Over 600 million people use Instagram — and half of those users access the platform at least once a day. For small businesses, Instagram means new ways to reach out to potential customers, creating growth with little more than a time investment. But growing a brand on Instagram is about more than just starting an Instagram account — here are five Instagram tips for small businesses.
Take advantage of Hashtags — but don’t overuse them.
Hashtags help to extend a posts’ lifespan. By using a hashtag, users will find your post when they search, not just scrolling through the news feed. Hashtags help profiles gain new followers who are interested in the same topics that they are posting about. When you start typing in a hashtag on Instagram, suggestions will automatically pop up, helping you pick the most popular relevant tag.
Don’t go too crazy with hashtags though, statistics suggest that posts with four to five hashtags got more engagement, but after five, engagement actually drops.
Think social, not marketing.
The best social media marketing is often more social than marketing. Posting a photo on Instagram isn’t like buying a TV ad. Get too promotional, and you won’t get much reaction and could even loose followers. Share colorful photos of your product in use or an everyday workday — but don’t pair that with marketing-speak on current sales.
Yes, to gain followers on Instagram, you have to create your own original posts. But only posting your own shots is a very slow way to grow. Boost your reach by interacting with other users — follow other pages, comment and like on other posts. When you do get a comment or a share on your post, be sure to reach out and respond.
Don’t post too often.
There’s a sort of balance to the frequency of Instagram posts, particularly when it comes to marketing. Post too little, and you won’t have any reach. Post too often, and you’ll get unfollows from users that find your posts too much. How often you post depends on your audience and your followers — monitor your posts and take note of when the number of interactions falls off. That means you’re probably posting too much.
Find your own data.
Just like the best number of times to post isn’t the same for every business, a number of different variables like audience and location will affect how far you reach. To find out what’s best for your own unique business, explore Instagram’s tools that offer insight into who is interacting and when. Use a business profile, and not an individual account, and you can have access to all those tools. (Already have a personal account for business? You can switch account types here).
Instagram’s large user base offers ample opportunity for small business. The effort could easily be wasted time however, if businesses don’t focus on sharing fun images without the marketing speak. Using Instagram tips for small business can help get your social media marketing off on the right foot.