“The Advantages and Disadvantages of Instagram for Business” written by Mike Marko.
You’ve probably heard about Instagram and what it can do in marketing a business. And I bet you are now wondering if you should be using Instagram as a social media marketing platform for you business.
A lot of business owners are using this platform because of the advantages it can bring to their business.
Now, maybe you’re thinking of using Instagram too as a social media marketing platform for your business. If you have that thought right now, then you should definitely do it.
When we started marketing online, we didn’t pay Instagram too much attention. We were primarily focused on Facebook because that was what we knew.
Turned out that was a huge mistake.
But before you add Instagram to your marketing plan, let’s talk about both the advantages of Instagram and, of course, the disadvantages of Instagram.
Advantages of Instagram vs Disadvantages of Instagram
Just like any other social networking platforms, there are pros and cons of using Instagram. This shouldn’t be much of a deal because there’s no such thing as “the perfect platform” to market your business.
You just need to plan on how to get the best of using Instagram and avoid the potential problems of its flaws. With that said, it’s important to know the advantages and disadvantages it can bring to your business.
Knowing the advantages and disadvantages can help you better create the marketing plan for your business.
But before we talk about Instagram advantages vs Instagram disadvantages… let me answer the most basic question.
What Is Instagram
Instagram is a social networking app made for sharing photos and videos from a smartphone. It behaves similar to Facebook or Twitter in that everyone who creates an account has a profile and a news feed.
When you post either a photo or video on Instagram, it will be displayed on your “wall”.
Other users who follow you will see your posts in their own feed. Likewise, you’ll see posts from other users who you choose to follow.
Since it’s similar to Facebook, Instagram also has a potential in being a good marketing platform.
VIDEO: Advantages and Disadvantages of Instagram for Business
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Personal Instagram vs. Instagram for Business
While there are over 25 million Instagram for business profiles, setting up a personal profile is still the first thing you’ll need. So, why should you take the extra step to set your profile up to be a business profile?
Some professionals prefer to stick to their personal Instagram profiles. However, if you see Instagram Insights, running ads, and extra contact options as important factors, then you should consider making the switch to Instagram for business.
Instagram Insights, in particular, is one of Instagram’s best features. This is mostly because professionals with Instagram for business can use it to get detailed information about their followers and audience who interact with their posts.
With the data that Instagram Insights provides, business owners can easily adjust their online marketing strategy for best results.
Having a contact button right below your Instagram for business bio also makes it easier for users to reach you. This saves them from using up too much time trying to find your contact details or messaging you on an app where their Direct Message or comment might get overshadowed.
Instagram for business profiles can even add links to their Instagram stories. These links work by encouraging the viewer to swipe up to access the link.
Advantages of Instagram for Business
Instagram has all the features you need to market a business. That’s the reason why it became one of the most popular social media platforms for marketing a business. Also, using it can bring the following advantages to your business.
Instagram is About Photos
Instagram makes it very easy to post pictures and video from your smartphone.
Posts of images on Instagram remain there forever as long as the user does not remove them.
Instagram Connects You to Your Target Audience
Instagram is the fastest growing social network.
It currently has 800 million monthly active users and over 40 billion shared photos.
The large number of active users on Instagram are uploading 95 million photos every day. The uploaded photos on this platform are getting 4.2 billion likes per day.
Instagram Has High Engagement Rate
Instagram can also give a high engagement rate to your contents due to its large number of active users. In fact, Instagram has the most engaged users compared to other social media platforms.
The engagement rate on Instagram is 70% higher than Facebook. Aside from that, its follower growth is 9% higher than the follower growth on Twitter (at 0.11%).
Instagram Lets You Post Your Contents Easily
Since Instagram is made specifically for smartphones, you can post your contents anytime and anywhere as long as there’s an internet connection.
You can also make your Instagram posts appear on your other social media accounts. To do this, just link your account to your Facebook, Tumblr or Twitter account.
Instagram Gives Visual Representation of Your Business
Instagram is the best platform for visually promoting your brand or products. With that said, posting eye-catching photos of your products can increase your sales.
People tend to engage more on contents with an interesting photo than with plain texts only.
However, you shouldn’t just focus on posting a good image. Your Instagram post should also make use of the description field.
And posts can drive more engagement if it comes with an interesting caption and a relevant hashtag.
