How Your Small Business Should Be Using Instagram

These days, it’s hugely important for your small business to have a strong online presence. It’s just as important as hiring the right people, budgeting and saving, and knowing what accounting strategies to use when tax season comes around. Because even if you’re a brick-and-mortar store, advertising at local grocery stores and putting up fantastic window displays so that people walk in, you still need to get attention online.

Having a strong online presence is required now if you want your business to be taken seriously, and it’s a great strategy for getting younger customers from the Millennial and Gen Z generations.

Instagram apps

All social media platforms are important, but one that’s getting big now is Instagram. If you aren’t using it correctly, then you’re missing out on some serious business opportunities. So if you want to take advantage of this great platform as much as you can, and become successful because of it, here’s how.

1. Create an Instagram for business account

The first thing you need to do as a business with a successful Instagram account is to make it into an Instagram for business account. For one thing, this will connect your Instagram to your Facebook page, and it also allows you to provide an address, which means that people who engage with Instagram can engage with all your other content, too. Additionally, you can provide contact information such as an email address, physical address, or phone number–which is especially useful if you’re running a store where clients have to make appointments. Finally, you get free analytics information about your posts and who’s viewing them, which can help you understand demographics details such as average age and location.

And let’s not forget the most important part: switching to this kind of account automatically gives you more visibility. Considering that 70 percent of Instagram posts aren’t even seen, this is going to make a huge difference in your success.

2. Figure out which hashtags to use

Another strategy that will automatically increase people’s interaction with your brand on Instagram is using the right hashtags. After all, hashtags are what drive Instagram to work in the first place. According to Louise Myers, the visual social media expert, “You can use up to 30 hashtags on an Instagram post. But, many marketers say that looks spammy. Use 5 or 6. Others say using 11 gets you the best engagement. Well, no. The study they’re referring to found that posts with 11 or more hashtags get the best engagement. I’m a fan of using all 30 hashtags. Do people find it spammy? My engagement rates say otherwise.”

So go for it, go for 30. Then, choose which hashtags to use. Create one for your small business that represents it well and is easy to remember. Then, use trending hashtags from your industry (see what your competitors are doing, for example, and use free Instagram analytics tools). Finally, use hashtags related to events such as Christmas and Valentines Day, and don’t forget about using the hashtag #summersale!

Instagram Stories

3. Use Instagram videos and stories

The more time people spend on their phones, the more they’re expecting visual content to be exciting. After all, Americans spent 7.5 billion minutes watching Netflix on their phones as of June 2017, which is 73 percent higher than it was back in 2014. So if you aren’t using video on Instagram already, it’s time to get started. It’s just as easy as posting a picture; all you have to do is hit ‘record’ instead of taking a picture when you’re using your phone camera.

Additionally, don’t forget to use Instagram stories! While this can be a bit tricky at first, it’s going to make a huge difference when it comes to attracting Gen Zers and millennials. Because this part of the platform was created to compete with Snapchat, you can see just how important it is to customers in those age groups.

4. Connect with other Instagrammers

Finally, it’s a great idea to connect with other Instagram accounts. First of all, there are influencers. These are people who are famous in the Instagram community, and they can help make your small business famous, too. Connect with them, and ask them if they’d like to use your product or talk about it.

Additionally, you can use Instagram to advertise your business. By having ads appear on the feeds of people who want to follow your business but don’t know you exist already, they’ll automatically start following you and get excited about your posts. Considering that six in ten online adults have an Instagram account, this is a great move for any business to make.

These are some of the best ways to make your Instagram account work for your business as best as possible. What other strategies would work for you and in your industry?