Instagram marketing important for every business

How And Why To Use Instagram For Business?

uying Instagram likes is beneficial for business.

“Regardless of your business goals, Instagram is a powerful tool that can connect you with millions of potential customers.”

By now, you’ve seen the power of Instagram. From customer complaints to a product going viral, the platform offers many features for small businesses, leveling the proverbial digital playing field between small and large businesses. But because it’s been around for a while, there’s loads of information available to you on how brands can use it. In this guide, we break down how to use Instagram for your small business from taking advantage of the platform’s features to specific ideas on how to increase your digital footprint.

Why should you use Instagram for your small business?

Instagram marketing important for every business

When your presence properly planned and managed, Instagram offers a wide set of advantages to small businesses. If you’re using the platform as a marketing outlet, then you need a documented Instagram marketing strategy. Yes, even if it’s only you running the account. According to Instagram’s own study, 81% of users said that Instagram helps them research products and services. You don’t want to miss out on a whole set of customers just because you’re not active on the network. Read on for tips to maximize small business accounts on Instagram.

1. Basics: Set up your profile

You might roll your eyes at this but it’s a necessary reminder. Once you’re set up as a business account, take a moment to comb through your Instagram profile. New features and settings are changed all the time, sometimes without notice. It doesn’t hurt to check if you’ve got some new features to try out. Other standard essential business profile items to consider include updating the business categories, hours, location(s), a contact method and linking any service or product catalogs. While you’re over here, check and make sure your profile elements, such as your bio and profile picture, are in line with your general social media branding.

2. Optimize your link in bio

Social media managers have gotten creative on how to take full advantage of the single link field that Instagram offers. It’s become common to refer to your “link in bio” in posts, and use this link to serve up a landing page with a mix of recent content and evergreen links to your most important product and service pages. Just like you want to set up your profile with essential business information, small businesses should share the most important information with customers via the link in the bio.

3. Geotag your posts

Instagram marketing important for every business

When you post from your small business physical location, add the location name to the post. If you didn’t do this when posting before, you can scroll into past posts and edit them. What does geotagging do? Instagram compiles all of the posts tagged at that location, sorting them into top and recent. Your brand photos live among customer photos. The “View Information” towards the top links to information about the tagged business. All of this adds up to brand awareness and helps customers research your business. Don’t know what to order at a restaurant? Just browse the most recent photos and see what people recommend.

4. Use the save post feature

This strategy is not public-facing but could be useful for boosting your small business’s Instagram content strategy. Instagram offers the ability to “save” a post and sort them into a collection for you to view later. While it is not necessary to create collections, it’s advisable. There are many ways to use this feature for research and inspiration. Some collection ideas include:

What your competitors are posting about.
Visual inspiration for photos.
Great captions you’ve come across.
Ideas for future posts.
Customer reviews.
Both happy and unhappy customer posts.
Potential influencers.

As you can see, there are quite a few options for you. If you find yourself thinking, “Oh, this is a great post,” hit that save button.

5. Use Highlights to showcase what your business is all about

Instagram marketing important for every business

Instagram’s Stories Highlights feature offers you a chance to share even more about your company. Highlights prolong the life of your Stories by featuring them on your profile after they would normally disappear, and can help you collect those Stories into an easy source of evergreen content. Since they display above your grid, start with the basics, such as:

About: Just a few posts on your values, hours and brand

Locations or highlights per location: If you have multiple locations, talk about each one and share photos from them

Customer reviews or posts: Repost from customer feed posts or create a graphic that highlights reviews from elsewhere

FAQs: Share information that customers often request. This also saves you time when responding to customers because you can then redirect them to this Highlight

Product/service features: Do an overall one or a Highlight per product or service. Some things you just can’t fit into one post. This is where you can go deep into the details.

A good place to start is what content topics you’re already creating in your feed. Are you doing a series on each staff member? Save this all to a Highlight. Maybe you’re an event planner. Go behind the scenes in your process to demonstrate what you do for the client. Have fun with your Highlights. This is where your brand voice can shine.

6. Create guides

Much like Instagram Highlights, Guides gives you a chance to compile your favorite posts into one piece of featured content. But there are some key differences. It’s more editorial in format, almost as if you were reading an article. You can include photos and posts from your own feed and from others’ feeds that you’ve saved. it guides Each embed allows a caption, where you could write even more about the product or location that you’re featuring. In addition to the ideas already mentioned in the Highlights section, Guides are great for compiling a list of location recommendations. They can be all of your locations or the local businesses you recommend. You can expand the topic to an introduction to your city, exploring the neighborhood you’re in, or influencer recommendations. And if you’re hesitant about using this feature? No worries. Guides are able to be saved as drafts until you’re ready to publish them.

7. Pay attention to captions

Instagram marketing important for every business

Your first line in the caption is the one that grabs people’s attention and decides whether they expand to read more. In addition to paying attention to the first line, you should check the rest of your caption. With the recent addition of keyword search in Instagram, what you write in your Instagram caption is more important than ever. Before, you could be cutesy with your words or stylized, and while it’s not to say that you can’t still do this, you should make sure you’re including words that you want others to associate you with. Similar to conducting basic keyword research, this could include your brand and product names, or general terms related to your business category.

