As with other social media platforms, Instagram can be a helpful tool to promote your small business. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Instagram revolves around pictures and short videos, which brings a whole new visual marketing technique to the table. With 130 million active monthly users and climbing its popularity is growing by the day and being owned by Facebook surely doesn’t hurt. And since jumping on yet another social media platform can be a little overwhelming, here are three essential tips to know as you enter the Instagram universe and utilize it to help your small business gain a personality.
First and foremost, you need to post compelling content. You will not receive the engagement or the follower base that you’re aiming for if the content you are posting isn’t appealing or relevant to your customer base and business focus. Try not to only promote your business, products, and services. Find a balance between ‘advertising’ and sharing fun, personal photos. For example, share a new product, a behind-the-scenes shot, and a photo of an office party. This helps followers feel more connected to your brand by giving it a face, thus making it more likely for followers to interact with your business.
Secondly, using hashtags can help expose your content to people who otherwise would not have known about you or your business. Think of hashtags as links to various categories on Instagram; using hashtags for your photos is the easiest way to help people find your business. Whenever you share a photo or video on Instagram, add a few relevant hashtags that someone might search when looking for your business, products or services. For example, a clothing store might post an outfit idea for the fall and insert the hashtag #FallTrends. Hashtags can ultimately lead people to you and your business because people often use the Explore feature within Instagram to search for interesting topics and pictures using hashtags. You can use sites like http://web.stagram.com/ to explore what hashtags are popular and use some of those top hashtags in your post.
Lastly, interactions are crucial on Instagram. After all, it is social media; you cannot exclude the social aspect and expect to get favorable results. Aside from posting intriguing content and including relevant hashtags, you need to interact with others on Instagram. Interacting can (and should) be done in a few ways for best results. Following others is a good start. Look for people with similar businesses and connect with locals as well as people that look like they would take an interest in your company. Once you have a bit of a following, begin ‘liking’ and taking a general interest in what others are sharing.
Instagram is a visual platform, so always be on the lookout for creative content that would interest your followers. Add in a few hashtags, and you’re good to go. Interact with others by following, ‘liking’, sharing, and commenting on pictures and videos you find interesting and also pertain to your business. And be sure to repost your Instagram photos to your other social media networks to maximize their reach. Instagram can be a great tool to reach your audience from a visual aspect. Start with these tips and find out what works for your business. Ultimately, Instagram can and will drive people to your small business if used effectively.