Instagram is an uber-popular social media platform on which users post and share photos. In fact, more than 70 million photos and videos are uploaded to Instagram every day. While average individuals make up the majority of Instagram’s users, many celebrities, organizations, and brands also use it to stay connected to their audiences. But where do small, local businesses fit into the picture? Is Instagram a worthwhile platform for them? That’s what we’ll explore in this latest installment of “Prospect Genius Reviews…”
Depending on the nature of your business, you might dismiss Instagram’s usefulness at first glance. If you’re an appliance repair company, for example, you might assume there’s not a huge online audience for pictures of broken refrigerators or washing machines. You wouldn’t be wrong. In this sense, Instagram is better suited for local retailers and restaurants that have tangible, photogenic products. However, that doesn’t mean local service providers like repairmen, contractors, and consultants should stay away. Instead, you can use Instagram to showcase your staff, community, and company culture. If you get creative, Instagram can be a great way to put a face to your company name, regardless of the industry.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that certainly rings true in this context. After all, there’s ample data showing that photos and videos generate the most engagement on social media. That’s probably because photos, particularly of people, feel more intimate. Instagram deals exclusively with photos and videos, so it stands to reason that posting on Instagram (and cross-posting to Facebook and Twitter for maximum reach) will improve the way you interact with your audience. A photo of your close-knit team shared on Instagram will make your audience feel much more connected to your company than a wordy Facebook status ever will.
And with Instagram’s newly designed Search and Explore pages, it’s now easier for local businesses to expand that audience. Just last month, Instagram launched updated versions of its Search and Explore features, which now allow users to browse photos by searching for specific places. For instance, a user could search for “Jersey City” to find photos shared nearby. Users would do this to check out photos of local restaurants, events, and attractions. Business owners can leverage this feature by carefully tagging their own photos with their locations so their posts will be more discoverable by local Instagrammers.
While average individuals might not necessarily be turning to Instagram to find a local plumber or tax attorney, having a presence on the photo-sharing network will give businesses a local presence and bolster their brands. Whether Instagram will actually generate leads for your company is uncertain, but as we stated in our review of Pinterest, it’s never a bad idea to increase your social media presence:
After all, any presence on social media is generally a good thing, even if it doesn’t directly lead to more customers. When people see that you have a presence on several different social media platforms, they’ll infer that you’re a savvy and engaged business.
As with other social media platforms, Prospect Genius reviews Instagram as a pragmatic tool for growing your overall web presence. Even if it doesn’t directly produce leads for your business, Instagram will supplement your online advertising efforts by broadening your audience locally. Plus, as Google’s algorithm gives increasing weight to social signals, it can only help your company to participate on social media as much as possible.
In the next edition of “Prospect Genius Reviews…,” we’ll examine YouTube as a tool for promoting local businesses.