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Why you’re using Instagram the wrong way to market your business

Instagram is a darling of the social media world, however some businesses have struggled to gain tangible results from the popular app. Here’s why.

There’s no doubt Instagram is a marketing force to be reckoned with, boasting a billion people on its platform globally every month.

That’s a lot of potential customers, and businesses have been piling onto the platform, with three-quarters of US businesses expected to use Instagram in 2020.

In more recent times, we’ve noticed some small businesses have been investing their entire marketing efforts into Instagram in the hope of going viral.

While some businesses have found success, we’ve seen that quite a few have found it harder to convert followers into customers or even website visitors.

Here are a few reasons why Instagram may not be working to market your business:

There are barriers to the customer journey

Instagram’s clean and easy-to-use layout has been a huge part of its user appeal, but it has also made the customer journey to your website harder.

Instagram only offers direct links to profiles with more than 10,000 followers, meaning everyone else has to place the link on their user profile rather than on the posts, adding steps between moving from your Instagram post to a particular page on your website.

For example, let’s say you want to promote a special offer on Instagram and direct followers to the ‘Special Offers’ page on your website for more details.

A follower would have to see the post, click through to your Instagram profile and tap on the website link in the bio, and then navigate to the Special Offers page once they land on your site. This introduces barriers to your customer journey, and it may mean that many potential customers won’t persist with steps involved to get off Instagram and on to your website.

You could always feature a Linktree link in your Instagram profile to host individual links, but it’s still a messy pathway compared to Facebook and Twitter which offer the ability to share a link directly on the post you’re sharing.

You may attract an irrelevant audience

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms globally, but what’s the value of acquiring followers in another country if you’re a business based in Australia?

This is a common complaint we hear from local businesses who have invested time and money into growing their follower base, only to attract followers that are unlikely to convert into customers because they live abroad.

For example, if you run a cafe, yoga studio or accountancy business in Melbourne, then it’s unlikely that you will manage to turn a follower living in the UK or India into a paying customer because your business type requires your customers to be based locally.

You can always pay to target your posts based on location and demographics to find followers near your business and build up your local audience that way, but this requires some digital advertising know-how.

That said, the Instagram algorithm is constantly changing, much like other social media platforms, so it’s hard to predict how much organic reach your profile will have in the future.

At the very least, make sure your Instagram posts relate to your business and the interests of your ideal customer. Share things like behind-the-scenes content about your business or products to create interest in your brand.

Make sure you’re also using the platform to increase your brand awareness and retention. Highlight the unique aspects about your business to keep your brand top of mind for your customers.

Also, ensure you engage with and reward your active audience members on Instagram – respond to comments they leave on your posts and move beyond your own account to comment on your customer’s posts to leverage the open nature of the platform.

Using one social media platform could limit your results

Instagram is still a leading marketing tool, however these challenges illustrate why you should broaden your approach to other platforms and other marketing activities.

Sharon Green, founding editor of women’s lifestyle publication SHE DEFINED, has encountered her own challenges in converting Instagram followers into readers.

“You have to be open-minded and trial a range of social media platforms to find the ones that work for you,” she said.

“I’ve tested multiple platforms and while Facebook has performed best for me so far, I’m now starting to see results from LinkedIn.

“If I’d put all my eggs in the Instagram basket, I’d be missing out on acquiring traffic to my website from platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn.”

Get expert marketing advice

Establishing a social media presence and building an audience takes time and the right knowledge, so it pays to seek out expert advice.

At Assemblo, our team of specialists will develop a holistic marketing strategy to help meet your business goals.

As a full-service marketing agency based in Melbourne, Assemblo can help you develop an effective social media strategy that converts followers into customers.

To find out more, give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or drop us a note via the contact form below.

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