Back in November, we ranted and raved about the perks of creating an Instagram Business account. We sang the praises of the potential reach it can grant a seller and how easy it is to set up shop. The app in and of itself is also lots of fun, visually appealing, and widely popular - it would be crazy not to use it! But just as there are advantages to any tool, there are also disadvantages that sellers should be aware of going in.
One unique challenge sellers may face is competitors may be able to gain insight into your marketing strategies when growing an audience. Some have been known to use an app called “Social Blade” to try to observe how you gained your followers and then mimic your tactics. But before you worry, just know that this app only provides graphs and charts that track progress and growth. No personal data is shared other than estimated earnings and future projections.
A second challenge is attempting to grow your following organically. In other words, it can be challenging to increase your following without purchasing followers. Because this platform has an algorithm similar to Facebook, you may notice a sudden drop in engagement numbers when making the switch from a personal to business account. Why? Your content will be harder to see because the algorithm will assume that users value posts from a friend rather than a business. The additional factor that could affect growth is the fact that Instagram, like Facebook, generates their revenue from ads. You are essentially Instagram’s ideal customer because they assume you are a brand eager to promote your products. Many influencers suspect that the difficulty in growing a following might be because Instagram is subtly trying to force accounts to pay for advertisements.
Lastly, certain features of an Instagram Business account aren’t available until you hit the 10k follower threshold. When a user hits or exceeds this amount, you can utilize the “story” feature on Instagram and have the fan “swipe up” to lead them to a page where they can purchase the item directly. If you haven’t reached this cap, you will need to settle for the basic functions of the app.
Can’t decide if Instagram is the right tool for you? Don’t be put off by it’s disadvantages. We still encourage you to explore Instagram as a tool, as it can open up a new channel of communication and is one of the most visually appealing apps used to promote products. As long as you understand some of the potential challenges you might face, we believe this app is a crucial tool for pivoting one’s business online and driving more sales.