Have you started a new business? And looking for the right strategies that could help you market your business in front of the right audience. Then, look no further today we will talk about how you can use Instagram for small businesses. A remarkable fact is that Instagram has more than 1 billion active users per month. It gives business owners an unmatched opportunity to put their business in front of the perfect audience to get converted into your customer.
What sets Instagram apart from other social media platforms is the type of audience that resides on this popular platform. Instagram is famous mainly because it only allows posting visual content on its platform. That is that you can only share a photo or a video on this popular social media platform.
Instagram is not only suitable for a business that’s looking to increase its brand awareness. But it’s also ideal for a company looking to get sales or acquire customers that you can make through your marketing efforts. It also holds great potential to increase your social media engagement and build a social media community of loyal brand advocates actively engaging with your business. And how it works? In this article, I’ll talk about all the hacks and effective ways to use Instagram for small businesses.
Why Should You Use Instagram for Small Business?
One of the most justifiable reasons to use Instagram for small businesses is that almost 2 million businesses use Instagram to connect with people online. And expressing it on the facts, 90% of the people on Instagram follow a company. And 50% of the people are more interested in a brand if they see their ad on Instagram.
Apart from that, Instagram gives a pool of features that businesses can utilize to increase their footprints, such as business accounts, Instagram shops, or even the creator account that supports individual content creators such as photographers, writers, marketers, etc.
Let’s suppose you aren’t finished with that. In that case, it also gives an option to promote your content through Instagram ads. It has a detailed targeting mechanism to put your content right before the ideal audience that best describes your customer persona.
How to Create a Perfect Instagram Profile for Small Businesses? (12 Things You Should Consider)
You need to go through a few pointers before you get started on Instagram. Optimizing your profile with just the correct information will help you increase its overall appearance and make it stand out among others.
Identify Which Accounts Suit Your Needs
Using Instagram for small business, you must first identify which account type would be perfect for you to kick start your marketing on Instagram. For instance, an individual account is just an ordinary account that allows you to post and share your content on the natively popular platform. An Instagram management tool can be a perfect companion for you to start off and manage all your activities from a single dashboard.
Going further, a business account has a lot more to offer, like the analytics feature that will show you the performance of each post, story, or reel. All of these metrics don’t only help you to keep track of your routine but can also help in identifying the content that’s performing well. It comes in handy when planning your social media content calendar and helps redirect your content marketing efforts in the right direction.
(Source: Rachel Pederson’s Instagram)
After that, you have the Instagram shops; now, the shops feature is quite helpful for businesses more into the ecommerce ecosystem. The shops’ feature allows you to set up a store on Instagram and add products directly to catalogs, Allowing customers to make purchases directly from your store.
Boosting through Instagram ads, it allows you to retarget your product to an audience that has already interacted with you, your brand, or your website. It will increase the chances of conversions and convert your customers into recurring customers for your brand.
Finally, we have the creator account now; this account is ideal for public figures or solo runners who are more into content creation. A creator account offers almost every feature provided with a business account, apart from the option to add third-party apps integration.
Getting Started With Your Instagram Account
I am guessing you are now aware of which account would be ideal for you when you are using Instagram for small business. Proceeding further, you should start with filling out the details needed to create your Instagram business account. An Instagram profile gives you a lot of opportunities to get started. It’s where people on Instagram go to learn more about your business, visit your website or even book an appointment.
Write a Catchy Bio
Instagram allows you to write a bio of up to 150 characters. So, I encourage everyone to make full use of it. Use a description that describes the best of who you are and what you do? Use it to grab the audience’s attention by visiting your profile and hook them with the perfect bio that leads them to follow your account. Here are a few pointers to help you write up the perfect bio for your Instagram account.
(Source: Matt Navara’s Instagram)
Write short and precise descriptions – There’s no need to keep the description lengthy. People who are visiting your profile have a very short attention span. So your words should grab their attention at the very first glance; otherwise, they will probably bounce off.
