With so many options out there—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Pinterest—it can be hard to determine which social media platform to use for marketing your business. For small businesses that have an Instagram account, you may be not getting the engagement or followers that you want from it. Instagram is unique from other platforms because it is highly visual. As such, there are certain things a small business can to do to make their business more Instagram-worthy.
In this post, we will be discussing the elements of your Instagram profile that will help you get the followers and engagement you want for your small business.
Related: Free Hashtag Handbook
With over 700 million monthly users and 80% of those users following a business on their account, it’s time to get your business on Instagram. Instagram is a great opportunity for your small business to reach an audience on a more personal level.
Below are 9 steps to making your Instagram account more effective and engaging for your business
The first thing that your business needs to do to be more Instagram-worthy is to set up your account as a business account (as opposed to a personal account). Enter your business’s name, choose a category, create a brief description using keywords, add your business website, and finally add your location.
An Instagram-worthy business is one that gets engagement from its followers, and for that, you need a brand personality. A brand personality is simply the message or vibe that your small business conveys to others. Is your business funny? Relaxing? Serious? Whatever you want your brand personality, make sure it comes across consistently on all your social platforms, as well as your website.
Your brand personality should also be noticeable and clear on your Instagram page. Everything on your feed should reflect it. If you need an example of a feed with a clear brand personality look at Lush (@lushcosmetics). Their brand is natural, inclusive beauty products that care about the environment.
Developing an aesthetic means setting a visual standard for the things you post. Your business’s Instagram aesthetic should fit with your brand personality.
To develop an aesthetic for your profile is to come up with a color pallet that all of your posts will follow. With a consistent color pallet, it’s easy to see what posts look good next to each other as they appear in the grid of your profile.
To help keep your Instagram feed aesthetic, use a photo planning app such as Planoly. Planoly lets you arrange your photos to see what looks good next to what before posting on Instagram. This allows you to ensure your if your feed is visually appealing.
Another mark of an Instagram-worthy business is a wide reach. To expand your reach on Instagram, use hashtags and location tags in all of your posts. This allows your profile to be discovered by new users, to get found by local followers, and to connect with more relevant followers in new areas.
To be even more Instagram-worthy, we suggest adding a custom hashtag. Custom hashtags allow you to authenticate your business, as well as to host contests and giveaways that your followers can engage with.
As stated before, Instagram is a visual platform. This means that the images your post should be quality images or videos (with the exception of Instagram Stories). To get high-quality photos think about lighting, clarity, and background in your images. One easy way to ensure quality in your photos and videos is to designate a permanent space that you know has good lighting, a quality background, and other elements that produce a good photo.
There are also plenty of free photo-editing apps available, for mobile devices or desktops.
One last note on quality: This doesn’t just refer to the technical aspects of your photos. For followers to engage with your Instagram posts, your images should be interesting to your target audience and worth engaging with.
Seeing the same type of post over and over again is likely to drive followers away. To keep things fresh and interesting for your audience, diversify your content. Alternate between videos and photos, use both customer content and your own, and mix funny or inspiring quotes with educational or informative content and even posts about your employees.
You can also include some promotional items, such as giveaways, contests, and sales.
As mentioned before, use videos to diversity your Instagram content. Some video ideas are tutorials, behind the scenes, a tip of the day, or expert advice.
Followers will be more likely to engage with you if you engage with them, as well as more likely to become loyal customers.
Engaging with your customers can be as simple as replying to them as they comment on your posts, or re-posting an image they posted about your business. Also make sure that if someone tags your small business in a post, you engage with them with either a like, comment or re-post.
You are not just on Instagram for the fun of it; you are looking to grow your business and get in front of more people who can benefit from it. Rather than being “salesy”, use more creative approaches. For example, use giveaways on a new product, host a contest, offer discount codes, and more. These are great ways to have fun with your followers while facilitating your marketing goals at the same time.
One must-have for achieving your marketing goals through Instagram is having a good call to action. Examples of Instagram calls to action include:
Having an Instagram worthy-business means being creative with what you post or how you do it. Instagram is a great platform because it’s meant for fun and allows you to get creative and experiment.
For example, if you are a spa, retail store, or travel agency, create a “selfie wall”. A selfie wall is just space where your customers can take a fun, engaging photo and you can show off your office space.
Another example of using creativity is to have an employee take over your Instagram story to show the office culture and behind the scenes activity.
Instagram is a great platform for promoting your business and engaging with your customers. Use these tips to make your small business Instagram-worthy, and to start seeing the results you want.