90% of those on instagram follow a business, so why not make it yours?!
Instagram may already play a huge role in your social life – but don’t underestimate it’s potential to help you as a business. It is a perfect fit for independent retailers, home crafters, clothes designers, eBay sellers… and more.
Not sure where to start? Here are our 10 Instagram tips for small businesses.
1. Create a business account
Ok, back to basics. Create a business account, or you can easily swap a personal profile over. The benefits of a business account include:
- Access to Instagram Insights to help monitor your performance
- Add a contact button
- Add links to Instagram stories
- Advertise & make promoted posts
2. Get your Bio right
A profile is only 150 words. Make. It. Count.
Use a simple, catchy intro that uses your brand’s tone of voice. Lines and line breaks are a lovely way to make bios easier to read. Plus, add in hashtags and emojis which will instantly demonstrate personality.
Remember to always add a link to your website. This is the only place you can add a direct link.
3. Find your audience
Ok, you’ve got an account. Now you need an audience! Instagram has many ready-made communities who are engaged in topics relevant to your business. You just need to find them.
Search for accounts and hashtags on the explore page – and start to follow them. Joining in the conversation, adding your own hashtag to the caption, will increase your visibility among interested people. Some will start to follow you back, and your exposure will grow.
Consider a giveaway that incentivises your audience to tag a friend and follow your account. This referral method can be very effective for increasing reach.
4. Branded Hashtags
#Hashtags help people find content they are interested in, so always tag your posts. You can use Keyword tools to help you learn what tags are popular and relevant to your post.
Remember to use branded hashtags too. A branded hashtag will boost discoverability of your business, but also helps your customers to connect and share content about you.
5. User-generated content
Customer endorsement is your goal. Today’s consumer is motivated by peer to peer recommendations, so you want your customers to tag you in their photos. Add your hashtag to receipts, business cards, emails, shop window… anywhere that will prompt people to do it.
Share and shout out anyone that tags you #regram and @mention.
You may also want to consider sending free samples to relevant “Instagram influencers”.
If they like your product they may share it to their large following.
6. Consistent brand identity
As with all marketing you should have a cohesive feel to your Instagram page. This creates personality, style and recognisability. Your squares need to belong together and belong to you as a business.
Use a similar filter for your photos and/or stick to a colour palette. You can try products like Canva or Venngage which will help create customised templates to keep your business on-brand.
You will also need to find the sweet spot for consistent posting too. 1-2 posts a day is a good aim to keep your audience engaged.
7. Call to Action
Scrolling is a fact of Instagram. Find something that grabs attention. Ask them to go to your Instagram stories, sign up to email, visit a blog or website, add a comment to the post.
All these extra steps mean they will become more actively engaged in you and your content.
You can also add action buttons like ‘Learn More’ or ‘Call Now’ – simple and straightforward directions for people are the most effective.
8. Videos & Instagram stories
Insta isn’t just photos. Use video content and Instagram stories too. They are only live for 24 hours, but the slideshow format has endless opportunities.
Build a connection with Q&As, show behind the scenes content, create polls, use emoji slider stickers. This type of content is authentic, compelling and engaging. All key factors to turn your audience into customers.
9. Make posts shoppable
If you are an ecommerce brand this one is for you! Taking all the hassle out of the purchase journey your audience can click to shop without leaving Instagram. Just add your product catalogue and tag your post (as you would tag a person).
A tap on the product will take them to a page with a short description, price and a link to buy. One final click and they will be on your web page and able to directly purchase the product. Frictionless. Consumer and business friendly.
10. Track your analytics
And finally – learn from your mistakes and profit from your successes.
Use Instagram Insights to make this media work harder for your business. Understand which posts are most popular, who your audience is, what the engagement is.
Through testing and learning you will determine which hashtags to use, what type and style of posts is best to grow your audience – and your customer base.
Is your small business ready for Instagram? Create a content calendar and follow our top tips and you will be good to go.
As your business grows, remember that you can always store products and materials in a safe and secure place like a storage unit. Shurgard Self-Storage gives you access to a clean and dry storage unit 7 days a week. Keep your home clutter-free and #instaworthy.