do, who you do it for, and what you stand for. The tone of Instagram is very casual and definitely allows you to lean into personal branding. When you look at your Instagram grid – you should be able to immediately see what it is you do!
Instagram Stories – Ephemeral content that you need to add 2-3 times a day as a minimum. This area of Instagram has little to no algorithm to consider so it's a case of making sure there's always something new for people to see! You can save the content as highlights on your profile so you are able to make more use of it than just the standard 24 hours but in the first instance, keeping on top of this can be tricky!
IGTV – Video content that is longer form lives under IGTV. Think of it as a mini video channel within Instagram. Your IGTVs will also sit on your grid so you'll probably want to create covers for these!
Reels – Instagram's equivalent to TikTok! Quirky, fun content that again, is created and sits within a slightly different area of the App.
You don't have to use all of these elements – but if you're using Instagram, why would you not take advantage of the full functionality of the platform!
Do you have the capacity to commit to Instagram?
Once we have a content plan in place that allows us to leverage the elements I mentioned above in terms of the media we create, we still need to write the copy and research the hashtags that will allow us to build an audience that's big enough for us to enable more live links across our content! Then we need to adopt a strategy of engagement too so we can reach out to potential prospects and build relationships and a community.
If you're in a B2B organisation – this is going to create a lot of work for something that is going to be incredibly hard to measure. You're essentially achieving brand awareness through the platform but little else in addition to that. It is different for B2C businesses, the wins are much easier and more frequent in terms of gaining tangible business!
If you see an opportunity on Instagram – but the time and effort required is putting you off, let's have a chat. We can figure out the cost vs benefit for your business and help you make a plan that will work for you.