A lot of business owners struggle when it comes to Instagram. They either don’t quite know how to use it, aren’t on it yet, don’t know what to post or, in the words of a couple of my clients, don’t “get it.” Instagram is a great platform to grow your visibility and attract more customers. Let’s explore how you might add Instagram to your online marketing efforts to create a well-rounded social media strategy.
Instagram arrived on the scene in 2010. This app encouraged users to take a photo, use a filter, write a caption, and post. And there were a lot of food pics.
Instagram was bought by Facebook in 2012.
Let’s start off with some super interesting and fun statistics all about Instagram. Because no matter how awesome Instagram is, there’s no point in you spending resources in growing your Instagram if your audience isn’t there.
Now first off, is user-ship. As of June 2018, there are 1 billion monthly active users on Instagram – which is almost twice the monthly active users of Twitter and LinkedIn combined. (Twitter sits at about 335 million and LinkedIn 250 million monthly active users). That is huge! And the audience there keeps on growing exponentially.
(Okay point taken, lots of people. But who are they?
- 38% of online women use it, and 28% of online men use it.
- 59% of internet users between 18 and 29 are using Instagram and 33% of users between 30 and 49 are using Instagram.
- 59% of Instagrammers in the U.S. are under 30 – we can assume Canada follows a similar trend.
- The numbers are heavily skewed to younger folk. 18 to 29-year-olds comprise 59 percent of users in the U.S., followed by the 30 to 49-year-olds accounting for 33 percent.
- For those of you who are in B2B, there are 25 million business profiles on Instagram, and I will bet probably twice as many as that who simply didn’t opt to have a business profile but own a business.
- 75% of Instagram users take action after visiting a post.
- And, the best stats I came across: Instagram has the highest interaction rate when it comes to social media platforms.
- According to 2016 data, Instagram has a 2.2 percent per-follower interaction rate. For a comparison, Facebook has a 0.22 percent rate.
So now that you have those numbers to think about, I want to share some differences and similarities between Facebook (the most widely used platform for businesses) and Instagram.
The reasons being:
1. Facebook owns Instagram, but it is its own platform, so I do want you to know what the difference is.
2. A lot of the strategies that I share regularly on my show throughout my content are applied best to Facebook and Instagram, they are my two favourite platforms, and I just want to give a bit of an overview for why and who does what best.
Both Facebook and Instagram’s newsfeed are determined by an algorithm, which is a secret formula that determines who sees your post and how many users see it. I’ve spoken about algorithms before, and what I share does apply to both. Engagement is important, the quality of your posts is important, you have a window of opportunity, and creating conversations is the goal. On both platforms the Facebook’s goal is to keep you around as long as possible. So, anything you share that keeps your audience’s attention is good!
2. You can cross-publish
If you are the admin of a page on Facebook, you can go into your settings on Instagram and link the two accounts. This allows you to choose to also share your posts on Facebook when you are posting to Instagram. I do this fairly often, but there are some things to keep in mind on this topic:
- Often, you’ll want to change the text: there are certain nuances of Instagram that don’t apply to Facebook, and you’ll want to change, examples could be hashtags, “link in bio” etc.
- Not every post is great for both platforms. You don’t want your Facebook and Instagram to be identical. Then why would we follow you in both places?
- It doesn’t work the other way around, i.e. you can’t post to Facebook then also share to Instagram.
- Stats show that Facebook prefers when you post natively on the platform, instead of using a 3rd party. Therefore, your reach may be lower by using this method.
3. Ads Manager
Another similarity which I assume is the results in both being owners by Facebook is the ads. When you create ads for Instagram (which you need a business account for) you do so inside the Facebook ads manager. You can do a few simple things within the Instagram app, but you’ll generally want to go into the ads manager for anything more complex than a boost.
1. Profiles are treated equally
This is probably my favourite thing about Instagram. Both platforms allow you to have a “business account.” But on Instagram, all profiles are treated equally. On Facebook, you can’t go and comment on profiles easily, but on Instagram, you can, which makes engagement super easy! You can comment on anyone’s post as long as they don’t have a private account.
2. Invites vs follows
On Facebook, this is how you connect with people. You are either ‘friends’ where you have both made an indication that you want to connect, or you like a page. And you have the option to Invite your friends to like your page.
On Instagram, you basically follow others and hope they follow you back. Yes, there is an entire strategy behind getting followers, but that’s what you do need to know. You can follow anyone, but they don’t necessarily have to follow you. And, there is no way to “invite” ppl to follow you.
3. Instagram is a native and mobile platform
On Facebook, you can do pretty much anything. Instagram is a bit more limited and really contains you to the app. You can’t share links in captions, you can’t “share” or retweet.” You can post a photo or a video and that’s where it stops. Everything is native, meaning you need to upload directly into the app.
There are apps that make life easier. Instagram now let’s business profiles schedule posts (with the help of 3rd party apps). Before it they just reminded you and if you were lucky, it would copy the text to your clipboard.
And on that note, it’s mobile only. You can access your Instagram profile from a desktop, but you can’t post or do much. Again, there are 3rd party apps that let you post, but for the most part it’s only mobile.
By Denise Alison the CEO & Founder of Stratigro