As the old adage goes – a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, what we do know is that a picture is worth more than 280 characters, as Instagram’s userbase surpassed that of Twitter back in 2015 and keeps on growing.
With around 1bn active users to Twitter’s 335m, it makes sense to add the photograph-only site to your social media line-up. But with the platform boasting only around 8m business profiles, it’s less favoured by small businesses than other networks. As a relatively new player to the social media field, it can seem daunting, but Instagram isn’t all about inspirational yoga holidays and pictures of avocados on toast.
Here’s how to adopt a great Instagram strategy for any small business.
Decide who and what you want to target
Instagram has a reputation for being full of hip, young millennials – and to be honest it’s a reputation that is, for the most part, quite true, with 59% of 18-29-year-olds having an account. But that doesn’t mean everyone else should be forgotten. A third of 30-49-year-olds are Insta users too, so choose wisely.
Once you’ve decided your target market, pick your goals – are you trying to get your name out there? Increase sales? Generate leads? Keep these in mind as you curate your content.
Nail your content
Your Insta-content is going to be without a doubt the most important factor in how you fare. And this is the part that takes some thought. The most successful brands have a theme running throughout their posts. This could be a font, a colour palette or even a style of taking the photos themselves. You need to create a look that will be recognisable as yours against your competition. Posting willy-nilly is not going to help, so make your decisions wisely.
If you provide a service or something that is not essentially visually pleasing, then you can still use Instagram (yes, even accountants!). You could post great quotes, client testimonials, or tasteful stock photos that are relevant to the point you’re trying to make.
Sort your profile out
Your profile is the first thing that people will see. Make sure for starters that it’s actually a business profile, as you get more options than on a personal page. It’s also the only place you can post a link to your website (links aren’t allowed in posts – one of the delightful quirks of Insta… unless you are a business with over 10,000 followers – something to aim for!), and use this link wisely. Switch it up if you’re having a real push on something – maybe you have a new product launch or you’re running a giveaway. Keep it relevant.
This is where you’re going to attract the bulk of your followers. Research and choose your hashtags carefully. And use them liberally! It’s not like Twitter where too many hashtags will make you look a bit weird – studies show that Insta posts with 11 or more hashtags have the highest amount of interaction on posts. #awesome.
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