Is it time to look at Instagram for your business?

New features may make the app a better fit for your social media strategy

By Diane Devaney, founder and president, Devaney & Associates

When Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 business marketers eagerly watched, waiting to see if this leading mobile app would become more useful for them. The wait is finally over.

So far this year, Instagram has instituted significant changes that make it more useful for the business community. Some, like the March 2016 change to make their algorithm more Facebook-like and ordering posts by interests instead of chronologically, have had mixed reviews. Others, like the ability to manage multiple profiles introduced in February 2016, were welcomed enthusiastically.

But it is the changes being made this month that make Instagram worth another look for your business. Specifically, the addition of a “Contact” button, a linkable location tag and a Category option for your Instagram profile – tools that make your business Instagram profile look much more like your Facebook page – and the availability of expanded analytics and promoted posts make the app far more useful in reaching your audience.

The profile changes make it easier for your audience to directly reach you, which is the primary goal of all marketing. The analytics can provide your business with a wealth of information about your audience. And the ability to boost posts allows you to instantly promote those that are scoring higher with your audience to expand your reach.

The analytics are accessed via a chart icon in the right hand corner. You will be able to view followers’ locations, genders and ages. In “Follower Activity” you can also determine when your followers are using Instagram, which is invaluable in planning scheduled posts. “Insights” provides information on reach, clicks, impressions – the kinds of information that Facebook provides.

You’ll need to connect your Facebook page to your Instagram account to maximize the value of these new tools, especially the ability to promote posts as this will link your billing information to use this option.

You can take a look at the new profile and get more details on all the changes at Instagram here: http://blog.later.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-instagram-changes-2016/ . As always, before you add Instagram to your mix of social media tools, make sure that you know how it will fit into your content marketing strategy, and make sure it’s a good fit for your goals. Devaney & Associates is happy to help you make the most of Instagram or any other tools to create the most effective campaign for your business, just contact us and we can discuss your needs.