Instagram turned ten years old in 2020 — and what a decade it’s been!
With more than 1 billion (yes, BILLION!) monthly users, the platform has solidified its spot at the top of the list of most-used social platforms, both for personal use and for business. Are you using Instagram for your small business?
As Facebook stays committed to connecting family and friends through shared content, Instagram has officially become “the new home for brands.” Here, engagement is consistently high, followers stay loyal to their favorite companies (and continue to follow new brands daily), and businesses can see tangible results.
So, if you’ve yet to take advantage of the power of Instagram for your small business, we have just one question for you:
What are you waiting for?
Once you have your Instagram business account set up, start incorporating the platform into your marketing strategy with these simple tips.
Using Instagram for Your Small Business
Optimize Your Instagram Bio
Your Instagram bio is the text that lives at the top of your business page. With a 150-character limit, this section may seem insignificant, but it can make a big impact on how users engage with your page.
To make the most of your bio:
- Populate the name field with your name and a searchable keyword that identifies what you do or what product or service you provide.
- Highlight your skills and services either in a brief description or through a bulleted list.
- Add your contact information and location so people can find you quickly and easily.
- Link to your website or a specific page on your site, depending on what you’re currently promoting.
Post 3-4 Times Per Week Consistently
Regular posts provide fresh content for your audience and anyone landing on your page. If you don’t maintain an active presence on Instagram, potential customers will likely forget about your business and choose another option when searching for local products and services.
When planning your posts, mix the content up a bit. Answer a FAQ from a customer, share a behind-the-scenes story, offer up a tip or checklist, explain your services, or post a testimonial from a happy client. All of these options will keep your feed updated while providing you with a variety of content ideas.
Just remember: People scroll quickly, so front-load your posts with a statement that will capture their attention. When you can break up your posts into chunky “bites” of text that are easier for readers to digest.
Write in a way that sounds like you — casual, conversational, relatable — and ask a question or provide them with a CTA to encourage even more engagement.
Stories is one of Instagram’s most popular features, with more than 300 million users checking out Stories every day!
On Stories, you can post photos, recorded videos, live videos, boomerangs (videos that loop back and forth), text, music, and share posts. (More on this later!) You can also add stickers and include information, such as your location, the temperature, user tags, and hashtags.
While these photos and videos do disappear after 24 hours, they’re a great way to create engagement through DMs. Plus, you can keep your most relevant Stories by saving them to your Highlights, which stay featured on your profile until you remove them.
Engage with Users + Businesses
As with any social media platform, it’s crucial to engage and interact with your followers on Instagram by liking, commenting, or sharing a post.
For our Brand Social Marketing clients, we recommend spending:
- 10 minutes each day engaging on your feed
- 10 minutes each day engaging with Stories
- 10 minutes each day engaging with Hashtags
To engage with hashtags, click on the magnifying glass at the bottom of your page, type in one of your local hashtags (#loudouncountyva, #dcsmallbiz, etc.), click on Recent Posts, and then use those results to start following small businesses in your area.
From there, make it a point to comment on and like those businesses’ posts moving forward to gain traction in your community and watch your engagement grow!
A few more Instagram tips and tricks to keep in mind:
- Links don’t work in Instagram posts. The only place you can share a clickable link is in your profile. This means, if you’re trying to direct people to a specific webpage, you’ll need to change the link in your bio to that page and note in the caption that people will need to go there to visit the link.
- Always respond to post comments. When people comment on your posts, take the time to respond to them. Interacting with followers and potential clients shows you are paying attention and care about what they have to say. By showing interest, they’ll be more likely to continue following you and interacting with your page moving forward — engagement that can lead to new business.
- Share posts directly to your Story. When you post to Instagram, make sure you share the post in your Stories for even more exposure. Even more importantly, if a client posts a photo of your service, share that post directly to your Story to promote your business and showcase your client.
- Don’t be afraid to try Reels. Reels are quick videos (no longer than 15 seconds) that you can customize with audio, special effects, and creative tools — and they can do wonders for visibility. Meant to be fun and personable, you can use Reels to feature new products, highlight your employees or recent work, or engage directly with customers.
Ready to get started? Follow @brandsocialmarket on Instagram to see weekly tips for building your business through Instagram and other social media platforms.
And, of course, feel free to reach out with any questions you may have. We’re always happy to help!