I keep hearing the same story over and over again: “Instagram is only used by kids” or “It’s just one big photo gallery”. What if I could tell you that it’s much more than that? People are really hyped about the new updates on LinkedIn but I haven’t seen much discussion about what’s happening on Instagram so I’m going to help you out!

1. Low Amount of Business Pages

According to Facebook there were only 8 million business profiles and 1 million active advertisers on Instagram in March 2017. Combine this with the total user amount of 800 million monthly active users and you understand the potential of the platform (1 business page per 800 users). For comparison, Facebook has 65 million business pages with 2 billionmonthly users so the users per page ratio is 30.8. And did you already say: over 80% of Instagram users follow at least one brand.

2. Constant Improvements For Business Profiles

Instagram launched its business profiles just over an year ago so it’s not too late to hop on the train yet. With the business profile you have access to some basic metrics about your posts and profile that were not accessible before. You can also add your website, e-mail and location to your local business.

The ads for Instagram launched in 2015 and the Stories ads in 2017 and you can use both video or photos for the ads. The next big thing is going to be the shopping through the photos: you can tag up to five items with their name and price to your post and user can go straight to your online store through the tag. And this is not going to be available for business pages but also for the sponsored posts. This is a game changer here

3. “Instagram Is Only For The Kids”

But surprisingly, 32% of total online adults use Instagram too according to Pew Research Center

In the statistics below we can see that the dominating age group in Instagram is still 18-29 years old’s with 59 percent of them using Instagram but we can see also older age groups diving into the world of Instagram. These stats are from early 2016 and according to my empiric research I think that the amount of the older age groups has grown since these numbers were released but unfortunately there is no real data to back it up.

4. There Are No “Walls”

“Walls?” – This guy must be crazy, you’re thinking. I’m not talking about the real walls they want to build between the Mexico and the US but the ones restricting businesses to approach their potential customers easily. Non-paid posts are losing their power on many platforms and you must pay big bucks to gain visibility.

Instagram is different: Instagram’s algorithm doesn’t care if your profile is a business profile or not, so you have better chances to get seen (for free) compared to Facebook, for example. So if they are following you, there is a 30% chance your post will get seen. Instagram is also great for creating awareness about your service or product since you can search you potential customers by using hashtags or by places. After finding them you are free to interact with them by commenting or liking their photos or by following them. You can also use these features to attract more attention to your posts and with the correct tools you can monitor which hashtags and locations are best working for you. I still haven’t found any other platform which makes finding possible customers so easy and the best part, for free.

I also noticed that posting Instagram photos also to your Facebook-business page by using Instagram’s share options before posting increases the reach on Facebook too (over 1000 views versus 200 views if posting separately).

5. Picture says more than thousand words

You’ve probably heard those words before, but did you know it’s actually based on fact when it comes to marketing? The phenomenon is called Picture Superiority Effect:

According to research on the topic, humans remember 65% of the data three days later if the information is provided with text and relevant picture. So, what would a better place to make your brand more strong than a social media which combines these two formats of information together.

You can use this link for step-by-step guide on how to make a Instagram business profile if you didn’t have one yet!

(article has been originally written in November 2017 but is still relevant today)

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