Is Instagram the Right Marketing Platform for Your Business?

Smartphone and social media concept

In today’s digital age it seems every company and business has taken to social media to promote their product or service. Instagram has become widely popular among industry professionals as a marketing platform. As Instagram leaned into becoming a tool for businesses with features such as the business account, shopping areas, price tag clicks, and the linking of sites or webpages the pressure to get online has never been higher. In addition to these promotional tools, Instagram also provides data insights and demographic breakdowns for tracking clicks and audiences. All of these features are relatively new and seem to be serving both professional accounts and their consumers. However, with all these features and potential usage companies find themselves at a loss when trying to effectively use this tool, or not use it. 


The unknown truth of the matter is most companies do not need an Instagram presence. While some argue that having a social media presence can’t hurt I’m here to say a lot of the time it can and it does. Social media is not free. Content creation takes time, effort, strategy, and consistency. This takes away valuable resources and time from a company especially if Instagram is not an effective media vehicle for the type of business your company conducts. Here are some basic questions to ask yourself when deciding if starting an Instagram account is a good fit for your business. 


Are You Dazzled by Vanity Metrics?

If you’re dazzled by the seemingly successful company Instagrams around you remember to take into account the deceitful nature of vanity metrics. Vanity Metrics are quantitative numbers from followers to likes or comments. It’s important to understand these metrics are not a direct reflection of real conversation and consumption. Liking a promotional post is not the same as considering the product. Vanity metrics do not mirror the success of a company or amount of actual real-life consumers. Vanity metrics may look good to others but are useless in understanding performance in a way that informs future strategy. Additionally, there is a chance the “impressive” vanity metrics you are seeing across other accounts may not be organic. In other words, your competitors may be purchasing followers or likes. Either way, it’s important not to get caught up in these metrics. 


What are Your Consumer’s Media Habits and Uses?

Instagram is widely used but most accounts are held by younger demographics. You need to think about who your consumer is in breaking down their media uses and habits. You need to understand who your audience is before you can determine where or how it is you can reach them. Your audience may not be on Instagram. You don’t want to make the mistake of wasting valuable effort in creating promotional content to share on a platform your audience isn’t on. If you’re advertising to older professional men in their 50’s, Instagram is going to be a massive waste of time. If you are not able to share useful, relevant, or entertaining content consistently that relates to your business then Instagram is not the promotional tool for you. Even if you can create good consistent content that your audience is interested in, the platform you post it on needs to be relevant to the consumers you’re targeting. 


Does Your Product or Service Have a Visual Aspect?

Instagram, like much of social media, is a visual medium. It’s not a great place for loads of copy or lengthy informational posts. This is why we recommended Instagram to the company with services or products that have an aesthetic component to capitalize on. If you are an accountant there’s not going to be much to look at aside from infographics or pictures of employees which, let’s face it, isn’t very eye-catching. However, if you have a charcuterie board business an Instagram account may be a far more promising tool for you. Showing off the different colorful boards, picnics or other party pictures showing off the vibrant and fun product makes for an engaging feed with tons of opportunities for shareable content. This product is not complicated or heavily informational. Light, fun, and visual companies have a lot more to work with content-wise when it comes to Instagram. 

Instagram is a place where people like to share their experiences and connect. A place for fun, visually pleasing, non-mundane moments in life. Users are less motivated to post a picture about their experience with financial service than they are with a charcuterie board company. This gives one company more of an advantage than others when it comes to Instagram. But don’t worry, this is not a death sentence. It simply means Instagram isn’t the best tool for you. 

We urge you to reflect on these basic questions when considering whether or not an Instagram is right for your product or services. Understanding your consumer’s media uses and habits, not getting tricked by vanity metrics as it relates to real consumer conversion, and knowing the level of visual appeal your company’s product and services have are extremely important factors to weigh before beginning to build an account. Social media is not “free” and content has a cost. If Instagram is right for your company, building an account is well worth its cost. However, it’s important to make sure you’re not wasting valuable time and resources building an account on a platform that is irrelevant to your consumers. 

The highest percentage of instagram users are males between the ages of 25 to 34 where as men between the ages of 45 and 54 make up just barely 3% of overall users.

Our team works as an extension of your team to carefully craft fully developed and expertly researched content that will keep your fans engaged. 


CONTACT US to learn more about creating the results you’re looking for with an effective content marketing strategy.

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KWSM is a digital marketing agency made up of journalists. We specialize in social media management, website design and video. Our offices are located in Orange County, CA and Atlanta, GA, but we serve clients all over the country. Read More
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  1. Nick Stamoulis

    Instagram is a great social platform that could help your business, but it all depends on the niche. Not every business will benefit from using it. However, if your audience does use the platform, you should take advantage of this.