News, Insights and Stories from the Australian and New Zealand tech ecosystem.

Instagram’s business tools aim to help SMEs without a digital presence get online

If it is Sheryl Sandberg’s job to oversee the way that people connect with each other over the internet, than it is Marne Levine’s job to monitor how people are expressing themselves visually, on mobile. Appointed to the role of Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Instagram in late 2014, Levine, also a board member of Sandberg-founded organisation Lean In, was in Sydney last week to officially launch the suite of tools the company has created for business.

Launched with an event featuring both traditional Australian media personalities as well as recognisable local ‘Instagrammers’ with large followings, like three of the founders of Frank Body, the suite of business tools includes special business profiles so that businesses can stand out to their customers, and insights to help users understand the activity they are engaged in on the platform and understand what is going on.

Users are also taken through content strategy so they understand how to turn a successful post into a high-performing advertisement, helping them put the right story in front of the right customer at the right time.

“My goal is to make Instagram a home for small businesses to grow and to thrive on,” said Levine. “We want to help them deepen their relationship with existing customers and reach new customers in places where they have not been able to reach before.”

While businesses have been on Instagram since the platform’s launch in 2010, it was only last year that advertising became available to both enterprise and small businesses.

With the SME sector being the backbone of the Australian economy and the number one provider of jobs in the country right now, it makes sense that Instagram would choose Australia as its first destination to activate its suite of tools.

“There is such a vibrant small business community in Australia, it was such a natural decision for us to launch there first,” said Levine.

With over 1 million Australian small businesses, about half of them, still not having a digital presence while smartphone penetration increases across the country on a daily basis, perhaps Instagram for Business is the perfect gateway platform for getting those companies onto the internet.

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Image: Marne Levine. Source: Supplied.





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