The Age of Business on Instagram

We all are familiar with Instagram and using it to post our life’s highlights to the quirky pictures or scroll through memes and cat pics. But in recent times, especially since there were lockdowns everywhere due to the Coronavirus pandemic, I have observed an explosion of people starting online businesses on Instagram. Business has really taken a whole new form with Instagram at its centre. Of course, there were influencers and big businesses and digital marketing on Instagram before but this trend of starting small businesses from home is a new trend. I personally know at least five people in their early twenties who have either recently graduated or are about to graduate who have started businesses on Instagram. For example, one of my closest friends used to have a travel and food blog called Confessions of a Travellerr before the pandemic, but during lockdown, she worked on and expanded her skills at baking and ended up starting a business on Instagram called Navadough which has started to really take off now. Another friend started a business through Instagram with her mum and brother to cook and deliver Mughlai food (a cuisine from North-India) called Honey’s Kitchen. Her mum looks after cooking, her brother over delivery while she is responsible for marketing on Instagram and getting orders in. Conversely, I know of a few people who have started businesses on Instagram selling shoes and thrifting clothes.

So why is starting businesses so popular on instagram suddenly? 

Things in common in most of these new businesses is that they started during the pandemic by people in their early 20s (or what I would call the Instagram generation) from home and are successful. I believe since people were at home during the lockdown, people thought of doing businesses and Instagram is one of, if not the most convenient platform to choose for a business store-front. It allows for great marketing opportunities, where one can create great looking walls with posts curated to a theme, stories with polls, reactions, location, stickers, etc. which can all also be saved to highlights to always show up at the top which is a great place to for example showcase a menu or customer reviews or just contact details apart from Instagram.

Further, as I mentioned above most of these are started by people in their early 20s or as I called the Instagram Generation, people who grew up with the digitalisation of the world, who have been on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat since their early years. They already have a network of friends and family on Instagram, and thus a potential market. Moreover, more often than not, their friends and family are willing to share their posts with their networks, thereby increasing marketing for free. This brings me to my third point, Instagram is cost efficient. For people who are just starting businesses and are not looking to spend a whole lot of money, gaining followers on Instagram costs no money and makes it possible to actually grow a network without paid advertisements through the correct and efficient use of hashtags and location tags. Furthermore, Instagram’s business account offers great features for businesses including post and story analytics. Thus, small start-up businesses are definitely on the rise on Instagram.

I absolutely love supporting and cheering on my friends and their businesses. Do you or someone you know also have businesses on Instagram?