With over 500 million monthly active users, Instagram has secured its place in the social media world. It is a platform for individuals and brands to post and engage with their audiences. Beyond its inherent aesthetic value, Instagram has proven to be a powerful marketing resource for businesses.

If your small business has yet to dive into Instagram marketing, now is the time! This social marketing tool allows businesses to operate as professional entities within the platform, all while accessing millions of potential customers for free. Buzzoid compiled an infographic that highlights how Instagram has gained a huge share of market and how brands can piggyback Instagram’s enormous audience.

The full infographic is below, but we wanted to highlight three key reasons your small business should use Instagram for marketing:

Instagram has over 300 million daily active users, who post more than 95 million daily photos and videos

This is a massive and active audience. Users are not only accessing the platform daily, but they are generating content regularly. For small businesses, Instagram provides an ocean of opportunity to find its target market.

Scour industry hashtags to see what kinds of content your prospective followers respond to, and then build those hashtags into your posting strategy. Hashtags help a business build brand equity and awareness by contributing its content to the hashtag’s archive. People can then find you based on your hashtag use and relevance of content. They’ll come to you if you give them what they’re looking for.

Engagement per post has increased by 53% year over year

Instagram users participate on the platform; they don’t just consume its content. To maximize your efforts and increase engagement, include hashtags and location tags with your posts. Again, this point just reiterates the importance of hashtagging. Don’t worry if you don’t have a location to tag. Even without locations, posts with highest engagement rates have 11 or more hashtags.

What does engagement mean for a small business? It gives the business an opportunity to communicate with its followers, through comments, direct messages, and tagging. Ask your followers to post specific content with your branded hashtag. This way, you’re engaging your followers while simultaneously collecting user generated content.

User generated content is basically the digital equivalent of word of mouth referrals. It provides an unbiased, third party opinion of the business directly from a consumer. If someone is willing to post and hashtag about a brand, it’s a pretty strong endorsement. More and more, people are looking to consumer referrals over branded content from a business. User generated content is a way to engage your followers and have them promote your business all at once.

90% of Interbrand 100 Companies have Instagram accounts and 80% are active on a weekly basis

Most major businesses have Instagram accounts and are active on a weekly basis. If your business wants to remain competitive in the marketplace, participating on this platform is a good idea. As mentioned before, there are hundreds of millions of people to connect with on a daily basis. Take advantage of this captive audience by posting regularly and encouraging communication within the platform.

Those are just a few key reasons why your small business should partake in social media marketing through Instagram. Read on for further Instagram-specific marketing inspiration and insight.

Buzzoid Instagram Infographic’ width=‘680px

Infographic by: Buzzoid