Use CTA’s – Using CTA’s in your bio is a great way to get your audience to make an action. It can be used for multiple reasons, like driving traffic to an external resource, getting your audience to make a purchase, and much more.
Use an Emoji – Emojis are a great way to save up space on the character limit and add a fun element to your bio. The right emoji can set the perfect image for your brand, so use the emoji that best describes your brand.
Use Line Breaks – Using line breaks in your bio can save it from looking cluttered and give a nice look to your Instagram bio.
Choose the Perfect Profile Picture
A profile picture is what gets you recognized on Instagram. Suppose you are using Instagram for small business. In that case, you should set up your brand logo as your profile picture because that’s a part of your identity, and that’s something that will get you recognized on Instagram. Make sure to keep your profile picture uniform across all social media platforms because it might confuse your audience if it’s not set the same.
Instagram allows adding a profile picture of around 320 x 320 pixels. Along with that, you probably might have to crop it a little bit, and your profile picture is displayed with a circle frame. So keep the above few things in mind while setting up your profile picture.
Make the Most of Link in Bio Feature
The link in bio feature is a great way to drive traffic to your external website, your latest blog posts, or even to a current campaign that you wish to promote. It gives you the ability to have a clickable link in your bio that redirects to the link that you have placed. Remember, it’s the only clickable link that’s allowed on a profile with less than 10,000 followers, so ensure to include one and use it wisely! If you run any social media marketing agency then you can link your website in the bio.
(Source: Social Media Examiner’s Instagram)
Update Your Contact Info
It’s essential to set up your contact info when using Instagram for small businesses so that people can communicate directly with your brand. So you must set it up with a company email address, contact number, and physical address. When your contact information is updated on Instagram, it sets up corresponding buttons (Call, Text, Email, or Get Directions) for your profile.
(Source: Social Champ’s Instagram)
Optimize Action Buttons
Instagram business accounts have the option to add action buttons to their profile; that’s quite helpful in terms of making your customers take action. You need an account with one of Instagram’s partners to use this feature.
Use Story Highlights and Cover Feature
Story highlights are an excellent feature for spreading the word to your audience. This saved collection of stories shows directly on your profile and is quite helpful to increase the reach of your content.
(Source: Dennis Yu’s Instagram)
Geotag Your Posts
Now that our Instagram profile is ready, it’s time to move on to our next phase to increase our post reach. People often search for a particular post based on different hashtags or specific regions or demographics. Instagram allows its users to tag a particular area to your post that gives an idea of where the content originated.
Like someone is searching for landmarks in London, they may type in the hashtag “landmarks” in their search, but what it will do it will pull every post shared with the following hashtag. The user can filter them out based on their location, so when someone selects London from the location option, it will only show the posts that have the area of London geotagged with the post. This feature could help your brand get discovered in location searches when you are using Instagram for small business.
Instagram guides are a great way to put your content in the spotlight. They give you a chance to compile your favorite posts into one piece of featured content. They allow you to embed a caption with a post to describe the product or listing you are featuring and take it as an article.
(Source: Social Media Examiner’s Instagram)
Craft the Perfect Caption
Captions grab the readers’ attention and may get the user to scroll over your post. So it’s necessary to draft the perfect caption that resonates with your content and grabs the attention of your viewers. A caption must describe what your content is about and must define a story or journey associated with that piece of content.
By making it this way, your users would know the story behind that content might interact and engage with your post. Instagram posts may also appear in search terms if a keyword is used in captions, so it’s necessary to use those keywords when you are using Instagram for small business.
Use the Live Feature
If you are looking into ways to boost your Instagram engagement, making a LIVE interaction with your audience is a must! The Live feature is one of the best options to connect directly with your followers on Instagram. A plus point on using the Live feature is that it sends out a notification to every follower when you go live to get them on board to the live stream.
Many business accounts use this feature to connect with their audience, showcase a new product, host a Q&A session, or even give others a glimpse into their lives.
