Instagram helps business owners reach a wider audience and build valuable connections with customers and fellow creatives while attracting potential brand deals and sponsorships.
- Social-media accounts can effectively reach a customer base with a more personal touch than an ad or email campaign.
- With 1.21 billion active monthly users on Instagram, the social-media platform represents a significant opportunity for business owners to reach their audiences.
- Through Instagram for Business, creators can push out ads, get the latest tips and tricks for connecting with their market, and gain insights into what’s trending on the platform.
- Around 90% of Instagram users follow a business account, and 70% like or do not mind seeing ads in their Instagram feed, according to a Global Media study.
- The same study found that Instagram is the number one media platform for establishing brand relationships.
Why it’s news
Connecting with an audience is essential for building a following in a business. Instagram offers a personal way to interact with and grow relationships with consumers. For Peter Capar, that connection and sense of community is one of the most valuable things he has gained from promoting his small business on Instagram.
Capar sells his products through pTree’s WorkShop on Etsy, but many of his customers find him through Instagram. Many of his products are to help craftsmen like himself. He uses 3-D printers to create cable hose clips, palm sander holders, and other organizing products for power tools. His shop also features more creative products like 3-D printed ornaments or laser-cut wooden Christmas trees.
Recently, Capar’s Instagram account reached 100,000 followers—a process that took five years.
“If you told me five years ago, I’d be where I am right now. I’d tell you that you’re crazy,” Capar says.
On Instagram, Capar found the maker community, a group of creatives whose skills range from 3-D printing to hand carving and welding to leather working. Finding that community on Instagram not only helped Capar build his business but gave him the support he needed as it grew.
That same community that offers Capar support has also played a role in building his customer base.
“My direct audience, for the most part, is people working in their shops in their basement garages—wherever they might be—and tons of different mediums, and when they buy stuff for me, oftentimes they’ll tag me, and I’ll just post it on my stories through a link up there, and I get a couple of extra sales,” Capar tells Leaders Media.
Instagram Stories allow users to post a photo or video that remains active for 24 hours. Users can include links to other sites in these Stories. In Capar’s experience, he has found that his audience tends to pay more attention to these temporary Stories than a permanent photo in his timeline.
“Anytime I’m working on a project. I’m pretty heavy into doing Stories. Stories is really where you shine, and where you really get a lot of sales from because people get excited about the projects that they see you working on and want to see more,” he explains.
Capar’s recent audience growth also comes with the opportunity for brand deals and sponsorships—a perk Capar has recently started taking greater advantage of.
Often, brands will simply send Capar a sample of their product for him to use or wear during his videos. He pointed to a Brunt t-shirt as an example.
“Brunt is not demanding anything. It’s comfortable gear. It’s really solid. I’m going to wear it. And people ask me what I’m wearing. I’m going to tell them,” Capar says.
As Capar’s Instagram account has grown, he has had other sponsorship opportunities that offer a more direct payment opportunity. Other brands that Capar has not made any official deals with yet have offered compensation for a certain number of videos featuring a product.
While the size of Capar’s account has drawn in more potential sponsors recently, he says he started getting offers when his account had around 10,000 followers.
However, for Capar, the community he has found on Instagram is the most valuable tool the social-media platform offers him.
“This community is just absolutely incredible. Everyone is so supportive. You know, like some of my closest friends that I have made over the last four or five years, I still talk to, and some of them, I still haven’t met,” he says.
Leaders Media will produce similar content about other social media platforms in the coming weeks.