New data from Simply Measured offers marketers compelling insight into the effectiveness of Instagram, and the numbers should make any marketer stop in their tracks. Audiences are swelling and engagement levels are up more than four-fold year on year.
However, a scan of the research reveals that the preponderance of brands on Instagram are consumer-focused, which begs the question — Do B2Bs belong on Instagram?
Platforms like Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook can be of enormous utility to B2Bs, simply because many of the denizens on those platforms have professional interests. They want to advance their careers, improve their performance and solve business problems. And the time they spend surfing favorite social networks is a golden opportunity for marketers.
Case in point: I am a keep-your-peanut-butter-out-of-my-chocolate social network user. My Facebook presence is purely personal, whereas on Twitter and LinkedIn, I talk nothing but shop. However, Facebook’s algorithm knows who I am, and serves up interesting content from Marketo that hooks me every single time.
So to answer the question posed by the headline, yes, your brand may very well belong from being on Instagram. However, as you’ve surmised by now, there’s more to consider as you determine the best answer for your organization.
Are my audiences on Instagram?
The first question brands need to ask is whether their constituents are on the social network they’re targeting. Assess the network’s demographics first, and if they are there in droves, spend some time in-persona, assessing the network content through the lenses of your target groups.
Do we have the right people to build the presence?
Developing traction on social networks is not a set-it-and-forget-it proposition. It requires smart curation, audience savvy and good people and service skills. However, I’d say that a good brand presence starts with a real network enthusiast – someone who has experience on and dexterity with the social network, and frankly loves using it.
Do we have the right content or story for the social network?
Brands that plaster the same content across networks will invariably fail. Social networks are – by definition -social in nature. The content brands share has to be the right mix of attractive and compelling. In the case of Instagram and other highly visual networks. brands need to tell their stories visually, and for many, that can be a stumbling block. Before you jump in, assess the brand’s content. Success will depend upon the ongoing creation of relevant, platform-appropriate content.
Can we measure it?
The measurement question is probably the most often overlooked, because put another way, it asks “What are we doing here, and what do we hope to achieve?” In the case of a site like Instagram, the content and subsequent interactions in the upper funnel, building awareness and developing qualified interest. The “ask” needs to be in line with very early-stage consideration. Defining objectives and measuring results hinge upon setting appropriate objectives for the network.
If you have good answers to these four questions, chances are good your brand will thrive on on Instagram.