What’d you see the last time you scrolled through your Instagram feed?
If you’re like me, you were bombarded with selfies, pictures of delicious-looking food, videos of people’s pets, and inspirational quotes.
And probably not too many interesting posts from small businesses.
The sad fact is that lots of small businesses aren’t even on Instagram. Often, they either don’t want to learn how to use it or they don’t think it’ll help them improve their business.
But they’re wrong. Instagram can help your small business succeed.
And that especially applies if your ideal customers are anywhere from 12 to 25 years old. Just take a look at how popular the app is with that audience:
But even if you’re marketing to an older demographic, Instagram is worth your time. After all, at 4.21%, brand engagement rates highest on Instagram. That’s right – it beats both Twitter and Facebook.
So, let’s talk about several ways you can use Instagram for your small business to effectively to engage with your audience and get better results from your social media marketing efforts.
1. Find, follow, and interact with your ideal customers
Finding your ideal customers on Instagram isn’t too difficult. The first thing you should do is look at the accounts who are following businesses similar to yours – if they’re following them, then they’re probably going to be interested in what your business has to offer too.
For example, if you’re a fitness guru who sells online weight loss courses, you’d want to follow some of the people who follow popular fitness gurus. If you’re a marketing agency, you’d want to follow some of the people who follow popular marketing agencies.
You get the picture.
Now, don’t get me wrong – not all of the people you follow will follow you back. But some of them will, and there’s a good chance they’ll engage with you if you’re posting the right content.
Then, you can start interacting with those people by commenting on their photos, liking their photos, and even sending them direct messages.
But keep this in mind:
If you spam people or write generic comments that aren’t tailored to fit the photo/account you’re commenting on, you’ll just hurt your brand and annoy people. Take the time to really form a genuine connection with your audience, and your efforts will eventually pay off.
2. Create content that appeals to your target audience
You know your target audience, but do you know what kind of content will make them engage with your brand on Instagram?
If not, it’s time to start researching. Take a look at your competitors’ accounts, and figure out which kinds of photos get the most engagement there. Of course, you don’t want to steal those photos, but you can certainly use them as inspiration when you’re creating your own posts.
If you’re not sure what kind of content to post on Instagram, here are a few ideas:
- Behind-the-scenes videos
- Inspirational quotes
- Employee selfies
- Blog post images
- Product sneak peeks
- Product arrangements
Try several (or all) of these, and see what gets the most engagement. Then, you can change your posting strategy based on what your audience likes best.
3. Fill out your bio strategically
Instagram isn’t LinkedIn – it’s much more casual. That means there’s no need for you to write a stuffy, boring bio full of business jargon.
Instead, opt for a more lighthearted feel to humanize your brand. Think about your ideal customer, and write your bio in a way that appeals to them.
As far as formatting, you can use emojis, vertical spacing, and other tricks to help your bio stand out from the crowd.