The power of Instagram is evident, because the best companies in the world have a presence on it. They, as well as Instagram influencers, are not experiencing any problems when they seek to get results and high engagement levels. However, if you have a small business, you might wonder how to utilize the platform and gain the maximum benefits from it.
The truth is that you do not need to be a giant company just to get value from the platform. The good news is that Instagram allows a small business to have a level playing field with the ‘big guys’ and compete effectively with them. In case you are not using the platform for your business yet, you are actually missing out on a goldmine of opportunities.
Why it is a good idea to have an Instagram account (even if you are a small business)
Handling social media is difficult, but Instagram has set itself apart as a great platform for small businesses and individuals – as long as you know how to use it well. Thanks to the wide active user base of 500 million users or more, it happens to be the fourth most downloaded application within the United States alone.
The phenomenon of Instagram marketing is still a new aspect of the platform, so it normal for many small businesses to struggle when trying to gain traction. The app itself is a mobile-first application, and your posts do not have clickable links, because Instagram relies more on visual content than text. This has made many small businesses to sign up, then become confused on the best way to use the app to market their brand, and then they give up.
The good news is that you do not need to struggle so much in this regard. Through the development of services such as Sprout Social that easily integrate with the platform. It is therefore easier to begin and grow your account, regardless of the size of your business. Here are some of them.
Set up your account the correct way
It is a good choice to connect all the social media accounts of your company, particularly those with a strong following. If you have accounts on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, or other sites, you can use your audience on these platforms to push your Instagram account.
The good thing about Instagram is its ability to connect to other accounts, and when you publish a post, it gives you an option to also share on these sites. This creates awareness about your account on Instagram, and increases traffic.
In addition, make sure to add a proper bio that is not boring, yet explains everything your company is about. It can also contain contact information and a link that lands on your website.
Use Instagram stories
These have been a problematic feature, if we are to be honest. If you do not know what they are, they are a feature that allow you to compile multiple pictures or videos and condense them into a ‘story’, which will disappear after 24 hours. They are very similar to Snapchat stories because of this feature.
Unfortunately, small brands are hesitant to use them, even as they attempt to find out other ways of increasing their leverage on the platform. However, these stories continue to hold much more potential that you should not ignore. Similar to any major changes, the businesses and individuals that succeed are always the ones that are willing to take the risk.
The other major advantage Instagram stories have is that they give you an opportunity to experiment and get creative with your approach. If you need some examples, there are examples of major brands on the platform that have become successful with their approach, and you can learn from.
Keep track of what is working for you
It is important to examine all the things that you are doing and are leaving a positive impact. For instance, getting to know the posts that have the highest engagements and the hashtags that are the most effective in driving traffic to your account.
The good news is that there are plenty of tools you can use to monitor the statistics of your account and posts, all at a glance. When you examine this information, you can easily know the content your audience enjoys, regardless of how simple it may be – a hashtag that got high engagement levels, a filter you used on your photo, a style you used to capture a photo, and so on. This will also help you improve your posts in the future.
Check out your comments
If you are the kind of individual that publishes posts and never goes back to them afterwards, you might want to reconsider that approach. Many small businesses do the same thing, because it is not easy to keep going back to the app to check people’s comments on your posts. In addition, it proves to be an uphill task because many brands do not look at Instagram engagement, but instead at publishing.
Similar to any new tool for auto Instagram likes, there are many third-party tools that help you keep track of your comments. Some even enable you to reply to comments even when you are managing multiple accounts on the platform, as well as on other social media platforms you are on.
This method is among the fastest ways to build your following quickly, even when you are starting to build your audience. Their audience sees the endorsement of your brand or product, and they decide to try it out, therefore getting you customers.
Social media has definitely changed things for many people, because influencers do not need to be extremely famous people; they just need to have a very loyal and strong following on social media. It therefore becomes very affordable to hire them to endorse your business.
Getting to maximize your reach on Instagram as a small business is not as difficult as you may think, but it all requires having a proper strategy in place and following through with it.