How Instagram is insufficient for some small businesses

Yet as Noihsaf grew so did the problems. Posts usually disappear whenever an Instagram upgrade occurs. And it’s hard to get help, according to Lindello, who set up a backup account to deal with the challenges. Earlier this year, she became a paid advertiser, giving the platform $ 500 to see if it would result in better attention to her issues, but the recent outage, which began on November 1, proves that this is not the case. Although Noihsaf is an LLC, Lindello’s attempts for years to have the brand “verified” on Instagram with a blue check mark, a process she heard would provide access to troubleshooting help, have not been approved.

“Instagram is promoting itself as this community builder and supporter of small business and that’s exactly what we did. We have built this amazing and robust community. And now we are completely punished, ”Lindello said, speculating that“ maybe we are being overlooked because we don’t have the advertising funds like these big companies do ”.

Obtaining individual human support has been particularly difficult, said Lindello. Some Instagram employees referred her to Facebook’s help center, which then referred her to Instagram.

A spokesperson for Meta emailed Ad Age the following statement: “We know it can be frustrating to go through any kind of disruption as a small business. We strive to make our tools simple and easy to use and to offer free self-service advice for all businesses. Additionally, all advertisers can get 1: 1 support through chat concierge or messaging channels by clicking “SUPPORT” from our help resource page. ”

Still, small business advocates say the platform is simply not set up to offer support at a level that would help a company like Noihsaf or its peers grow their businesses. Jones said Instagram simply lacks the infrastructure from a customer support standpoint to help small brands that depend on it for revenue generation.

“They are not put in place in any capacity of support from a customer service perspective for any of the small or large businesses that depend on them,” she said. “If they were really working with the intention of maintaining a strong engagement of businesses large and small on their platforms, they should have genuine customer service that they needed to engage with on a regular basis,” she added, noting the accessibility of customer support. operations at Square and Squarespace, for example.

Jones urges her clients, which include creative founders and entrepreneurs such as wedding designers, florists, ceramists and executives in the film and television industry, to avoid what she calls “co- addiction ”with social platforms. She estimates that she spends between 30% and 40% of her time helping clients navigate the effectiveness of these platforms and explore alternatives.

In Lindello’s case, that means creating Noihsaf’s own website, a project she has been working on for several months. The membership-based site will function on its own, like a Poshmark, without relying on Instagram, which Lindello can continue to use as a marketing tool for content and designer interviews, for example. Its site is expected to roll out in beta later this month, with the expectation that it will be fully operational by January 1.

“People are logging in and checking Instagram just to watch Noihsaf Bazaar – we’ve totally powered the machine,” she said. “There are many factors involved in the change of platform, but the most important is that we cannot provide the level of service to our community, we cannot continue to grow our community on Instagram. From day one we were at their mercy.

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