Instagram is a social media channel designed for sharing photos and video. With over 800 million monthly users, Instagram is a great way to reach potential customers and promote brand awareness. So, what are some ways your small business could be utilizing Instagram? Keep reading to find out some of the top ways Instagram can help grow your business and connect you with your target audience.
1. Set goals and analyze
First and foremost, make sure to plan strategic goals. Figure out what your business wants to achieve using Instagram. Do you want more followers? More likes? Or do you want to increase brand awareness or potentially connect with influencers? Regardless of what your goal is, make sure the goal is specific, measurable, and relevant to your brand. Furthermore, make sure to always take a step back and analyze what worked and what didn’t.
2. Use hashtags
On Instagram, many users sort images with hashtags. It’s not out of the norm for users to use multiple hashtags in a single post. With hashtags, you have the chance to reach potential followers by using relevant hashtags to your brand and image. Make sure to set up a company hashtag so that it is easy for people to find content related to your business and to also find your main account. Be aware though, for each post, 30 hashtags is the max. However, you also don’t want to overdo it. Strategically use hashtags throughout your Instagram posts. So, #UseThoseHashtags and know that #HashtagsAreYourNewBFF.
3. Connect to other social channels
Connecting your Instagram account to other social channels such as Twitter and Facebook is a great way to attract more followers from social media accounts you already have. Any image shared via Instagram can post directly onto those profiles, and when people click on the images, they will be directed to your Instagram account which in return will generate more traffic to your account.
4. Create Instagram contests
People love free stuff. No one can deny that. With Instagram contests, you can engage with your followers and create some buzz around your brand. In order to have an effective contest, make sure to make a theme, create a custom hashtag, and read Instagram’s promotion guidelines in order to make sure you’re doing everything accordingly. Lastly, make sure the contest’s award is industry specific so that you attract people are are genuinely interested in your brand.
5. Respond to comments
Plenty of small businesses spend little to no time replying to comments. Many fail to realize that their followers love when their comments get responses. So, make a note to sign onto Instagram a few times a week and and reply. You can even take it a step further and connect with some of your followers by following them back.
Network. Network. Network. By networking on Instagram, you can establish relationships with influencers and partner with them. Build these relationships by following companies and individuals that complement your brand. You can leave comments, like posts and reach out to them via direct message. Persistence is key, but don’t over do it. After building a relationship with a possible influencer, promote each other’s accounts. You can even host events and contests together. On another note, if you have a little extra cash to spend, you can always pay for sponsored posts. However, collaborating with influencers for free is the ideal way to go when you’re just starting out.
Are you Insta-ready?
Instagram has a lot to offer when it comes to any business. Just make sure to follow a strategy when using this platform and not mindlessly post any and everything. Be consistent with posting, responding to comments and the overall image of your brand. With the right strategy and content, Instagram will be sure to offer up some new followers and potential future customers.