Many companies enjoy a local community setting where they’ve established roots and gotten to know their customers. To ensure their business continues growing, most companies have also harnessed the power of technology to reach even more people online. Some companies even solely conduct their business just online.

Understanding the impact technology can have on your business seems to go without saying. It clearly is helping both small and large companies achieve greater success. However, staying on top of new technology trends, which have been changing so rapidly has become a tougher initiative.

Marketers see 2018 and the next couple years really requiring an accelerated approach to adoption. So just thinking in terms of community, here are two social technology platforms you need to consider now that can help you efficiently and effectively engage prospects and customers.

  • Say Hello on Facebook Messenger
  • Like my story, photo or video on Instagram

At the end of last year, Facebook commissioned a study by Nielsen, which found that 330 million people connected with a small business on Facebook Messenger for the first time in 2017. Of people who currently use messaging to connect with their favorite brands, 63 percent said their messaging activity has increased over the past two years, and 67 percent expect to message businesses even more over the next two years.

These statistics indicate that people have transferred their comfort level with Messenger for connecting with family and friends to interacting with companies. It’s time to get onboard and begin using Messenger to your advantage. Helping prospects get more details about specific products or services or answering customers questions about a product they already bought, provides a more personalized connection in an online environment, which sometimes feels cold and impersonal.

Instagram is another platform that has some pretty impressive numbers. Facebook owns Instagram and while it has twice as many users, a 2017 study found that Instagram posts show three times more engagement than other social media posts. Also, 80 percent of accounts now follow at least one business and 200 million Instagrammers visit the profile of a business every day. Millions of businesses are joining every month for a reason.

Instagram also reports that 45 percent of small businesses that use their platform report increased sales and 44 percent say the platform helps them sell in additional, cities, states or countries. These numbers are only expected to grow, as video and images continue to dominate more of our collective attention.

To get started, you need to create a captivating company profile page on both these platforms. Start with Facebook. And remember to focus on what sets your business apart and use these platforms to show off your business in a way that is a little more creative and personal. Since Instagram is owned by Facebook, when you click the link in your personal Instagram account to switch to a Business Profile and put in the name of your company, the app will tie your business’s Facebook page to your Instagram account. Now what you publish in Instagram will automatically be posted to your Facebook page as well.

Prospects and customers can now also contact you directly from your business profile pages. Utilizing technology platforms are key to reaching customers and engaging with them during their daily activities. Facebook Messenger and Instagram definitely seem worth devoting some time and resources to.

Additional Resources:

Marketing Technology Decisions Every Company Must Make

Boost Online Sales With Social Media

15 Best Social Media Tools