Instagram Marketing Tips for Small Businesses
It may lack the audience of Facebook, but Instagram is still one of the net’s leading social media networks. It differs from other social media networks in the sense that it focuses on images, allowing users to snap and upload photos to their accounts in the blink of an eye. If you’re a business owner who’s looking to attract new customers or clients, you should add Instagram to your arsenal of social media tools. Here are a few Instagram marketing tips you can try.
Create a Brand Strategy
You can’t expect to succeed on Instagram without first establishing a brand strategy. In other words, how do you intend to present your brand on the network? Taking a closer look at your company values and mission statement may allow you to better answer this question. You’ll want to set up a business Instagram account and be consistent by using a recognizable name and profile image.
As with any social media marketing campaign, you’ll want your Instagram account to reflect your brand in the most accurate and positive manner possible. Create an interesting bio that tells users right away how your content will benefit them in some way. Be sure to include a link back to your website.
Did you know that Instagram allows users to create messages and respond directly to other users? Known as @mentions, this involves placing the @ symbol in front of the user’s name. If a user leaves a comment on a photo that you recently uploaded, for instance, you can respond directly to him or her by using an @mention. Engaging with users is a proven way for your brand to remain on their radar and instill loyalty.
Ask Followers to Submit Photos
Rather than trying to manually source all of your Instagram content by yourself, consider crowdsourcing it from your followers. A simple yet effective tactic is to ask followers to submit photos, which you can then promote on your account. And if you really want to engage users, consider hosting a contest in which the follower who submits the best image wins a prize.
Although they were originally invented for Twitter, #hashtags have since made their way into other social media networks, including Instagram. It only takes a couple seconds to add 2-3 hashtags to your posts, but doing so can make a world of difference in their visibility and ability to attract new followers.
Try to get into the habit of adding a couple hashtags to your posts, as this allows other users to find them more easily. You may even want to check to see what other trending hashtags are, including them in your Instagram content when relevant and meaningful.
It’s a common assumption that Instagram only supports images, but this isn’t necessarily true. While photos and images are its specialty, the network also supports the use of video. Video marketing is becoming increasingly more popular and well worth exploring.
A Word of Caution
While Instagram is a great platform to showcase your products or how your services can benefit others, avoid the hard sell. Instagram users aren’t interested in being advertised to in blatant, direct ways.
Users will be less likely to follow you if all of your images are just pushing products — mix things up and have fun with posting images that will entertain, inform or otherwise provide some kind of value to users.
Have any other Instagram marketing tips that you would like to share with our readers? Let us know in the comments section below!
Image attribution: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pleeker/