Small businesses are often told to embrace social media to further their advertising and reach a wider base of customers. This is excellent advice because social media is a massive resource of data, giving access to customers who can be attracted to little cost. However, Facebook and LinkedIn are often billed as the best avenues for social media marketing, so what about Instagram?
You may be thinking Instagram is a hip photo-based network that offers little from a business marketing perspective. Well, you’d be wrong as the Facebook-owned network is a potential goldmine for small businesses. Whether you’re selling clothes or exploring something more niche like reviewing online casinos, Instagram is an excellent place to be.
So, if you ask if Instagram can help your small business, the answer is a simple yes! Below we will explain why.
What is Instagram?
Firstly, it’s best to explain what exactly Instagram is for business owners who may be unfamiliar with the social network.
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Instagram is a service based on visual content, allowing users to share photos and videos with their followers. Like other social networks, the app provides a timeline UI structure that allows followers to see your latest posts. While it is focused on visual content, users are able to put written content on the network as well.
Instagram has surged in popularity in recent years. Simplicity is the key to that market growth, especially appealing to younger demographics of users who can post on Instagram via a smartphone in seconds. This efficiency and the ability to engage with images makes Instagram a relatively low effort advertising prospect for your business.
What should you post?
That’s because you will be posting images and/or videos on your Instagram feed, and potential consumers engage more with visual content than they do written words. At least, in terms of instant engagement, a photo can say more than 1000 words. One frequent and obvious question asked by small businesses starting their Instagram adventure is what photos should they share?
Of course, the exact content will depend on your business type. However, whatever your business and no matter how niche it is, aim to be dynamic with your posts. Showcase the benefits of your products and what happens behind the scenes at your company. Let followers get a sense of how your business operates by letting them peek behind the curtain from time to time.
It’s good practice to follow these golden rules of Instagram posting:
- Get creative – be imaginative with your photos
- Stick on topic – If you sell refrigerators, stick within the boundaries of your niche. If photos of kittens are popular (they are) don’t share them if they are not related to your business. Remember, the goal is to get followers to convert their views into sales.
- Less is more – Find the right balance of post frequency. Don’t bombard your followers with hourly photos updates, you’re not a celebrity! Instead, aim for a steady flow of an image every day.
Embrace the hashtag
Yes, the hashtag is as vital on Instagram as it is on Twitter and Facebook. When you write your video description or reach out to people you follow, be sure to throw in a couple of well-chosen hashtags. It is worth noting Instagram is designed for smartphones first and foremost, but you can browse images through hashtags easily, making the hashtag an excellent way of attracting followers.
Be part of a community
On social media, there’s no such thing as being a lone wolf, an island in the middle of the ocean. No, to make the most of your business potential online, you need to be part of a community. Follow similar businesses and engage with them through comments, including advice, expertise, or simply to have fun.
The final piece of advice is to start today. If you want to maximize the potential of your small business, Instagram is the hot place to do it. Follow the simple rules above and you could see your business flourish and reach more customers than ever before.