How to Make Instagram Work for Your Small Business

How to Make Instagram Work for Your Small Business
July 4, 2016 Madeleine Helme

Social media is all well and good for the big global brands. Everyone already knows who they are, so these brands can gain huge followings with very little effort. For small businesses with lesser known brand names, it can be a bit more difficult. But, that does not mean it is impossible. On Instagram, lots of regular people, and even animals, have built up large followings just by posting images and sharing information that people want to see. Here are a few tips for making Instagram work for your small business.

Post a range of content

Just because it’s for your business, doesn’t mean it should all be pictures of what you are selling and how much for. This will get boring, fast. Mix it up with more fun and informal pictures. Take photos of your team at an event, working in the office or just having fun. People will be able to relate to your brand better if they see the faces behind it, and it’s a good chance to show your personality. They don’t always have to be related to business, either. The occasional photo of your pet dog will go down a treat.

Of course, posts that promote your products and services should still be part of your strategy, but try to make them interesting. Share photos of a new product line, photos of customers using your products, or post videos showing how you make them or how to use them.

Engage

Don’t just post; engage with your followers and other Instagram users. If someone comments on one of your photos, make sure you reply to encourage future conversations between your followers and your brand. Like and comment on your followers’ posts as well to show that it’s not a one-way relationship. Plus, discover posts from users all over Instagram and interact with their content to encourage more followers.

Hashtag

Instagram sorts their media by hashtags, just like Twitter. Hashtags allow users to discover content that they are interested in on the platform. So, hashtagging your posts will make them more likely to be seen by users that are interested in a certain topic. When you type in a hashtag it will show how many times it has been used. This can help you to find the most popular ones to use for your content. You can also search for hashtags to find other users that are similar to you or that might be interested in your brand.

Follow

Following people and brands on Instagram is a good way to get your name seen more. This helps raise brand awareness and encourage these users to follow you back. Follow back anyone that follows you as well to strengthen the relationship.

Photo contests

Posting a photo contest on Instagram is a great way to encourage engagement. Ask users to submit their best photo related to a topic of your choosing and offer a prize for the best. To get some extra promotion, you could ask them to send in photos of themselves using your product. Designate a hashtag to the contest so that you can keep track of the entries. You can also use your other social media channels to promote the contest.

Track analytics

To make sure that what you are doing is working, you should be constantly monitoring your activity and engagement levels. There are a number of useful tools online to help you do this, such as Curalate. You can use this to track which of your images are most popular, so you know what kind of content your audience wants to see in the future.

These tips will help you to build up your following on Instagram and gain an audience that will engage with and show interest in your content. Using Instagram successfully could lead to greater brand awareness and boosted sales for your business.

After working in marketing for two years I decided to become a freelance writer. In my spare time I enjoy watching films and television and keeping fit through going to the gym and practising taekwondo.