As of the end of June 2018, Instagram had 400 million daily active users. Facebook, which owns Instagram, has 2.23 billion monthly active users as of the 2nd quarter of 2018. I cringe when I hear people with small businesses asking why social media marketing is important and saying that they don't want to feel like they have to learn about social media to market their product or business. Social media marketing is very under-priced if you know how to use what is out there to get people's attention.
Facebook ads are relatively cheap. It won't be that way for long, but right now it isn't expensive to run regular ads on the platform. That being said, you still have to deal with constant algorithm changes and issues that make it hard for ads to be seen. It's easy for ads to get buried (on Facebook and Instagram actually) in the user's feed. This is where making good use of Instagram Stories comes in.
Creating an Instagram Story is free. It is accessible to anyone who visits your page by clicking your profile photo. It also shows at the top of the page of your followers, along with any other accounts they follow. This puts what you want them to see up front where they can find it. You can also save your stories to your page so they can be easily accessed and viewed anytime.
Your Instagram Story can have photos or video. You can play around with any number of the features available such as stickers, background music, interactive polls, or questions. Imagine that, you can create interactive ads seen by billions for free. You can get immediate feedback from your followers on anything. Not sure which cover to use for your novel? Just ask. Creating a new clothing line and not sure what your t-shirt logo should look like? Ask your followers. Promoting an event? Post a flyer prior to the event and share live photos from the event in real time. You can even cross-post your Instagram Story to Facebook to reach more people.
I don't like traditional Facebook ads or Instagram ads. They interrupt my feed as I am trying to see posts from people I follow. I was on Facebook the other day and I started going through Facebook Stories. I came across the Facebook Story for Big Lots that had been cross-posted from Instagram Stories. I was clicking through the photos and started to interact with the posts. I got to the end and realized that I was actually enjoying with an ad for home decor. I hadn't shopped at Big Lots in a while and I wanted to go there and shop after that. I call that effective marketing.
If you still aren't comfortable using social media, hire someone to post for you. Social media is where the attention is these days and if you want that attention to be on you, then you need to actively participate in getting your business seen by the masses.