8. Use Instagram Live constantly

Going Live for brands skyrocketed in popularity in 2020 when marketing managers and business owners found themselves working from home but still needed to connect with customers on a personal level. ig live examples There are numerous benefits to using Instagram Live. The biggest one is that followers receive a notification when an account they follow goes Live. This instant communication is vital especially when you’re trying to stand out on the network. A few ideas to start you off on Live:

Go behind the scenes: Do a tour of your space or showcase a creative process. Anything that the customer does not have public access to is where you should start.

Run a Q&A: Instagram has a Q&A feature where if you’re using the associated sticker, the story post also changes to reflect it. Live Q&As can be ask me anything (AMA) or centered around certain products.

Conduct an interview: Share the live stream with another account. Having a guest on the Live allows you a chance to interview them on the spot or gives them the mic to feature what they’re passionate about.

Showcase a product or service: Is it easier to show than tell for your product or service? Use Live to detail this. If comments are on, your viewers will also give you tips on what they want to see.

9. Offer “followers-only” promotions

Everyone loves a good sale. But an exclusive sale? That’s using the marketing tactic of FOMO and urgency. If you run a followers-only promotion for a limited time, it gives your followers another reason to stay engaged and stick around for the next one. Utilize the countdown Stories sticker if you want to build up hype or do a flash sale so the promotions become unpredictable.

10. Host a giveaway

Instagram is a must have for branding

One of the best ways to organically grow your Instagram account is by hosting a giveaway. Something that people love more than a good sale is free stuff. Depending on how you structure the giveaway, it could create additional post engagement for you. Beyond asking people to follow your account, add requirements like saving a post, commenting on a post or sending it to a friend. You can also pair up with other small businesses that share a similar audience to further your brand awareness. Of course, you should not rely on this strategy as your sole social media strategy. Give your new followers more reasons to stick around beyond only hosting giveaways.11.

11. Host a takeover

Another way to increase brand exposure to your small business is to host a takeover or take over another business’ account. Typically, social media takeovers consist of a series of scheduled posts over a period of time. Some take all day while others post daily for a week. These posts can be feed-only, stories-only, Live or a combo of all of the posting features that Instagram offers. When hosting a takeover, think of it like structuring a story. You need to introduce the person, talk about what they’ll be covering, post the takeover contents and then end with a conclusive goodbye. Common takeover guests include fellow industry experts, representatives from other small businesses that you’re friendly with and staff members.

12. Increase your DM usage

Community building is a slow process and one of the aspects of it is creating that connection between you and your customer. What better way to do this than personal messaging? You have to use more DMs to find the solution.

13. Track your analytics

It’s worth repeating this advice that’s found in other guides: track those Instagram analytics. Without data to back up your gut feeling of success, your strategies don’t hold up. If you’re just starting out, you can wade into your native insights through either the Instagram app or Facebook. . Examine your Instagram data for more insights on what’s working or where you can improve your strategy.

Taking your Instagram for small business strategy further

Instagram marketing important for every business

This list is a great place to start with Instagram marketing tactics that small businesses can use to improve their presence on the network.

How to Use Instagram Better?

Although Instagram is a shortcut to brand success in digital ways, you will have numerous competitors on the platform. The competition is fierce. So, how to stand out rather than being opted out?

Include a Link to Your Site

Add your website link into your bio under username and description. It is a great opportunity to boost traffic to your site. Always remember to include a link to your online shopping site or targeted landing page for your posts.

Stay Consistent

Keep it consistent! Your name, images, and videos should follow a theme. Many top brands try to use same filters to their images to help create consistent brand personalities. It helps your brand look professional and recognizable.

Try Not to Hard Sell

Visuals help showcase your products without pressuring your customers too much on making the buying decisions. Try to be creative with your images to tell better stories of your products and brands. Coming off too pushy sometimes can decrease your credibility and scare off your customers.

Create Unique Lifestyle Photos to Represent Your Brand Culture

Adding scenarios to your products, instead of just letting them sit there. Using real life background, scenes and models can make your products appear to be more real and inspiring to customers.

Offer Promotions and Exclusive Offers to Followers

Instagram marketing important for every business

Providing your audience bonuses for following your accounts. According to Iconosquare, 41% of Instagram users follow and are willing to follow a brand for promotions, perks, and insider announcements. So, give them the reason to follow and stick with your account.

Include Hashtags to Widen your Discoverability

Hashtags are the keywords used to identify specific messages and topics of your social posts. With an average of 70 million photos created on Instagram every day, Instagram feeds change rapidly. Hashtags are the only identifiers that make your posts discoverable eternally.

Share Your Followers’ Tagged Photos on Your Account

Instagram marketing important for every business

Reposting photos of your followers’ that are associated with your brand is an effective way to engage with your followers. 65% of Instagram users say that they feel honored when a brand mentions them.

Make the most of Instagram for business

Instagram is a must have for branding

“Instagram is an effective tool for advertisers to boost brand awareness and increase engagement with customers. It is not only a platform to showcase your brand story, but also a channel through which you can interact with your followers and build customer loyalty.”

It’s easy to get your friends to like photos of your fancy brunch or win views with a video of a puppy. Building up a business account isn’t as simple, but we’re willing to bet you still follow quite a few brands from your personal account—90% of Instagram users do.

We’re not saying you should copy your favorite companies, but you should think about what makes those business accounts worth following and let that inspire you. Then, combine that inspiration with the guidance we’ve laid out here to create an Instagram marketing strategy that’s specific to your company.