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8 Ways Small Businesses Can Use Instagram

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Social Media Marketing

Did you know that Instagram, or IG, is the 4th most downloaded app in the USA?

With over 500 million active users daily, without a doubt, IG is one of the most powerful social media platforms out there.

But here’s the problem. Many small businesses sign up to the platform but get confused on how to actually use it effectively.

So, we’ve put together a guide of 8 Instagram strategies and tips on how your business can use this social media platform to effectively engage with audiences effectively and get sales high! Let’s go!

8 Instagram Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

1. Fill Out Your Instagram Bio Strategically

Unlike Linkedin, Instagram is a much more casual platform. You don’t need to write formal bios or business jargon.

Think of your ideal customer and write your bio, keeping them in mind. Keep it lighthearted, fun, yet informative. As long as you don’t overdo it, you can use emojis and vertical spacing in your bio to stand out from the crowd.

Don’t forget to add your business hours, location, e-mail, phone numbers, and a clickable website URL if those are relevant.

IG bios have a character limit of 150, so keep the content short and snappy. You can also use services like Bitly to shorten URLs and track your traffic.

2. Set Up Your Account the Right Way

We recommend connecting your company’s social accounts. Since Facebook owns IG, you can schedule content ahead of time from the Facebook creator studio so that your new post can get published on other accounts automatically. This is extremely convenient for those who do not have time to post consistently.

Make sure to set a business account rather than a personal one. This will not only allow you to advertise but also provide insights into analytics, allowing you to optimize your content, posting times, and more.

3. Engage with Your Audience

To stay on top of your IG game, watch out for trends. Whether it’s a meme, a hashtag, or a specific type of content, look at what your competitors are doing and take inspiration.

Some ideas for engaging content include hosting a contest, blog post images, product sneak peeks, product arrangements, and behind the scene videos (more on this later). Of course, don’t forget to add a call-to-action whenever you can and post at peak times.

Try some of these ideas and find out what works for your audience. Monitor your results on Analytics, and if needed, alter your posting strategy. IG’s algorithm favors high-quality business content, so you must create compelling copies.

Additionally, to have a strong presence on IG, along with posting consistently, you need to follow accounts, like, and comment on photos. This will show Instagram users that you care about them, and it will increase the chances of people following you back and replicating your engagement.

Instagram is a platform that aims to build a community, so make sure to do that. Don’t just post and leave the app. Engage with your followers and relevant accounts to expand your reach and build a community.

4. Use Videos, Photos, and Stories

Visuals play a vital role in this mobile-first app, and through them, you can humanize your brand.

Apart from posting high-quality photos, videos are more fun and engaging. You could either post clips of up to 1 minute, post 15-second clips on Stories. It would be best if you also used IGTV, a feature that allows you to post videos of up to 10 minutes, as well as try Reels, short and engaging 15-second video clips that are set to music.

To give a few examples, through these videos, you could create a behind the scene adventure, broadcast a Q&A session, and do so much more. The cost is nothing but a little time before the camera.

Ideally, you should be using all of these features. They will allow you to reach a wider audience as well as make your account more favored by the IG algorithm.

5. Use Influencer Marketing

You may not have the marketing budget to afford a Hollywood celebrity to promote your products on IG, but you can connect and collaborate with IG influencers who have an engaging following.

Moreover, in most cases, that’s actually more beneficial. While celebrities may have large audiences, their accounts are usually less active. In contrast, smaller accounts by micro-influencers tend to have higher engagement rates, making them more relatable and trustworthy, thus being able to bring in more sales.

To connect with them, send them a direct message, and with their permission, send them a free sample of your product or service. If they believe in your product/service, most influencers will endorse and review them. Sure, they may ask you for payment, but in return, you will be exposed to a much wider audience, so it’s definitely worth considering.

6. Use Hashtags

Hashtags are an essential feature of IG. They’re the equivalent of keywords, and they’re a quick way to reach people who don’t already follow you.

You’re allowed to insert up to 30 hashtags in an Instagram post, but we recommend using a maximum of 15 – 20; otherwise, you may look desperate and spammy, which could damage your brand’s image.

When adding hastags, think of what words your target market might be searching for. In addition to that, ensure that your hashtags correspond to the post image and the text. Instagram software is able to detect what’s in your images. So, if you post a picture of your beauty product, yet tag it with unrelated hashtags simply to gain more traffic, the algorithm will know and may believe that your posts are irrelevant, thus lowering their reach.

Test several lists of hashtags you’d like to use and make a note of the ones that work best. In addition to that, it’s beneficial to vary hashtags you use in your posts rather than use the same hashtag list over and over again. So, keep several lists that you can use, and always be on the lookout for new hashtags to use.

7. Explore Paid Ads

IG paid ads go a long way. Not only are Instagram ads very affordable, but they also allow you to target specific audiences, increase your exposure, and as a result, generate high conversion rates. 

Setting up an ad is very simple, and if you’ve got a Facebook advertising account, it’s even simpler. While you should use custom image assets specifically for Instagram ads, you can set up the campaign from the Facebook Creator Studio.

8. Use the Instagram Shopping Feature

This feature transforms IG into a marketplace. It is a significant improvement for brands and companies as it shortens the customer’s journey. In just two clicks, customers will land on the desired product page in the seller’s shop. 

Since implementing the shopping feature, businesses have seen a 1416% increase in traffic, while others have seen a nearly 20% increase in revenue! Now, imagine offering exclusive discounts to your IG followers!

Wrap Up

Growing a loyal following on Instagram takes time, but the good news is that IG users love to engage and are very active. Once you start implementing the techniques above, you’ll recognize how powerful IG can be for your business. So, what are you waiting for? Get the ball rolling!

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