Choosing the Right Social Media Platforms for Your Business: Instagram

In today’s saturated social media landscape, it’s important to be strategic about where and how to establish your brand’s online presence. 

In our first installment of this series, we broke down Facebook’s key demographics and explored the content strategies that perform best on the platform. This month, we’re keeping it in the Meta family with a deep-dive into Instagram.

Instagram Demographics

Instagram is like Facebook’s younger and hipper cousin: it appeals primarily to Millennials and Zoomers and is the hub for image-based sharing and, more recently, short-form video content.

According to the Global State of Digital 2022 report, people 18-24 years old and 25-34 years old make up the biggest chunk of Instagram’s user base (30.1% and 31.5% respectively). Users are also more likely to have received at least some college education (Pew Research Center, 2019) and to come from higher-income homes. These figures may have changed over recent years, but a 2018 study from We Are Flint revealed that 60% of Instagram users make over $100k a year.

Instagram is also more popular among women, who make up 56.5% of the platform’s user base (NapoleonCat, 2023). So, if your target audience skews female, younger, and highly educated, Instagram is the ideal place to reach them. Plus, if you are an ecommerce business, you’re likely to gain traction selling to users with money to burn. (Hello, Instagram Shopping!)

Interestingly, the biggest segment of Instagram’s user base doesn’t hail from the U.S. at all. India boasts 230 million Instagram users and is the country with the largest advertising reach (Instagram Demographics in 2023: Most Important User Stats for Marketers, 2022). If your international market includes India, then Instagram could be a gold mine.

But Instagram’s biggest distinction since its inception in 2010 has been its image-based content. So before you rush to set up your Instagram Business Page, consider how your business lends itself to engaging photos and short-form videos. Are you often on-site and able to post behind-the-scenes content? Does your team work in an office where you can capture photos of company culture? Does the nature of your industry create fun photo opps (like veterinary medicine or food)? 

If you answered no to these questions, it doesn’t automatically mean Instagram is a bad fit. It just means that you may need to get a bit more creative (more on that below).

Content Strategy

So, you’ve decided to give Instagram a go. Now what?

First, you want to familiarize yourself with Instagram’s tone. Much like Facebook, this platform is all about approachability. Users want to be educated, but they also want to interact with brands that feel human. This makes Instagram the ideal channel for pulling back the curtain on your business and giving users a sneak peek into what happens behind the scenes. For example, some brands use this platform to feature their employees more prominently and introduce their audience to the people behind the brand.

Instagram also offers several key features that will help you optimize your brand’s profile:

  • Link in bio: These links are displayed on your profile page and direct users to certain landing pages on your website. Since Instagram captions don’t support hyperlinks, this feature is crucial to driving web traffic. Earlier this year, the platform expanded the number of maximum links from one to five, which means you can now direct users to up to five pages on your website. Simply end your posts with a call to action to click one of the links in your bio.
  • Reels: Nowhere is Instagram’s approachability more obvious than with Reels. This short-form content format allows brands to introduce team members, announce new products, and provide “infotainment” through creative, bite-sized videos. This is your opportunity to experiment with eye-catching graphics and even hop on trends that align with your business strategy.
  • Stories: Stories are like Reels, but spontaneous and temporary. These posts disappear after 24 hours and are ideal for documenting daily activities, posting audience questions, or making brand announcements.
  • Highlights: Instagram Highlights are for those Stories that you don’t want to disappear after 24 hours. Say you created a Story announcing a new product or service, and you want to feature it permanently on your profile. Simply add the Story to your Highlights, and it will be displayed above your grid.
  • Carousels: Carousels have been around since Instagram’s early days and continue to draw solid engagement. If you want to post multiple photos or a series of infographics, you can use the Carousel feature and encourage more engagement with your posts.

If the nature of your business doesn’t allow for much live-action footage, you can still drive engagement on Instagram with both static and animated graphics. For example, you can repurpose a blog post as a Reel by designing an animated infographic complete with transitions and stock video footage. The key is to present your information in a visually appealing way, which is where a solid design strategy comes into play.

Final Thoughts

Instagram is ideal for businesses that are targeting a younger, higher-income, highly educated, and international audience. However, its focus on images and videos requires more forethought than other platforms: Will your businesses post live-action content, graphics, or a mix of both? How will you leverage Reels, Stories, and Highlights as part of a larger marketing strategy?

Atomic Idea’s team of specialists will help you craft a balanced Instagram strategy that will build brand recognition, foster a sense of community, and drive sales growth. Contact us today for a free social media strategy consultation.

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