To Be or Not to Be on Instagram? That is the Question.

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If you have an Instagram account that you love to post your pictures and videos on, please don’t see this as a knock on your fave app.  This post is geared for business owners only, in choosing where to put their focus in their social media marketing efforts.

Instagram is an exciting venue for promoting your business, however, this platform works best under the following circumstances:

  1. You are a celebrity – supermodel, prominent citizen, global entity, movie star, someone who already has fans and a following.
  2. You use your platform as a gallery to showcase your products or services – photographers, artists, car collectors, videographers, etc..
  3. You are a major well-know brand – Nike, Starbucks, Adidas, GoPro, etc., have all witnessed excellent feedback with their followers and fans.

However, there are some drawbacks to utilizing Instagram if your marketing goals are as follows:

  1. You need to target a broad age range.
  2. You are a blogger and words are your main vehicle to communicate.
  3. You wish to be found on Google.

Item #3 is the most distressing for many business owners because pretty much everyone is on Google and the only people who will see your feed on Instagram are the people who are already following you.

Most people will not find you in a Google search, and here are some simple ways to attempt to get around that bleak outcome:

  1. Use your real name as your Instagram handle.  People will search for your real name (business or personal name) and not a nickname.  Save that for your personal Instagram account.
  2. Use a browser instead of the Instagram App to post.  (Note:  I have not tested this myself, but have been told it helps.)
  3. Use more relevant and fewer hashtags.  The overuse of hashtags in Instagram has resulted in a thing called the Instagram Shadowban.  Instagram suggests that you use fewer and relevant hashtags only.  If you misuse this method and or get spammy in your posts, you will not show up on the Instagram search engines.   (Note: Hashtag use in Instagram is mostly used in order to be found via the Instagram search engine.  Hashtags in Instagram will not get you found in Google.  This I have tested.)

According to Social Media Today, there are some things to take into considerations when deciding whether or not to add Instagram to your social media business marketing plan.:

  1. Who is your target audience?  The Instagram audience is nearly even: 51% Male / 49% Female.  90% are under the age of 35.  The average user misses over 70% of their feed.
  2. Is your product or service visual?  Humans remember 80% of what they see, 20% of what they read and 10% of what they hear.
  3. Are you a new business, just starting out and need to be found on Google and in Google maps?  Instagram may be better down the road for you, but best to start on the #1 social media platform, Facebook, and get yourself a firmer base

As you can see, choosing what social media platforms work best for you, is not a cookie-cutter decision.  You must make decisions based on intelligent information gathering and careful consideration on who your market is and where they will best find you.  Remember, you do not have to be on every single social media platform.  Look at your audience and how you want to communicate with them.  Honor how the various social networks can best serve your particular community.


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