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When it comes to social media and gaining a presence for your brand, most businesses tend to stick with the main channels and the basics. Facebook and Twitter are the social media giants at the moment, but there’s another player in the mix that if you ignore, you’re seriously missing out on great opportunities.

Instagram is a network that is seeing huge growth increases each day, and is making changes (though sometimes regarded as controversial) to work more like more popular sites such as Facebook, as it now includes video features and a personalised timeline. So, why should your business take Instagram seriously?

It opens you up to a new audience

Although the user base of Instagram is growing and expanding, it’s largely a channel used by a predominantly younger audience, with the vast majority of registered users being under the age of 35. Therefore, if your business is looking to expand your horizons and test the waters with a new audience, it’s a great way to go.

It has the best engagement rate of all social media accounts for brands

Although a lot of meaningful consumer and brand interaction does predominantly happen on sites like Facebook and Twitter, Instagram outweighs the competition in terms of general engagement rates. This may be due to a few factors, including things like the nature of the audience and the fact that they’re more likely to be more active on the platform, and the simple fact that it’s easier to like a post on Instagram that it is to retweet something or ‘react’ to it on Facebook.

It’s a highly visual platform

The fact that it’s highly visual and image based means that it works wonders for industries like design, retail and beauty as it gives businesses and brands the opportunity to produce quick and simple content that showcases their products. It basically serves as free advertising if you have access to image content. It also gives you the opportunity to provide a physical face and personality to your company through imagery, which is useful for gaining interest and for growing a fan base.

It offers great collaboration opportunities

Instagram is the blogger and vlogger’s dream platform as it is made up of the audience they are generally most interested in targeting, and it gives them the chance to show off their purchases and freebies. This is where you come in. You can contact bloggers and vloggers on Instagram to collaborate with them to help grow your business, as they will usually post images of your products that you send to them, for example, and will tag you in the caption.