Ten years ago, who would have thought that something as simple as a photo-sharing app would become such a powerful Digital Marketing tool? Ranking right next to Facebook, Instagram has become so popular that it has been actively used by over 800 million people worldwide. Since its creation, there have been a multitude of improvements and advancements, including Instagram stories, filters and even more advertising opportunities added to the platform. All of this makes it the perfect time to create an Instagram Account for your Small Business.
With over millions of active Instagram users, you’re probably wondering how to get noticed by all of them. Don’t worry, we got you covered! Just follow this step-by-step guide to make the most out of your Instagram Account for your Small Business.
Set-Up Your Instagram Account
First things first. Download Instagram on your mobile device. Thankfully, like most Social Media Platforms, it’s free- bonus!
Once you begin creating your Instagram Profile, make sure you use the same profile photo and username that you have selected for your other Social Media Accounts, to avoid confusion amongst your customers. See to it that your Profile picture appeals to your target market and will help you stand out from your Instagram competition.
It’s also a good idea to link your new Instagram Account with your other Social Accounts, as this will allow you to automatically share your photos to multiple accounts should you so desire.
Create A Short And Fun Bio For Your Profile
Your bio shouldn’t be stuffed with a lot of information about your business. While you want to give enough detail, you really want your bio to be short, sharp and to the point. Make it too long and you may risk looking out of touch, or losing your viewer’s attention.
It’s always a good idea to include a link back to your Website, so users can follow up easily should they wish to learn more about your Business. If you have a physical shop, it’s also a good idea to even provide the location of your store. Just keep in mind that your bio should consist of the summary of your Business while entertaining them with your words.
After you’ve set-up your Business’s profile, it’s time to tell the world that you’re now officially an Instagram user!
One of the best ways to do this is to simply start following people, as this will help you attract people’s attention. Choose to follow other Businesses or influencers within your Industry, to keep you updated with industry trends and provide you with invaluable insight into your competition.
It’s also helpful to follow users in your Target Market. Liking and commenting on their photos will not only draw their attention to your Brand, but will help you get an idea of your potential customers likes, interests and habits. You’ll find out where they like to shop, what they buy, when they are most active Online and the places they frequent.
Plot Your Instagram Content Strategy
For anyone with a personal Instagram Account, there’s very little thought that often goes into posting their Instagram photos. However, for every Small Business Owner it’s absolutely vital that you approach each post with a concrete plan and strategy.
When creating your content strategy for your Instagram account, ask yourself the following questions:
- What are my main goals for this particular post?
- Is this content attention-grabbing and original?
- Is this post relevant to my audience? Why?
- Am I posting at the best time to reach my audience?
- Am I adding to the value of my viewer’s Online Experience?
Consider each of these questions carefully each time you plan to post and you should have the foundations of a strong Instagram posting strategy.
The best way to keep your followers engaged and interested in your Business is to maintain a regular posting schedule. One of the best ways to gauge how often you should be posting, is to carefully assess your Industry and the attitude of your followers.
Implement a ‘Trial and Error’ method, whereby you post pictures at different times and days, and then monitor the results. You can also use an Instagram analytics tool to keep track of all the information you need, which will help you adjust your posting schedule to maximise your success.
Post Interesting, Engaging Content
To keep your followers entertained, try to rotate through different themes for each of your posts. Don’t bombard your followers with pictures of your product, or they’ll just feel like you’re after their money.
Remember, Instagram is about connecting and engaging with your potential customers, not necessarily directly selling to them. Use your Instagram Account as an opportunity to gain deeper insight into your customers, interact with them on a personal level and humanise your Business in a way that makes you relatable.
Captivate With Captions
Aside from a captivating picture, you also need to include a caption that grabs the attention of your followers. Instagram captions allow for up to 2,200 characters and up to 30 hashtags, but this doesn’t mean you have to use all this space.
Hashtags are a very important aspect in the Instagram world. These have been defined as a way of standing out and they can help you boost your Business if you use them in the correct way. You can use them liberally, but make sure they are unique and they are relevant to your Business, Products, Services and Brand.
Just like any other good web copy, your words should be simple enough for your followers to understand, and should be in keeping with the tone and character of your Brand.
Never Post A Bad Image. Never.
Posting a poor image to Instagram is a cardinal sin. Just don’t do it. Instagram is all about spreading a good image of your Business Online, and you can’t do this if you’re posting low-quality visuals.
Make sure each post is of a high quality and is something that reflects well on your Business. Instagram provides a fun range of filters and editing tools should you need or want to improve the quality of your picture.
Just make sure the colors of your images are cohesive and follow a colour scheme that is consistent throughout your Instagram feed. This will give your account a professional, visually aesthetic and cohesive look.
Make Good Use Of Instagram Stories
If you’re not familiar with this feature of Instagram, it’s a form of sharing pictures in a slideshow format, which disappear after 24 hours. Unlike your Instagram photos, which you can plan more strategically, these stories show the raw and real side of your business. This can help to humanise your Business and make you more relatable and likable to your followers.
Instagram Stories should be fun and exciting, and you should utilise the stickers, text, and filter options that you can add to your photos. If you opt to post something more well thought of, you could add any media from your camera roll as long as it’s from the last 24 hours.
Promote Your Instagram Account
The world needs to know you’re on Instagram, and the only way to do this is to promote, promote, promote!
You can do this by sharing your Instagram to your other Social Media Accounts, and by adding the Instagram icon onto your Website, so it’s easily accessible to your Site visitors.
At this early stage of your Instagram journey, this may seem like a lot to take in. But creating an effective Instagram will take your Marketing Strategy to a whole new level, especially if you’re just starting to Digitally Market your Small Business.
Remember, getting a lot of followers on Instagram won’t happen overnight, but by following this step-by-step guide you’ll be establishing strong foundations to create a strong fan-base.
Get the ball rolling, follow these tips, and see how Instagram can be a powerful tool to boost your business!