How can small business owners use Instagram in 2021?
Instagram is a huge global platform where everyone from large brands to micro influencers and small business owners keep striving for growth. It is a constant race to put out quality Instagram content, and to gather the maximum possible likes, shares, saves and followers.
The platform has more than 1 billion monthly users. With its popularity, Instagram has also become an ideal destination for businesses of all kinds to promote their products. Naturally, a social media service as large as this was bound to become a go-to market for consumers looking for all kinds of products.
Instagram has also become a haven for small businesses with the opportunity it provides for marketing their products to a large audience. Small businesses should undoubtedly set up a business account on Instagram, especially with the platform’s business-friendly specialized profiles.
Are you a small business owner looking to use Instagram’s vast array of features to the fullest and drive organic traffic? Our guide will walk you through the ways in which small businesses can establish themselves on this platform and create a loyal audience.
Set Up A Business Account
If you have a small business, chances are you’ve also already set up an Instagram business profile. If not, well, there’s no point in waiting. Just set up a personal account, convert it to a business account and enjoy all the additional features that come with an Instagram business profile.
A business account has a wider set of features that offer stats and information on your Instagram marketing plans. It also helps keep a track of your audience’s reaction to the Instagram content you put out. The first step for small business owners in using Instagram must be to set up an Instagram business account.
Brush Up Your Profile
Once you’ve created a business profile, makes sure that you put some time in choosing a profile photo and bio. The profile picture and Instagram bio are the first two things that customers see when they click on a profile. It is like a welcome message where you have to introduce yourselves.
The brand logo makes an ideal profile photo and the bio can be anything as long as it makes the customers feel welcome. Also, don’t forget to add your website or online marketplace link under bio.
Keep it Aesthetic
Instagram is majorly a photo sharing platform and it is all about the aesthetic. Small business owners have an advantage in this area as they are free to decide their own aesthetic scheme for themselves. Every business’ aim for their Instagram content should not just be to bring in sales, it should also be to create shareable photos.
This means that you’ll be generating sales and at the same time make the customers want to share your content for its aesthetic. Also, remember to keep a signature aesthetic style throughout your feed. This will make your account stand out and have its own charm.
Craft an Instagram Marketing Strategy
Creating a marketing plan for Instagram does not have to be as complicated as it sounds. However, if your strategy works, it will be equivalent to a large brand’s all-out marketing scheme. Here’s how you should begin with creating a growth plan for your small business:
- Choose your target audience. Small business owners usually have a specific niche of products they offer. Make the most of this and choose which group of the population is the likeliest to be intrigued by your products.
- Define your purpose for choosing this particular platform.
- Set a short-term and long-term goal. When you have a clear vision of what you’re looking to achiever, your work will become exponentially easier. Setting a goal means half the work is already done. The rest will follow automatically. A short-term goal could be to create an event and drive a certain amount of traffic towards it. A long-term goal could be the organic growth of real Instagram followers a few months or years down the line.
Create Your Personal Brand
Branding works! Whether it is a giant corporation or an independent influencer, every single person who seeks to garner a substantial following understands the importance of personal branding. Your business account should reflect your brand. So should your products and services.
This is where aspects like feed aesthetic and profile logo come into play. They give small business owners a chance to establish themselves as a brand. The business should also have a consistent brand voice. It is not only reflected in your captions or bios, but also in how you communicate with your customers.
With innumerable business accounts on Instagram, it is quite difficult to make yourself stand out. But don’t let that dishearten you. Your account will be unique because it’s yours and it does make a difference if you really enjoy it.
Track Your Performance
Instagram metrics are provided to business accounts for a reason. They help business owners keep up with the performance of their Instagram content. It’s always the right time to dig into the data and find out your posts are performing. Every marketing account is striving to keep enhancing its platform presence, and you cannot afford to be left behind.
Study Instagram analytics, decide which type of posts generated more engagement and optimize your content according to the same. The metrics also offer a clear insight into whether your Instagram marketing plans are a hit or miss.
Use Instagram Stories
Stories are a great way of showing up on a follower’s feed in case they missed your post. It’s not always about Instagram likes, stories can also offer the customers a look into your products.
Once you learn how to use this feature to its fullest, you can also upload regular updates and new product launches using this feature. Small business owners should also make it a point to regularly use story features like polls and the “Ask me anything” sticker to know customer opinion on their products.
Instagram is also becoming increasingly friendly to small businesses, with many influencers promoting a small business of their liking and stickers like “Support small business”.
Use Hashtags Wisely
Many people think that adding as many hashtags as possible to a post is the key to creating larger reach. However, this is far from the truth. The maximum number of hashtags that can be added to a post is 30. But this is not the ideal number of hashtags that can be added.
Also, make sure that your hashtags include a mix of general and highly-specific hashtags. Businesses must also have their brand-named hashtag because it’s all about the brand here. This will take a bit of experimentation, but once you get a hang of using the optimal hashtags for every kind of post, your reach will skyrocket.
Instagram collaborations are very common and the reason is simple- they work. Find an influencer who you think would compliment your niche and brand voice, and invite them for a collaboration.
Collaborating is symbiotic and both the parties benefit from the arrangement. They gain access to the other’s Instagram followers and business accounts can gain more customers. The influencers also promote your products to their audience and their power to sway their followers will reap profit for your small business.
Create a Live Event
One of the easiest and most-effective ways of boosting your sales is by creating a live event on Instagram. Tease your customers about the launch of a new product through a live event. Give regular reminders that the live event is nearing and you will have your followers and more at the edge of their seats.
Everyone loves suspense, and live events give businesses a chance to combine it with new products- making a deadly combination. In a good way, of course!
Read the Comments Under Every Post
Don’t just post content and leave it to be never seen again. Read what your followers have to say about your content. This will provide a clear look into how your customers perceive your brand and if they have any complaints.
Be active at replying to comments. It tells the followers that your brand is always at service and generates healthy communication between the two.
Use Instagram Ads
Advertising through the platform is another form of Instagram marketing that is highly affordable and effective. Instagram Ads feature customizes your ad according to your own preference. You can choose your target group, their age, areas they belong to and their interests.
This entirely-customizable features comes at a fraction of what it will bring in return.
The final verdict is that Instagram has time and again proven itself to be an optimal platform for small business owners. The competition is humongous, but so is the customer base and the owner’s hard work. Every Instagram account starts at zero but the biggest advantage of this social media is that the users are very welcoming to new ideas and accounts. Even when small brands, that are usually run by a single person uses Instagram marketing tools they manage to establish a consistent presence.
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