Instagram - Get the Picture?

24/05/2021 15:54:31

An Insta overview

In case you are not familiar with Instagram, it is a platform that predominantly focuses on pictures and videos as a means of projecting a certain image or message. Originally with the idea of being a digital instant polaroid camera, the user uploads a picture to show what is happening in their world at that moment (with or without an arty filter). It has evolved from this concept to accommodate video and has its own sub-channels of InstaTV, Reels and Stories. It can be for personal use or business use and has over one billion users worldwide.

woman looking though glasses
Instagram is very much a visual form of social media, where a picture speaks 1000 words. This means that it works a lot better for some businesses than others. For example, it may be a lot harder for an accountancy firm to ‘break’ Instagram than, say, an interior designer. The content needs to be eye-catching, visually pleasing and demonstrative of the work done. Not to slight accountancy, but a budget sheet or an incredible sum may not evoke the same excitement and appreciation as a freshly groomed dog or Boris’ new home furnishings…

As a business-to-business agency, we’ve decided not to go down the Insta route - largely because we know it isn’t where the majority of our target audiences spend their time.

According to Instagram, 90% of people on Instagram follow a business and 2 in 3 people said that Instagram enables interaction with brands. In terms of demographics, the majority of its users are under 35 and 51% are female. You can view more statistics here: Click Me

In the top 50 accounts on Instagram, there are 3 accounts that would count as a business in the sense we mean it in this article. These are NIKE, Victoria’s Secret and NASA. Of course, a lot of influencers, musicians and celebrities are now businesses in themselves.
Instagram statistics
insta stats

Why is IG good? 

Well, it is generally thought to be the best platform for engagement, which is, after all, what social media is all about. In a world of scrolling and 8-second chances, a great image or video can grab another user, quickly, and convert them to business. It reaches another audience of visual people, who prefer (or perhaps only have time) to see rather than read. It is also a great way of building a free portfolio, where all your products and services are catalogued in one place; for many, it is their ‘store front’.

The instant element of Instagram, best demonstrated in the ‘Stories’ feature, allows users to feel closer and more involved with the individual or business posting; this builds trust that extends into your products or services.


As mentioned, if your business is not best represented visually, it can be a wasted effort. Some things, no matter how important, cannot be aptly represented by an image or video. On this point, Instagram gives across a more casual, arty image; if your business is very corporate or relies on its serious or perhaps private reputation, an Instagram account may be in contrast or even a detriment to your brand image. It is also important to consider the demographics of Instagram; if all your clients or customers are over 60, this may not be the most efficient way of reaching them.

A business needs to weigh up the time it would take to create an Instagram presence, and the monitoring of it, against the general interest and uptake. Making creative and eye-catching content is a time-consuming activity! Especially if your products or services are not naturally photogenic.

Getting the most from ‘The ‘Gram’.

To get the most out of Instagram, a business needs to decide exactly the ‘image’ it wants to project, who it wishes to appeal to and be consistent. By that we mean to get an aesthetic that is synonymous with your brand/business - that projects who you are and your core values. For example, if you manufacture and install lighting, you do not want your images to be dull or badly lit. Similarly, if you make beds, you would probably like your aesthetic to be calming and restful (although no judgement here if not…). Being consistent with posting is also important, irrespective of how much or how little, it needs to be uniform and reliable. Once a week on a Friday or everyday at 6pm; your clients need to know when to expect your content.


Cater your content with your target audience in mind; What do they want to see? What will grab their attention? What will encourage them to follow and engage with the business? According to Wikipedia, past research has shown that people’s faces receive more likes and comments than other content. It is great to add a personal touch by featuring staff and/or customers when possible. This is another way to build trust and rapport with your audience.


It is important to get a good grip on hashtags - this is Instagram’s way of organising content. For a business, these will probably be very similar to the keywords you would use on a company website. People can search a hashtag and Instagram will show them all the content that has been tagged with that particular word or phrase – you need to be in it to win it!  


Get the picture?

To conclude, Instagram can be brilliant for businesses and can be used in so many ways to suit and depict the nuances of its user and their goals. That said, it is a time-consuming enterprise that, arguably, is more suited to products than professional services.