Instagram is growing and businesses are also joining this amazing app to enjoy the benefits. If you find yourself wondering if your business should be on Instagram you are on the right track. That said, the reasons are a bit more complicated than you might think.

A business’ survival in today’s technology-driven world depends on the organization’s ability to effectively identify, engage, and retain its customer’s rapidly changing demands.

Whether you are a small business or a multi-national organization with a worldwide reach, the quickest way to reach customers is by developing an effective social media marketing strategy.

The Quirky Constantly-Connected Customer of Today
Technology has changed the way people do business. Consumers are now well-informed and have a constant connection to the online world. It is vital that you keep up with the rapidly changing world of social media marketing in order to make the most of your business.

Why Social Media Marketing?
One out of every four minutes spent on the Internet is on a social network. Think about that fact for a second, this is an enormous number of potential customers that businesses can engage with and target. There is no denying that every business needs to learn to develop short-term tactics for effective online marketing and also focus on a long-term strategy for promoting their products and services.

According to the Social Media Marketing Industry Report 2015, published by Social Examiner, which surveyed 3700 marketers across the world, almost all of the respondents (96%) said that they use social media marketing.

The importance of having a well-developed social media marketing strategy is obvious from the fact that 92% of the people in the survey indicated that they considered social media marketing as an important element for business growth. This statistic continues to grow every year.

Social Networks Growth

Social Network Growth Ratings in 2014-2015:
According to the Global Web Index, Instagram is one of the fastest growing social networks, the specific rankings are shown below in descending order:

▪ Pinterest (+97%)
▪ Tumblr (+95%)
▪ Instagram (+47%)

Instagram- A Convenient Means of Consumer Engagement
Instagram is the 5th largest social network in terms of account ownership and usage activity. As of September 2015 it had active users. It is a highly visual way of sharing and interacting, focusing on pictures and short videos.

Videos are an important marketing tool, 57% of marketers use video in their marketing and according to Social Examiner 72% of marketers plan to increase their use of video-based marketing techniques.

According to research by Forrester, Instagram has significantly higher levels (400%) of user-brand interactions than Facebook or Twitter.

Effective Online Marketing Strategy
When building your online marketing strategy, brainstorm and set specific goals for your business. Leaving things unplanned is a recipe for a lukewarm presence that will not drive up sales or encourage customer loyalty. Promote your brand values through these channels and you will end up with actively engaged followers and customers. In short, if you create inspiring content you will connect with your target audience.

An Effective Instagram Presence and the Benefits

Businesses have gained valuable returns by using this platform. When starting to develop a strategy, keep these few facts in mind:

Increase brand awareness–Give customers a glimpse into the way you do your work, this builds trust.
Do not focus on selling—Prioritize customer interaction and feedback.
Be consistent—Develop a loyal following by being active and consistent.
Mobile-focused strategy—Instagram enables you to connect with consumers via mobile.

Grant Munro, an author and CEO of FlashStock Technology says that the future of social media is visual. There is no time like the present to begin using Instagram to grow your consumer base.

Learn From Marketing Success Stories
Observe the Instagram campaigns of major brands such as Ben and Jerry’s, Starbucks, Nike, and NBA, to name a few. These brands focused on promoting brand value and used techniques such as contests, exciting photographs and behind-the-scenes looks at their creative processes. More interaction with customers meant more followers and business growth. Social media can do the same for your business if you learn how to use it effectively.

These companies have vastly different products, yet all of them realized the importance of Instagram as a social marketing tool. If you are a business who wants to reach millions of potential customers and build a loyal following, promote your brand via a creative Instagram presence.