By now, everyone knows Instagram is a powerful tool for advertising and marketing your business. From visual content to Instagram stories to a 'shop now' button, Instagram offers several viable advertising options. The platform itself currently has over 300 million active users from personal accounts all the way to businesses.
Businesses that have an Instagram account enjoy a unique way to access customers, listen to their feedback, and build relationships through conversations that can spark from a single post or story.
Instagram provides several engaging tools to obtain customers' feedback and opinions. For example, a fashion blogger and designer, Arielle Charnas, uses her Instagram stories for her clothing line, Something Navy, to ask her followers questions like, “Which pattern do you prefer?”, with 2 choices listed below the question. This form of engagement makes her followers feel a part of the process and helps the designer produce an item that customers want to wear and purchase.
Another feature more business owners are starting to use on Instagram is the 'shop now' button. This allows businesses to sell their products directly through social media by encouraging followers to click on a picture that displays prices and hopefully sparks impulse buys. Today, convenience is everything and the 'shop now' button allows a customer to see an item they like straight from the app, click it, and then complete a purchase without ever leaving Instagram.
An increase in interaction with your followers essentially works as free advertising for your business. With Instagram, you can share posts and add them to your Instagram stories. For example, restaurants can post about specials, seasonal menus, and share images of their dishes. If a follower shares one of the dishes from the story and tags the restaurant, then that follower has created free advertising to their own followers. This allows a business to quickly reach new customers and followers on a budget. This process starts with a like and a share, and then today's version of 'word of mouth' takes over!