Do you have a personal Instagram account that you use to share pictures of your family and your last vacation, but don’t really see how it fits into your advertising plan for the products or services you sell? Hold on to your smart phone, because leveraging Instagram for your business can be an inexpensive yet effective marketing strategy. So how can you use it to your advantage?
How Do You Know If Instagram Is Right For Your Business?
Because Instagram is primarily a visual platform, some marketing agencies & consultants believe it works best for small businesses that are artistic or creative in nature. Here at Sitely, couldn’t disagree more. While it’s true that Instagram is a visual platform, we also see it as something larger: a massive community of nearly-fanatical affinity groups.
Want proof? Try this: think of a topic that would likely be of interest to your target customer/audience, and search Instagram for that topic. You are very likely to find niches of people who are fanatically passionate about it. In other words, you have just found potential customers, ambassadors, reviewers, and promoters of your product or service.
Using Instagram’s advertising tools, you can target specific audiences with messages tailored to pique their interests. This can be helpful in building a following, growing your marketing list, or directly selling your products.
How Do You Set Up an Instagram Account for Your Business?
You can convert a personal profile to a business profile in a few easy steps. Click on the three bars at the top of your profile and choose “switch to business profile” under your settings. That’s it! You now have a business profile on Instagram.
If you would prefer to keep your personal account and add a business account, you can do that too. The Instagram app allows you to manage multiple accounts without constantly logging in and out. Just be careful and make sure you’re posting to the appropriate account!
Instagram is constantly rolling out new features that you can leverage to build your brand, highlight products, tell customer success stories, and more.
How Do You Run Your Business Instagram Account?
If you think you’re ready to commit to Instagram as a social platform for your brand, there are a few key things to help you start off on the right foot.
- Post eye-catching photos. Take the time to play with the filters in the app or use other photo editing apps to enhance the look of your pictures before you post them.
- Be consistent and post daily. Sharing high-quality content on a regular basis is a good start to running your account well.
- Strategic use of hashtags. Your content can be great, but if no one knows it’s there, it doesn’t get your business much attention. Hashtags are an easy way to attract visitors. If you are posting a picture of the latest piece of jewelry you made, for example, you could use hashtags such as #customjewelry or #silver. Your post then shows up any time someone clicks on or searches for that hashtag. Pro Tip: Google “popular hashtags for (keywords for your product/service/industry) to get some help.
- Interact with other users. Reply to comments on your posts in a timely manner. Follow similar accounts and like their photos. You can also use Instagram Stories, a feature that allows you to post temporary content that disappears after 24 hours, to post polls, show videos, and answer questions.
Instagram is an extremely popular platform that hundreds of millions of people use every day. There is no reason why you shouldn’t be leveraging that opportunity for your small business.