Instagram Says It’s For Business, Not Just Selfies, With New Account
Fresh off its global ad rollout, Facebook's visual social network launches @instagramforbusiness to highlight brands, creative agencies and small businesses having success with Instagram marketing.
Instagram is open for business, and this week the company created a new Instagram account — @instagramforbusiness — to emphasize that point.
The account, coming on the heels of the network opening up advertising globally last month, is intended to be a “source of inspiration for the business community.”
“Businesses have been an integral part of the platform’s ecosystem since we began,” Instagram said in a blog post, “and with the launch of Instagram ads worldwide, more and more businesses will use the platform to tell their business’ story.”
To be clear, Instagram took its time to fully embrace advertising, largely because some early attempts enraged some users who objected to commercial messages in their feeds. Such was the slow-play ad strategy that co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom was said to be personally reviewing all ads before they ran to make sure they didn’t look too much like advertisements.
The Facebook-owned network is no longer ad-shy. But brands have long realized that Instagram is one of the better places to reach fans without the need to advertise. Instagram users have shown an inclination to follow their favorite brands, especially those that serve up the pretty pictures that play well there. And many reports show that engagement on brands’ Instagram posts far surpasses engagement on other social networks.
The @instagramforbusiness account will highlight successes — both paid and organic — and share behind-the-scenes stories about Instagram marketing by brands, creative agencies and small businesses. First up is ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s, which has been posting on Instagram since 2011. It was also one of the first advertisers on the platform.
Mike Hayes, Ben & Jerry’s global digital marketing manager, said Instagram has helped the company improve its visual marketing.
“Instagram has made us realize, there isn’t one way to tell a story. There’s lots of different ways and approaches,” Hayes said in the Instagram blog post. “For the 30 years we were in business before Instagram, Ben & Jerry’s leveraged mainly illustrations to create our identity and to tell our stories. When we first joined Instagram, we didn’t really know what to take pictures of, or have a photography style. Over the last 4 years, we’ve developed our own style and have leveraged Instagram to connect with fans all over the world.”
“We are still amazed to this day about how passionate our fans our,” he added. “Not only in terms of engaging with our own posts, but also sharing pictures of themselves eating Ben & Jerry’s. Instagram has allowed us to leverage the relationship we have with our fans and make them even stronger.”