Instagram For Small Businesses – What You Need To Know
Instagram is a photo-sharing platform that has seen massive growth over the last few years with over 800 million accounts now active. Tons of people have started to engage on this platform, making it a hugely valuable place for small businesses to grow and get their products or services in front of customers from all around the world.
Learn the platform
After you’ve taken the time to register on Instagram, make sure that you understand the platform! The site can be a lot of fun when you get used to it but it would help to have some knowledge before spending too much time in there. Just like other social networking sites, your experience will improve when you are able to adapt and play with the format in front of you! You might also take note that while everyone is free to post whatever they like whenever they like, there should always be a certain level of content curation if you want your account to be very successful. The best way would be to authentically contribute, follow those who share similar content with you and ignore those who post irrelevant things.
Using search to do research
You can find any content, people and businesses you’d like to follow by doing a search in the Instagram app. Once you’ve opened up your app to the discover section, then tap the magnifying glass icon at the bottom left corner of your screen which will bring up an option for searching People, Tags or Places. As you enter what you would like to find in the search bar at the top of your screen, results are specified based on other users connected to people you already follow, terms and hashtags that users have liked and some other factors as well that help determine relevant material from around Instagram so that you can choose what interests you most.
You can make use of hashtags to help people find your content on Instagram. Kind of like keywords that tell Instagram what your post is about, a hashtag is essential to making sure you will not lose sight of the hash key (a.k.a: the pound sign). For example, as a web design company we make it clear that #webdesign is used for posts related to our business; whereas more specific hashtags such as #webdesigncompany are used for posts relating to our product or brand specifically. This means that anyone doing an Instagram search for #webdesigncompany, which is what we’re hoping potential clients will do when looking for solutions, will immediately see our business and can follow us directly from our post. Using more targeted hashtags may not get as many followers overall yet they are still aligned with the purpose which means greater visibility and probable purchase in the end!
Instagram Stories is quite similar to Snapchat’s stories feature but is a unique concept of its own! This allows you to present your work in a way that is visual and engaging by juxtaposing multiple images or videos. However, it has its own set of rules that one might not be familiar with at the beginning so it can be a great platform to build confidence on Instagram before eventually using their accounts as well as experimenting with how you want to convey your brand identity.
Here are a few ideas on what you could post:
- Office photos/videos
- Team action pics
- Networking events
- Special offers
- Customer visits
- Industry related tip of the day
- Product photos
Some tips on building followers:
- Post regularly – at least once a day
- Get together a bank of images, so you can plan out posts easily
- Follow others, comment and share their images. The majority of people will follow you back
- Research the most popular and relevant hashtags for your business and use them in your posts