Instagram has more than 800 million users worldwide, making it one of the most popular social networking site. Hence, big brands like Coca Cola, Nike, Adidas and Starbucks utilize it to its full potential. But what makes Instagram popular among small business owners?
You don’t have to be an enterprise-sized company to get value from Instagram. In fact, the mobile app allows small businesses to compete with the “big daddies.”
How can you use Instagram for small business?
- Set up your Business Account
The first and foremost step is to have an Instagram Business Account in the first place. Summarize your business details in your Insta Bio which should be short and snappy Include a link back to your site in your Insta Bio. Choose a username and photo that clearly illustrates your brand
- Understand the #Hashtag Concept
Knowing that Instagram is a #Hashtag world is not enough, you also need to understand the concept. Make liberal use of Hashtags but make sure they are related to your post. You may also make use of online tools to find related Hashtags.
- Insta Stories is the way
What is Instagam without Insta Stories? Make utmost from this Insta feature. Start experimenting and get creative to see what you can come up with.
- Keep Tracking
Are you paying attention to which Instagram posts get the most engagement? Do you know which hashtags perform the best? Using Instagram reporting tools can help you see all of this information from a single dashboard and track it over time.
- Engaging Videos
Videos are a very important part of the strategy when it comes to small businesses. With Instagram Stories and live videos, the app is making a clear push toward video content. The great thing about using Instagram videos is they don’t require a ton of production. All you really need is your phone and some creativity. Plus the videos are served in bite-size pieces with a time limit of one minute.
- Run an Insta Contest
People simply love free stuff. This is one of the best methods to create new followers for your brand. This will also give you an opportunity to engage and interact with your current and potential customers.
There are certain elements that you’ll want to include in your contest to maximize your results:
Make a theme for your contest instead of the generic “follow us to win a free product” approach.
Create a custom hashtag for your contest.
Make people tag a friend and comment to enter the contest. This will help your contest spread a lot quicker.
Start promoting the contest at least a week before it starts to build anticipation.
Consider collaborating with other companies or influencers to get even more reach.
- Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is one of the best ways to quickly build up your Instagram following, particularly when you’re starting from scratch. Through influencer marketing, you can connect with people with an established following and get exposed to their audience.
Start by making a list of the top influencers in your industry. Look for them on Instagram to make sure they have an engaged audience. It’s not just about how many followers they have, it’s about how much engagement they get. Check out how many Likes and comments they get on their posts and how often they post.
Then reach out and let them know you’re interested in working together. It’s best to have some ideas for what you’d like to do before approaching them. Two common options are contests and sponsored posts. Also, the influencer might have some ideas on how you can work together as well.
- Capitalize on Instagram ads
Instagram Ads present a great opportunity for small businesses because it’s extremely affordable. Getting started is simple, particularly if you already have a Facebook Advertising account because it’s built into the same platform.
One of the quickest ways to get a surge of new followers is to get a shout out or mention from someone that already has a large following. The great thing about Instagram is that a lot of popular accounts aren’t owned by huge corporations. They’re owned by regular people and lifestyle entrepreneurs who have done a lot of the leg work to build their own audience already. When these people give a brand a shout out, their followers instantly go to check out the account and will more than likely give you a follow.
- Keep an eye on competitors followers
This could be the last but a very important step. Make a list of your top competitors who are active on Instagram. You may want to put them all into a spreadsheet to make it easier to track. Start with the first competitor and follow about 50-100 of their followers. This step alone will get you a few new followers. But we’re not just after followers, we want engaged followers who will help spread the word about our brand. In order to attract those users, you’ll need to communicate with them. You can do this by liking their pics and commenting on them.
If you’re still not using Instagram for small business yet, you’re missing out on a potential gold mine of opportunities. Start with it ASAP!