Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a picture worth to a small business like yours? If you post it on Instagram™, it can connect with new customers and strengthen relationships with existing ones. That same picture can even help generate revenue for your business.
Knowing this, isn’t it time to add the app to your social media strategy? This Balboa Capital blog post features tips on how to do both. In addition, you will learn how to market your business on Instagram™ to reach new markets and gain new followers.
Create your Instagram™ page.
If you already have an Instagram™ account, you can skip to the next section. However, if you have not created an account, here is how. First, you need to download the app to your smartphone. There are two types of accounts: personal and business. Once you set up a personal account with your username, click on the Settings link and scroll to “Switch to Business Account.”
After switching to a business account, you can add information about your business, such as hours of operation, business address, phone number, and email link. In addition, do not forget to include your business logo in the profile picture setting and a link to your website. Your business logo will be cropped into a circle at the top of your profile. Resize your logo to 180 pixels by 180 pixels so it looks good on both mobile devices and desktop computers.
Determine your visual aesthetic.
The most successful brands on Instagram™ visually brand their feeds. They have cohesive themes and color gradients (or no filtered effects at all) that are consistent. Choose a visual aesthetic relevant to your brand and aligns with your overall marketing efforts. For example, you might want to edit all of your post pictures with a signature look.
You can alter everything from brightness to contrast to color. If you go this route, try to apply the same look to your images. Lastly, avoid editing your pictures too much. Using too many filters, or adjusting too many settings, can make your photographs unrecognizable. If you own a restaurant, you want to make sure customers see an accurate representation of your food when it arrives at their tables.
Decide the types of content you will post.
All of your posts should mirror the overall theme of your brand. For example, consider using photos to show how your roofing services are carried out if you own a roofing business. A picture of the roofing job before it begins, and one during the replacement process, will give your followers a behind-the-scenes look at how your business works.
Moreover, a picture of a finished result shows them what they can expect if they hire you. To avoid making multiple posts, you can combine numerous images into a single post with the app’s slideshow option. Doing this might tell the story better, too.
Include relevant captions and hashtags.
When posting a picture, take the time to write a caption that best describes it. A best practice is to write your caption first and add hashtags second. Only use hashtags that are relevant to your picture and your brand. Widely used hashtags are searched more, but they are also included in more posts.
Next, avoid sounding desperate for engagement. A caption that asks for followers, comments, or likes is unprofessional and will not resonate well with your audience.
Post consistently, but not too often.
With Instagram™, you do not need to post too many pictures to grow your following. Instead, you can generate more engagement and gain more followers by posting consistently once or twice daily. However, posting too often can get you penalized by the algorithm, which means your posts will be shown to far fewer people. In addition, posting too many times can be annoying to your followers, and, as a result, some of them might unfollow you.
Engage with your audience.
Once you post a picture to your Instagram™ page and it starts getting likes and comments, it is important to reciprocate and respond to these interactions. You can respond to comments quickly by pressing the reply icon, which is located next to the comment.
You can also show your appreciation for comments by simply tapping the heart icon on the right of each comment. You must listen to your followers and engage with them. If you do not show your appreciation, they will probably unfollow you.
To follow, or not to follow?
It would help if you only connected with people on Instagram™ who want to follow your small business. Avoid following people who look for a “follow back” because they probably will not like or comment on your posts.
Use the search bar to look for people and businesses in your industry and follow them. Your ultimate goal is to use the platform to grow your small business, so stick to following people who you think can help you do this.
Managing an Instagram™ page for your small business might seem like a lot of work, but you should see your followers count increase each month once you get started. Follow the tips above to drive engagement, generate sales revenue, and get your small business noticed online.
Balboa Capital, a Division of Ameris Bank, is not affiliated with nor endorses Instagram. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.