Small businesses are increasingly using Instagram for advertising and promotion, according to Wave 20 of our Local Commerce Monitor™ survey of small businesses (Q3/2016). While a Facebook page is still the most popular social media used by small businesses, their increased use of Instagram year-over-year, from 8.1% in Wave 18 (Q3/2014) to 15.1% in Wave 20 (Q3/2016). Of those small businesses using Instagram, the majority have a positive return on investment reflected in the fact that among the small businesses using Instagram, 35.4% are planning to increase their spend on Instagram over the next 12 months.
When it comes to marketing to small businesses that use social media, including Instagram, here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- For some SMBs, particularly smaller ones, social media is the backbone of their presence. Accordingly, service providers to SMBs need to appreciate the criticality of this role.
- Understand the specific challenges presented by the different social media platforms and offer products and services to SMBs that address them. For example, social media requires:
- Constant attention
- Quick responses to customer feedback, particularly negative feedback
- Message and content syncing across social media platforms
- Management of customer lists and targeting customer segments
- Syncing with email marketing
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