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12 Proven Hacks to Grow Your Instagram for Small Businesses
There is a lot to offer when using Instagram for small businesses. Here are a few tips that you can use to increase your overall reach and drive conversions for your small business.
Collaborate With an Influencer
Promoting your product through an influencer is influencer marketing. I believe you all would agree that it’s one of the most effective ways to increase your account’s reach. Partnering up with an influencer not only gives you exposure to their following but can also prove to be a game-changer for your campaign.
It is crucial to identify an influencer with authority over your niche. Because it helps you deliver your message to the right audience. Instagram can also co-collaborate with another account over a single piece of content shared with both accounts’ audiences. This way, both accounts’ audiences know that they have partnered up for this content and can follow the other account from there.
Host a Giveaway
We see many brands host a giveaway for their audience. It fascinates the audience, and in fact, I love the giveaways too because the chances are high are to win something for free. Not only that, but it also creates a sense of competition when competing with other users to get the prize.
It helps organically grow your Instagram following and drive additional engagement for your brand. A giveaway could be around anything from inviting others to follow to awarding the person with the most counts of engagement. So when it comes to getting the best of Instagram for small businesses, you might want to turn your head towards hosting a giveaway!
Hashtags Are Still In!
If you are thinking of getting your content in front of a newer audience, then you have to use hashtags with your posts. You should craft the perfect hashtag strategy to increase your reach. When you use hashtags with your posts, it helps others identify your content and allows them to search it through a specific hashtag.
Instagram allows you to add up to 30 hashtags in your captions, so you have a lot of room to target a broader perspective. If you are a brand, you probably want to create a hashtag around your brand. Also, it encourages others to use that hashtag with their posts and can be a great source of user-generated content.
Use Instagram Ads to Reach a Wider Audience
Instagram has a lot to offer when it comes to spreading the word around. This popular platform allows various ad placement options to promote your business. The placement options vary from placing the ads from stories to personal feeds and choosing different ad objectives to optimize your ads deliverability.
For instance, you can either opt for the brand awareness objective if you are a new business and want to grab the attention of as many users as possible. Or you can set up a conversion campaign that optimizes the deliverability to suit the most likely audience to convert or make a purchase.
Again, the possibilities are endless for targeting options because Instagram offers a detailed targeting mechanism that lets you test the campaign based on gender, age, demographics, interests, and behaviors.
Promote Your Instagram Account on Other Platforms
When using Instagram for small businesses, your accounts must get noticed by the audience residing over other social media platforms to get the maximum exposure it needs. If you have an established following on other platforms, you should let them know about your Instagram account.
While promoting your Instagram account over other platforms, make sure that you let your audience know what kind of content they might expect. So they would have an idea of the content they would frequently see whether it’s good for them to follow your Instagram account over more than one platform.
A great way to promote it is to link your Instagram account on your website footer and other social media accounts. You could also include the link in your email signatures to let others know your Instagram handle and bring them in as followers.
(Source: Social Champ)
Keep an Eye on Your Analytics
When using Instagram for small businesses, it’s essential to keep track of the content that works for your business. Instagram gives a very detailed overview of the analytics over its Insights option that allows the user to look over the detailed analytics of each post.
The Insights dashboard lets you go through each posted story and gives you the exact metrics such as reach, impression, or engagement for that particular post. Other than that, it also lets you know how many users have followed your account from that specific post. And how many users have come on that post through searching through hashtags. So it’s pretty helpful in understanding your account’s performance and crafting an Instagram strategy that’s ideal for growing your Instagram small business.
The Insights tools can also help you identify the best posting time your audience is most active. Posting the content at the right time could not only help you reach the maximum audience, but it could also play a vital role in driving engagement to your posts.
(Source: Social Champ’s Instagram)
Engage With Your Audience
Engagement is a crucial component for creating and establishing a community around your brand. People admire when they get a reply or are mentioned in a particular post by a brand. Respond to comments and mentions from your users on time. That would encourage your users to interact more frequently with your brand and would be a great source of word-of-mouth marketing between other users. Also, it would help in building a healthy community of followers around your brand.
