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Instagram feeds the insatiable appetite people have developed for visual content. It is ideal for those who love snapping and viewing great images. Every day, millions of Instagram posts are shared showing how people avail of various experiences, from vacationing in exotic places to carrying out daily routines.
Looking for info as to whether Instagram is useful for growing your businesses or blog? Keep reading.
What is Instagram?
Instagram is an image-sharing social media website. People use Instagram to share “insta-worthy” snapshots of their daily activities with friends and family. You can upload photos and videos, add edits using various filters and effects, and share them with followers. Users can like, leave comments, and share content uploaded by others. Steady growth has led to over one billion people using Instagram monthly.
Owned by Facebook since 2012, the platform was founded by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in the year 2010. It was primarily launched as a visual mobile app – first for iPhones then Android devices – before a compatible app was created for Windows desktops and tablets in 2016.
How people use Instagram
Instagram has maintained much of the minimalistic features that people initially loved about it. Users like, comment, share, and send direct messages in pretty much the same way since launch (apart from a few failed experiments to switch up the layout, swipe gestures, etc.). Posting the perfect selfie on Instagram is still a big thing. However, a number of changes have been rolled out over the years, some more loved than others.
In addition to sharing image and video updates on the Instagram feed, users were introduced in 2016 to posting Stories (statuses that disappear within 24 hours). This is now one of the most used features on the platform – about half of all Instagram users post stories daily. The ability to add multiple images, instead of one at a time, has also been embraced by users. Then there are the live streaming capabilities, the possibility of creating short, edited videos using Instagram Reels, and creating longer format videos on IGTV. In addition, the platform has developed several tools geared towards helping brands and influencers get the most out of the site.
Social media impact
Instagram has always been a haven for the youthful, with over 70% of its users being under age 35. And even while the demographic has become more diversified over the years, the app keeps attracting young people at a greater rate than it does older adults. In the U.S., for example, as much as 17% of teenagers consider Instagram to be the most important social media network in their lives.
With that said, the U.S. has the largest Instagram audience with 140 million users, but that’s only about 12% of total users. 88% of Instagrammers live elsewhere, with India and Brazil being the next two biggest markets (120 million and 95 million users respectively).
Most users spend an average of half hour each day on the app, according to research. Another fact worth pointing out is that slightly more women than men use Instagram. Total female users account for 51%, but in the U.S., that gap widens considerably.
Instagram and digital marketing
In terms of business-related social media, Instagram is the main app driving influencer marketing, a field that has grown in leaps and bounds. But the platform offers much more than influencer-related content when it comes on to doing business online.
Audience reach—Business profiles tend to receive a lot of traffic on Instagram. Every day, 200 million users check out at least one Instagram business account. In addition, more than 80% of people on the platform use it to research products and services they might be interested in. Small and large businesses that consistently post interesting content, have the opportunity to be featured on Instagram’s Explore page, which can help to gain new followers and boost audience reach.
Audience engagement—Instagram users tend to be more comfortable interacting with businesses on Instagram than on other social media platforms. According to an Instagram survey, 90% of people on the platform follow at least one business. Moreover, two-thirds of users say the app “enables interaction with brands.”
Shopping features—Instagram has rolled out numerous features (shop, collections, tags, discovery, etc.) that make it easier for brands to market their offerings and even sell products from within the app. With Instagram Shopping, businesses are able to create shareable product catalogs. People can get information on offerings and checkout from within the app or complete the transaction on the company’s website. Already, 130 million Instagram users take advantage of Instagram Shopping each month.
Advertising—Brands advertising on Instagram have a potential audience reach of approximately 1.16 billion people. In addition, ads are highly accepted on Instagram than they seem to be elsewhere – 50% of users polled suggested their interest in a brand increased after seeing its ads. Brands using Stories ads tend to get much engagement since these are often viewed in a similar light as organic content.
Instagram for bloggers
Instagram is all about strong visuals but it is also a useful platform for bloggers to grow blog traffic and boost engagement for written content. Success on Instagram requires bloggers to follow certain best practices. These include:
Sharing your blog posts
It should go without saying but you need to share all your blog posts on the platform if you are looking to increase traffic to your website. Getting the appropriate response requires paying attention to the quality of your Instagram posts. When posting your articles, you want to:
Include high-quality images
Use eye-catching captions
Include suitable calls to action
Don’t forget to drop the link
Having a compelling bio
Apart from sharing your blog posts on Instagram, you want to make sure your bio is as attractive as possible. With just 150 characters to play with, it should be short and spicy while covering all the details about what you and your blog are about. Include emojis and hashtags, as well as a link to your blog. If you have different links you want to share, considering using linktree to consolidate all of them in one place.
Adding relevant hashtags
Hashtags help to drive discovery on Instagram and are important in extending audience reach. You want to pick the most relevant hashtags to your blog niche and use them in all your posts, in addition to your bio. However, be careful when using hashtags. Too much can come off spammy. Aim for a maximum of five per post.
Instagram is a very fast-paced platform that sees users always in search of new ideas to discover. As such, posting at least once per day is recommended if you want to keep the attention of your followers on the platform.
The Stories feature has been a big hit on Instagram since launch, and that hype is nowhere close to slowing down anytime soon. More than 70% of people on the platform consume Stories every day, so it’s a no-brainer for bloggers to make an effort to use this feature. If you use Stories wisely, you could see your engagement rate increase dramatically and more people visiting your blog.
Engaging with followers
Don’t forget to engage with followers by being prompt in replying to comments and direct messages. You also want to vary your content – don’t just post links to your blog posts. Ask questions, share image quotes with jokes and motivational messages, ask for feedback, etc.
Instagram is undoubtedly one of the world’s most popular social media websites. Its reputation has made it one of the most attractive online spaces – not just for individuals, but also bloggers and businesses.
Until next time!
This is an awesome overview of using Instagram with blogs, but I’d love to know more about the how to do it. I just started an Instagram account for my business, and I find it REALLY hard to reach new accounts 😂 so some more information on this topic would be super helpful. Thanks for the tips though! 😊