Instagram is one of the most popular social media apps, with over 500 million monthly active users. The mobile-based photo-sharing social network, launched in 2010, has had an undeniable impact on the social media industry. But many businesses still question whether to take the plunge and allocate time and resources to creating an Instagram presence. If you’re still on the fence about using Instagram for business, it’s officially time to re-evaluate.
Instagram and Millennials
Recent research shows that 26% of online adults use Instagram, a number that has increased from 17% in 2013. With a combined 75% of adults on Instagram falling between the ages of 18-29 and 30-49, Instagram is one of the best ways to reach Millennial couples who are recently engaged or approaching engagement.
Instagram is beloved by its users, who primarily use the app to effortlessly edit and add filters to both photos and videos from their mobile devices. The visual focus, when first launched, offered a simpler alternative to Facebook, with fewer status updates and links. Studies indicate that consumers are able to recall visual content longer than text, which keeps users coming back. Today, Instagram is the second most used social network, with approximately half of their users accessing the site daily.
Couples often engage with social media when they’re multi-tasking, whether at work or at night when they’re unwinding in front of the TV or in bed. This makes it that much more important to post interesting content so that you can capture the short attention span of your prospective clients. Our research shows that 34% of couples say they’ve contacted a vendor though a social network, and Instagram is quickly moving up the ranks in popularity.
Instagram as a marketing strategy
If you haven’t yet incorporated Instagram into your social media marketing strategy, we’ve got you covered! Follow these 5 easy tips to get started with Instagram for your business:
- Spend some time on Instagram so you can learn the types of photos and videos similar businesses post so your posts look native to the type of content that users are scrolling through. Use professional photos from recent client weddings (giving photographer credit where it’s due) to show off your work. You can edit your posts or add filters, but be careful not to go overboard with editing! Our suggestion is to pick a particular look and feel and be consistent across your photos and videos.
- When deciding on a captions, keep it short and include relevant hashtags – just remember that too many hashtags can look messy or spammy. A best practice used by popular influencers is to “hide” your hashtags in a separate comment beneath your caption. Your captions should encourage engagement (i.e. “tag a friend who would love this dress” or “double tap if this cake is making you hungry at work”) and don’t forget to include a call-to-action like a discount code or page on your website to learn more.
- Since URLs are not clickable in captions or comments, always include a link to your website in your bio so that your followers can easily connect with your business to learn more. Or, if you don’t have a website, you can drive visitors to your Facebook page or WeddingWire listing. Once you add your desired destination URL, remember to tell users to “click the link in our bio” to find out more about the post or your business.
- Videos are becoming increasingly more popular, so think about ways that you can post videos of your product or service to engaged couples. Whether you try Instagram’s new Stories feature to post live or focus on behind-the-scenes videos of your preparation leading up to the event or to showcase the event space, mix up your photos every now and then. You can also bridge the gap between photo and video with Instagram’s Boomerang – GIF-like images on a loop to capture more than just a moment.
- As with any social network, test the success rates of your different kinds of posts at different times of the day, week, month, etc. What works for one business may not work for yours, so pay attention to your engagement rates to understand the times and types of posts that receive optimal engagement. Then, base your posting strategy moving forward on what works best for your audience.
Instagram is an effective network for many businesses, and it’s continuing to add new features like Stories that are keeping its status as one of the most popular apps today. But, as with anything, it’s not one size fits all – the key to success with any social network lies in finding your target audience and coming up with appropriate, quality content.