While not everyone has a visually appealing product or service, the platform’s growth is hard to ignore – Instagram’s gone from 300 million users 2014 to 600 million today. It’s also the second most-used social platform among Australians (behind Facebook) with 6.98 million local users.
What’s more, Instagram has added a heap of new business tools and options. Here’s an outline of some of three key updates you need to know about.
1. Business profiles
Instagram's business profiles give business owners access to more tools to help them maximize their use of the platform.
Business profiles look much the same as personal ones, but they come with additional information fields, like your business address (with maps to help people find it), a contact button to make it easier for people to connect and analytics tools which show you detail on who’s responding to your Instagram posts.
Instagram’s business profiles also connect directly to the platform’s advertising options, making it as easy as possible for you to go from understanding who your audience is on the platform to reaching more of them with paid outreach.
2. Shopping tags
In November, Instagram unveiled their soon-to-be-released ‘shoppable tags’ option, which will enable businesses to put tags on items within their Instagram images. The purpose is to connect viewers directly to the relevant website to make a purchase.
This is a major update for businesses on Instagram – at present, the only link you can use on Instagram is the one in your bio, so if you want to direct potential customers to your products, you have to write something like ‘link in bio’ in your image caption then update that one link to connect to the relevant products.
Shoppable tags, while not available to all users as yet, will provide businesses with a whole new way to generate business from Instagram, and will change the way users view the platform in this respect.
3. Saved posts
In December, Instagram gave businesses the option to save posts to read later.
The option has clear benefits for business on the platform - as noted by Instagram:
“For Instagrammers stumbling upon a business they want to remember, a new product they like, or a memorable ad, they can now keep track of favorite posts right from their profile."
When users save a post, it’s stored in a separate area of the app, enabling them to go back when they have time to assess their options.
User stats from Facebook also show that such options are popular – Facebook’s save option is used by more than 250 million users every month.
In combination, these three updates – which are only a selection of the range of new tools and options on Instagram – will make the platform a much more appealing destination for both businesses and consumers.
Of course, not every businesses audience is on Instagram, not every company can come up with appealing, visual content to appeal to Instagram’s audience.
But the user numbers can’t be ignored – if you’ve never considered Instagram, it’s worth taking a look and seeing if your audience is active on the platform.