Collaborate in Takeovers
Often big brands allow influencers to take over their Instagram account for a certain period. They usually announce it among their audience and create a buzz before the takeover by notifying their audience what type of content they can expect from the takeover and how it can benefit them.
What’s even unique is that the influencers share the news of the takeover with their audience. So your brand gets exposure to their audience as well. These takeovers account for a certain number of posts but are quite impactful to get the follower count to increase in a short amount of time.
Use DM’s More Frequently
Everyone knows that building a community is a slow and steady process. But you can turn this hustle into a more approachable way by giving it a personal touch. Secondly, try to engage with your customers by contacting or conversing with them through direct messages.
It sends out a signal that the brand is interested in knowing what matters to their customers. A great way to manage your Instagram DM(s) is to use Social Champ’s Engage feature. That shows all your Instagram post comments and direct messages in one inbox. And that’s how you won’t have to go through each particular post or message; you can manage them all from one
(Source: Social Champ)
Test Different Formats
Instagram is widely popular as a photo-sharing app. However, it has come a long way from where it started and has a lot to offer when using Instagram for small businesses. Over the years, it has introduced different formats for both pictures and videos that are pretty helpful to show off your content. Let’s explore some of the widely used formats that you can use to create different types of content over the popular platform.
Instagram Carousels – This post type allows you to add up to 10 photos in a slidable grid; users can slide from one picture to another by simply swiping. It’s pretty helpful if your Instagram business wants to promote a particular catalog or has a specific collection around something.
Carousel posts are even supported on Instagram ads, so they are pretty helpful for promoting a particular collection in front of your users.
Instagram Live – I think we have explained it earlier, but this feature allows users to go live in a video form and lets other users know that the Instagram account is live. Currently, 4 Instagram accounts can join and go Live simultaneously, and other users can preview what they are streaming.
Instagram Reels – Reels are the latest trend on Instagram that everyone is following. It’s sort of a TikTok post and allows users to upload short video content, edit it up, and finally post it for their audience. It even has its tab on the platform.
IGTV – Instagram TV is a long-form video format and allows users to upload videos of a length of up to an hour. It’s specifically used by users who want to share their content in a series.
Instagram Guides – Again, this format allows users to upload their content in an article look; brands often use this format to keep their users up to date with the latest happenings in their company.
Instagram Stories – Instagram stories are short-lived pieces of content that disappear after 24 hours; stories have a higher reach and are highlighted to your account followers. This feature allows users to add photos and videos of up to 15 seconds.
When it comes to keeping your social media alive, you must focus on constant posting to your Instagram account. For using Instagram for small businesses, it’s a must that the brand rolls out a particular piece of content each day to keep its audience active and engaged. Otherwise, your followers might lose interest in your brand and think it is not worth their follow.
Now it’s almost impossible to go online and post on Instagram each day, so often, social media managers use social media automation tools like Social Champ to schedule Instagram posts. Many brands have their content calendar planned, and they schedule it days or even months, so their posting keeps consistent.
A bulk-upload feature could come in handy here, like the one at Social Champ. That allows you to add your content through a CSV file, and that way, you wouldn’t have to go and draft each particular post. You can edit the CSV and upload up to 300 posts at one go!
(Source: Social Champ)
Although this feature hasn’t been fully rolled out yet, it’s perfect for content creators using Instagram for their small businesses. This feature will allow content creators to monetize their content and share it exclusively with their follower community. It gives them a chance to earn through this popular social media platform.
Wrapping it Up!
By now, I hope you have an idea of how you can use Instagram for small business. It offers an unmatchable pool of opportunities that can be utilized to skyrocket your business in days! Instagram offers everything from creating your brand’s presence to engaging with your online community.
The only thing left is to get started on Instagram and create value for your customers over this platform. Even if it takes a while, consistency and dedication can prove to be a winning jab for your business and can take it up to all new heights.
So it’s about time you get started on Instagram and use this fantastic platform for your small business.