The adoption of social media by companies to reach customers, share its wares, drive revenues and build its brands continues. Amid the battle between Facebook and LinkedIn, we are seeing businesses embrace Instagram, in some cases as its only web presence, to reach customers. Even as we peruse Instagram, we are seeing more companies have profiles as well as advertise. The visual nature of the platform, in our view, gives it a hefty leg up over Twitter and because the images “last” we say the same holds compared to Snap. Instagram is also a mobile-first platform, which means its appealing to smartphone users, the fastest growing category for digital commerce so far this holiday season. How long until the Facebook bears begin to wonder if Instagram’s success will eat into demand for Facebook?
Instagram announced this morning that it now has 25 million active business profiles, up from 15 million in July.
Instagram also says that more than 80 percent of Instagram accounts follow a business, with 200 million users visiting a business profile every day.
The growth is impressive since Instagram only launched these business profiles — which allow for more functionality in the profile itself, as well as access to additional analytics — about a year and a half ago.
Vishal Shah, director of product for Instagram Business, said that nearly 50 percent of business profiles don’t link to an outside website, suggesting that they see Instagram as their primary or sole online presence.
Businesses need to be smart about what they post to the feed and in their Instagram Stories, but the distribution strategy goes beyond that, to things like search and hashtags.
In fact, Instagram says that two-thirds of visits to business profiles come from users who don’t follow that profile. And one of the ways that Shah wants to grow the business product is by providing more detail about where visitors come from and what they do “downstream,” during or after that visit.