by on December 3, 2018 0 Comments

Instagram 101 for small businesses

Instagram has been around for a while, but there are still people and businesses joining the social networking site every day. If you have a small business and have no idea how to get started on Instagram, we’ve provided a quick rundown of all the important points to get your company’s Instagram account up and active, as well as effectively marketing your business.

Getting started
If you decide to open an Instagram account, dedicate the time to sit down and put all the relevant details in. This means crafting your account name, choosing a profile picture, and adding a small bio that accurately reflects who you are. Your account name and username should both be either the same as your company’s name or a similar variation. In your bio, let people know who you are, what you stand for, and keep it fresh and to the point. Then add a professional and quality photo for your profile.

Honing your brand
What is your brand? If you already have other social media accounts like Facebook and/or Twitter, then you’re well on your way. If not, you should carve out the time to brainstorm about this. What tone will your posts be; funny, thought-provoking, modern, retro, controversial? What is your message and who are you targeting? All of these decisions can help streamline posts so you know what colours, tone, and captions to use. Once you’ve decided on this, you can start to brainstorm some posts and campaigns that fit in with your brand voice.

Adopt some hashtags
Hashtagging began on Twitter but is also widely used on Instagram. Hashtags are added to your posts to categorise them and are searchable features that users can follow for inspiration or laughs. Do some research to see which hashtags are popular in your business that you can use. Using broad and general hashtags are good, but going niche can often be more effective, so sprinkle some of those in too. It’s also a good idea to use a hashtag related to your location, and craft your own hashtag with your company name in it that is easy to remember and you use in every post. Don’t forget to feature it in your bio too.

Follow relevant accounts
Seek out similar businesses, entrepreneurs, and potential customers to follow to see what they post about. This can give you an idea about what sort of stuff you should be posting and what people are talking about. It’s also useful to set yourself apart from others; observe their brand voice and use it to make yours different and stand out more.

Engage
Now that you’re following the right accounts, make those connections count by interacting and engaging with them. Like posts and comment with positive messages or open questions. Be on the ball with responding to comments on your posts or any mentions you get as well. It’s not just how many followers you have, but how you engage with them that counts.

Be visual
It seems like an obvious statement, but be visual! This is what Instagram is all about. Take good quality photos of your products to show them off, and consider a video every now and then. What kind of photos complement your brand – a clean background with pastel colours, messy and colourful, action shots with blurry backgrounds, people images?

Get interactive
So what else should you post? Get people excited about your brand with light campaigns and competitions. The easier and more fun they are, the more likely people will be to engage with them. Pose a question every Friday: “what’s your favourite [product-related item]?” Host a hashtag campaign for people to get on board with. Make it personable by introducing some of your staff members, putting names and people behind your brand.

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