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BizReport : Social Marketing : November 17, 2016

Less than one quarter of SMBs use Instagram

Instagram, today's most popular social media platform, is not being embraced by small businesses, according to new research from Manta.

by Helen Leggatt

Small businesses are failing to engage with millions of new customers, or engage with current customers, by shunning the use of Instagram, according to small business products and services provider Manta.

Their survey of 1,402 small business owners in the U.S. found that less than a quarter use the image-sharing social network. The reason, found Manta, is a lack of clear understanding as to how the platform works.

Nearly 4 in 10 (39%) of small business owners said the reason they do not use Instagram is because they don't know how it works while for 33% they do not use the platform as social media does not form part of their marketing strategy. Twenty-two percent said that, because their customers do not use Instagram they do not feel the need to do so, 7% do not see the value in it and 5% have no time for it.

Facebook was revealed to be the most widely used social media website among small businesses, with 39% of owners using the website to market their business.

"To effectively use Instagram, small business owners should first determine their goals and budget to develop an Instagram strategy," said Manta VP of Marketing, Sara Oberst. "With the right goals in place, small businesses can begin connecting with their customers in a visual way. Instagram is an especially powerful tool for businesses with visually appealing products as customers are able to see photos on their news feeds and ask questions or interact with the brand before making a purchase."

Of the 24% of small business owners surveyed who are on Instagram, 92% said they do so to reach new customers while 41% are using it to show off their company's values. Other reasons small business owners said they are using the social platform is to support their community, engage their existing customers, provide customer service and promote sales or specials.

Tags: marketing, research, Small Business, social media

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