Social media can be a powerful marketing tool. But the key is finding the right outlet that will reach and engage your target market. So how do you choose? Make sure you ask yourself these 3 questions before you start another social media account. Instagram gives your audience an inside-look into your small business that is different than Twitter or Facebook. It encourages business owners to post “behind-the-scenes” photos and participate in current trends like #SmallBusinessSaturday, #MotivationMonday or #WorkspaceWednesday. This type of participation on Instagram differs from other platforms where it can be more about pushing out to your audience, rather than trying to pull them in to your small business and your brand. Instagram is amazing for reaching a new audience, engaging with your current customers, creating brand awareness and fostering relationships with networking and visual storytelling.
If you’re feeling unsure about how to exactly use Instagram to benefit your small business, we’ve got 6 tips for success.
Portray your brand’s vibe.
Don’t just post photos. Your posts should tell a story behind your brand to allow people to make a human connection. Think about these questions before you post on Instagram: what does your brand stand for? What do you do every day? What can you show about your team environment? The visual impact on Instagram can really go beyond just product photos to tell your company’s story.
We as humans love, love, love human connection. Put a face to the name of those people who are behind the scenes in your business. Take candid shots throughout the work week or during team events. Connecting personally will serve your small business well, especially during the early years when you’re dealing with a smaller community of customers.
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Hashtags are an amazing way to get your brand noticed. People search with hashtags. Hashtags will help people find you. Check out some of the larger brands on Instagram. 80% of their Instagram posts contain at least one hashtag, while the average post has at least three. Use them to find influencers to follow and stay on top of your industry. Often, people will follow you back to help you build a following. Try Iconosquare or Websta to make your job a whole lot easier trying to find good hashtags.
Small and large businesses are successfully gaining businesses from Instagram by offering some solid and appealing discounts. Create a striking custom graphic of your service or product or even a coupon. As a bonus tip: using the hashtag #discount could help.
Make sure that every single one of your Instagram posts is deliberate and intentional. Post with a purpose so you aren’t irritating your followers or just randomly posting things that may not be in alignment with your brand or relevant to your audience.
Time your posts.
Timing is everything—and Instagram is no exception. You want to send messages when someone is around to see them. Having a larger audience just means more opportunities for meaningful connections and engagement. So what are the best times to post on Instagram? Try to strategically post according to this:
- What time is your audience waking up and doing their morning Insta scroll?
- Where do they live?
- When do they have downtime such as in between meetings, lunch or before bed?
- Hubspot suggests posting anytime from Monday to Thursday except from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- Latergramme suggests Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Instagram can be a powerful marketing tool for your small business when used the right way. These are just a few tips on how you can use Instagram to create an influential presences for your business. Try them this week and see what works best to enhance your brand.