We hammer the point home – if you’re not on multiple social media profiles with your small business, you should be. There’s good reason for this! Being on social media allows you to connect with your customers, increase awareness of your brand, provide a better customer search, show up around the internet more, share content, target locally, and keep tabs on your competitors. There are very practical reasons for wanting to do so! The more people that know about and engage with your business, the stronger relationship you’ll have with the community, your customers, and potential clients.
Hashtags are your friend.
Sure, they may seem annoying and used in jest sometimes, but there are good reasons that people use hashtags on Instagram. It connects interested parties with one another, and clicking on a hashtag links you with thousands of other users that are interested in the same thing. While some hashtags are oversaturated and somewhat spammy, localized hashtags can be extremely valuable. For example, if you live in a town called Astoria, hashtagging posts #Astoria and engaging with others that hashtag the same can put you in contact with people in your area that may be your next customer!
Create different content for Twitter and Facebook than Instagram.
While there are ways to post to Twitter and Facebook directly from the Instagram app, one of the most important social media lessons across the board is not posting the same content over and over. If you post the same thing to Instagram as other channels, then what’s the purpose for someone following all of your accounts? Create different but valuable content for each of these platforms but as something more visually based, Instagram should be very, very image-oriented.
Be wary of follow-unfollow.
Instagram and Twitter are two platforms where the follow – unfollow strategy is utilized to rake in followers, and while that sounds effective, can oftentimes be messier than expected. With so many businesses using this model, many seasoned Instagram users don’t follow back, and businesses end up following one another (and thousands of more users) without engaging. Engagement and followers will be key, but followers without engagement isn’t appealing.
Schedule some posts, but let others be organic.
Scheduling posts can be a great way to ensure that you’re posting at least once per day. A tool like Buffer or Hootsuite is perfect for this! However, don’t schedule all posts. One of the best ways to relate to your customers will be to post events as they happen in real time, bringing a realness and personality to your brand that is usually more meaningful!
Create an engaging bio.
Your bio is only one of the many ways that someone decides whether or not to give you a follow. Be the person you’d want to follow! With information about the business and a little personality, your bio is the perfect place to give a little more information about the following images and what they mean!
Geo-tagging location is great for local businesses.
If you work within your community, geotagging the location of your business (be wary if you work from your home address) or other places in the area can be helpful. Like hashtagging, other users can search a location and see who else has been there. For smaller towns, this can be a really great way to familiarize others with your business.
Engage with your followers.
Simply posting an image is fine, but it’s not fun for anyone. Responding to those that follow you by liking some of their posts, following relevant users, commenting back when someone leaves a comment on your image, and following other people in your community (physical and business-wise) are important ways to interact and show that you’re an active Instagram user!
Don’t forget to tag people and businesses that appear in your images!
The tag feature allows you to, well, tag, another Instagram user in your image. This sends them a direct alert that they appear in your image, but will also place your image in their tagged images folder on their own account. This means that anyone searching for more images of that user will likely stumble upon your Instagram account.
Repost other people.
Do you have images of people using your product or tagging your location? Repost these! People love feeling recognized for what they’re doing, and when you repost people, other people that follow you are encouraged to tag your products. It’s mutual assistance, whereby you get content to show how happy people are, and the original user is also exposed to another audience than they usually would be.
Many businesses have seen great success by using Instagram to grow their customer base and attract new fans. Unlike other social media and marketing channels, it’s completely visually oriented and rewards creativity, meaning that even the most simple yet gorgeous posts can be very engaging. Snap a shot of the local coffee shop you get your daily java jolt at, caption it with the ways that coffee helps you get motivated for the day, geotag your shot, and tag the coffee shop’s Instagram – you’re sure to get some attention.
Do you have any must-use tips for Instagram? We’d love to hear them!