• How to Use Instagram for Your Small Business

Instagram is no longer just the social media platform for users to post endless pictures of latte art, friends, and travel pictures. Every day, more business owners are using Instagram to promote their products, engage with their audience, and create buzz to attract new potential clients. Below you’re going to get the run-down of what Instagram is and how it can be used to help your small business’s marketing!

how to use instagram

How Do You Use Instagram?

Instagram is a visual social media platform that enables users to interact through photos, videos, likes, and comments. Similar to Facebook and Twitter, successful interaction on Instagram can bring your business new followers and customers. Due to the visual nature of Instagram, it can be a quick, easy, and fun way to increase your social media presence and get new customers.

Related: Guide to Getting Started with Instagram

How to Use Instagram for Business?

Instagram is an effective tool for getting your business in front of new customers, promoting your products and services, announcing upcoming events and partnerships, and for engaging with loyal and potential customers. Instagram has even recently introduced new business profiles you can take advantage of to increase your business’s visibility on Instagram. Here’s an explanation of how to use Instagram to accomplish all of these things for your business.

Get Your Business in Front of New Customers

Instagram can get your business in front of new customers who are looking for businesses, products, and services like yours. Whether your business targets local customers or niche customers, Instagram can be effective in getting your business in front of the people who are a good fit for your business. Check out this post on creating the perfect Instagram profile to learn how to optimize your business’s Instagram profile and get found by new customers.

Promote Products and Services

Businesses use Instagram to get their products and services in front of new customers. Instagram is like a gallery that you can use as an extension of your website to show people the products that you sell and the services that you provide. By posting photos of what you sell or the services you provide, users get an understanding of the value of your business.

Announce Events

Another way to use Instagram for business is by posting photos related to upcoming events. In addition to using Facebook events, businesses often use Instagram to increase ticket sales or get more people to attend events. To promote an event on Instagram, post sneak peeks related to the event or photos of past events to encourage customers to attend.

Engage with Customers

Instagram makes it easy to to engage with customers and for your customers to engage with you. Similar to Facebook, you can like, comment, and tag users on Instagram. The more you engage with people on Instagram, the more successful your business’s account will be.

What to Post on Instagram

Once you’ve got the basics of Instagram down, most people quickly get the hang of posting photos, tagging people, and commenting to create engagement. Like any marketing activity, consistency is important. Whether you’re posting once a day or once a week, stick with it and you should see results.

The question of what to post on Instagram is a common one. Some ideas of good Instagram posts for a business are:

  • Behind-the-Scenes: Post photos or videos of what your business does behind the scenes to give your followers an inside look at your business! Realtors can post home staging photos, contractors can post before shots, photographers can post outtakes, and bakeries or catering companies can show food prep. Get creative!
  • Products: If your business sells products, show photos of the products in action or how to use the product through a tutorial video.
  • Customer Interactions or Successes: These types of photos are great for more service-based businesses like a dentist, chiropractor, or spa. Share photos of happy patients showing off their new smile, a client’s favorite yoga pose, or glowing post-facial skin!
  • Instagram Giveaway: Looking to get more customers or spread the word about a new product or service? Run an Instagram giveaway of the new product or service to get people excited about it.
  • Customer Photos: Share customer’s photos who tag your business or use your business’s unique hashtag  in their on Instagram photos. Reposting customer photos, which is discussed later in this post, is also a great way to engage with your customers on Instagram.

How Do You Engage With Customers on Instagram?

There are many ways to engage with your audience on Instagram, whether it’s through following users back, holding an Instagram giveaway, responding to comments, or reposting pictures. Reposting pictures on Instagram can be done by either reposting a photo using a repost app or reposting a picture using a screenshot.

  • Follow Users:  Engage with people who follow your account by following them back. This makes people feel good and check out your photos more.
  • Comments and Questions: Don’t be afraid to ask a question in your caption ﹘ the best way to get your audience engaged is by actually giving them something to engage with! Asking a question in your caption encourages your audience to respond to you, and makes them want to create an active dialogue with you.
  • Repost Photos: Let your audience know that their posts matter to you and you appreciate their taking the time to talk about your business online by reposting good photos of your business on your own page. Personally interacting with your customers this way makes customers feel valuable to your business

Do you use Instagram for your business? How has Instagram helped improve marketing for your small business? Tell us your success stories or how you engage with your customers in the comments below!

1 Comment

  1. Felix says:

    Nice article. What are your thoughts on how to use Instagram stories for brands? I was reading about them here – https://northcutt.com/instagram-marketing-guide/ – and it seems like there’s definitely a place in every business’s marketing plan that could take advantage of this new feature. I also worry that maybe the traditional use of Instagram changes to something resembling stories even more.

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