Instagram has revolutionised the way in which businesses operate online and has allowed even the smallest of businesses, to advertising around the world and have a digital footprint. Instagram is an online mobile photo sharing app which allows the user to take photos and videos and share them privately, to their approved followers, or publically, to the world to see. According to Statista (2016), as of June 2016, Instagram had over 500 million active accounts, ranging from the professional photographer, to the foodie running a food blog, and to the mother of 3 sharing photos with family and friends. This is the allure of Instagram, it can fill the niche market for anyone and everyone.
One effective way of utilising Instagram, is to promote a business. Businesses using Instagram range from the largest global conglomerate to the one man, sole trader operating out of his garage. The app can be used to create a following, to source potential customers and allow the business to show consumers or followers, what they have to offer and as well as the culture and vision of the business. According to Studio Culture (2015), Instagram is the fastest growing social network currently operating and utilising this social network allows businesses to not only engage with consumers, but to communicate with them through visual engagement which thus can establish a feeling of trust and loyalty to the brand. Another benefit raised by Istvanova (2014) is that this free advertising can be used to establish a competitive advantage over competitors by instantaneously showing consumers the latest product or sale in which is being offered, creating an almost immediate response. Businesses can also utilise hashtags and handles to reach and target specific audiences of consumers, allowing a more filtered and precise approach to digital marketing.
Instagram has become a must have tool for businesses and has not only revolutionised the way in which digital marketing is approach, but also marketing and advertising overall. It has allowed small businesses who employ a handful of employees, to advertise and compete with the biggest global businesses operating today. Through applying an effective and strategic approach to this new advertising tool, a business can increase engagement, customer base and all the business to grow overall.
- Statista (2016) “Number of monthly active instagram users from January 2013 – January 2016 (in millions)” Statista: The Statistics Portal Published June 2016. Accessed 15th October 2016. Available: https://www.statista.com/statistics/253577/number-of-monthly-active-instagram-users/
- Fox (2015) “Pros and Cons of using social media for business” Studio Culture. Published 15th January 2015. Accessed 20th October 2016. Available: http://studio-culture.com.au/socialmediaprosandcons/
- Istvanova (2014) “6 benefits for using Instagram for your business” Koozai. Published 16th June 2014. Accessed 20th October 2016. Available: https://www.koozai.com/blog/social-media/6-key-benefits-using-instagram-business/