Instagram Allows You to Respond Quickly
If you’re marketing your business online, you have to be active in your niche.
Make sure that you’re responding to your audience’s messages and comments. Since Instagram is specifically made for smartphones, you can respond to them easily.
People will more likely trust your brand if you’re connecting with them. It’s important to have a two-way communication between you and your target audience. By doing this, your audience is assured in trusting your products and services.
Instagram Can Increase Your Reach
Your posts on Instagram will remain there forever as long as you’re not removing them. That’s why your old posts can still give you a handful of engagement. However, you need to use hashtags if you want this to happen.
All of your Instagram posts can help you increase your reach. Just make sure that your posts are aimed and visible to your target audience. When used properly, hashtags can be a powerful way to increase the visibility of your posts.
You can use a lot more hashtags in Instagram posts compare to Twitter, and still be free of penalties like that of Twitter.
Probably the first Instagram disadvantage that comes to mind is that Instagram isn’t a platform that just focuses on businesses. Usually, people are using Instagram to pass time and connect with other people. There’s only a small percentage of users who have an intention of buying something they see on their feed.
With that said, using Instagram as the only platform to market your business leads to the following additional disadvantages.
The Biggest Advantage is its Disadvantage
The main advantage of Instagram can also be its biggest disadvantage: it relies on images. That means you need to be very mindful of the images you post because it’s the image that will attract followers.
Poor pictures will have people that follow you skip your page in their feed and not read the messages in your description.
Instagram pictures need to be square to be most effective. Loading non-square images will cause parts of the images to not show in the feed. That means your message or branding can look sloppy because not all the words, etc, may be shown.
Not Everyone Is on Instagram
This is one of the most obvious disadvantages of Instagram, Instagram is only an iPhone and Android app. If you have a Blackberry, or Linux it won’t work. That means you won’t actually reach your target audience.
That‘s why it’s advisable to use other social networking platforms to increase brand awareness. Fortunately Facebook owns Instagram, and their integrated marketing platform makes it easy to reach a larger audience.
Limitations on Your Contents
On Instagram, you can’t further explain the product in your post. You’re only allowed to upload a video that’s 60 seconds long (note that this was recently changed to 60 minutes). Also, the ideal length of captions on Instagram is 138-150 characters. For advertisements, the ideal length of the caption is 125 Characters.
If you’re planning to use multiple hashtags, it’s advisable to use just 5 to 10. Using too many hashtags may result in getting your account banned.
Instagram Posts Don’t Support Clickable Links
The ideal length of captions already circles around 125-150 characters. It can feel even more restricting if you want to lead them to a site outside of Instagram.
Why? Well, you can’t include a link in your caption because they won’t be able to click on it.
You also shouldn’t leave a link to a site outside of Instagram, expecting your audience to select, copy, and paste it on their browser. That’s too much work for users who are using an app where they only scroll through their feed and double-tap a post that they like.
So, instead of a link, you need to think of a creative way to invite them to visit the site on their own. You also have the option of inviting them to visit your Instagram for business page and leave the link to your website in your bio instead.
Advertising Is More Difficult
It’s more difficult to target local markets on Instagram compared to Facebook or Twitter. Instagram has fewer options in narrowing down your target audience. Also, you will be forced to rely on organic traffic.
Large businesses can only afford the advertisement on this platform. The average CPC on Instagram is around $0.50 – $1.00.
Final Thoughts on the Advantages and Disadvantages of Instagram
Instagram is a tool you need to at least consider for your online marketing needs. This platform can help in increasing engagement rate, connecting with your target audience, and communicating with your niche.
But even if you’re getting the advantages of Instagram, you shouldn’t heavily rely on it. There are still disadvantages of marketing on this platform.
Despite the disadvantages of Instagram that are mentioned above, Instagram is still one of the best platforms to market. Just study how you can effectively use its features to boost every aspect of your business.
If you want help in building up your Instagram account (especially using automation to interact with other Instagram users), feel free to contact me and we can talk about the different options we offer.
Be sure to also check out out this more comprehensive blog post: How to Market Your Business with Instagram And Get Results.
And keep in mind… have fun!
P.S. – If you like this post, feel free comment down below and/or share on Facebook.
P.S.S. If I missed any advantages of Instagram or even disadvantages, please let me know in the comments below.
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