11 Instagram tips for small businesses in 2020

As of July 2019, Instagram was ranked #6 among the world’s most popular social networks, with over 1 billion users worldwide. The key to successfully marketing your small business on Instagram is building an engaged following.

Danielle from the Somerset team provides 11 tips for building an Instagram marketing strategy for your small business:

1. Use a business account
When joining Instagram, you can select whether yours will be a personal account or a business account. Choose business because it allows you to view analytics, connect your account with your Facebook page, and run paid advertisements, and it makes it easier for followers to contact you.

2. Fill in your bio
Instagram gives you 150 characters to tell potential followers everything they need to know about you. Use this space wisely. You can include hashtags in the bio, which can help more people find your profile. Don’t forget to include a link to your website.

3. Establish your identity and look
Because Instagram is such a visual platform, the “look” of your profile matters. You want your followers to immediately associate your content with your brand. Using certain colour palettes and fonts can help with this, as well as a certain style of image that’s consistent with your message.

4. See what your competitors are doing
See what other businesses like yours are up to and draw on their ideas for inspiration. Take note of the kind of content they post, the hashtags they use, their visual language, and so on.

5. Plan your content
Once you’ve decided what kind of content you want to post, be strategic about it: plan what you’re going to post at least on a weekly basis. Posting regularly and consistently helps keep your followers engaged.

6. Use hashtags strategically
Hashtags are one of Instagram’s most important features. They make it possible for people who don’t follow you to discover your content. Research has shown that using 7 or 30 hashtags per post performs best, but that it varies depending on how many followers you have.

7. Embrace Instagram Stories
The Stories feature on Instagram is brilliant. It will allow you to show your personality and the fun behind your brand without disrupting the look of your grid. You can post multiple Stories a day without cluttering up your followers’ feeds. Stories should be an integral part of your Instagram marketing strategy.

8. Use video
Videos are engaging and you have multiple ways to post them on Instagram. Clips of up to 1 minute can be shared on the feed, 15-second clips can be strung together on Stories, and there’s also IGTV, the new feature that allows you to post videos of up to 10 minutes in length.

9. Direct message
Direct messaging will help build relationships and allow use to use the personal touch in your interactions with potential customers.

10. Actively engage with other users
If you really want a strong presence on Instagram, you need to do more than post your own content. Interacting with other people’s posts and comments shows you are interested in them and not just trying to get their business. Respond to comments on your posts, follow interesting accounts, and like other people’s posts. This will make a big difference to the growth of your account

11. Use Paid Ads
Even with all the above efforts, it can be a challenge for businesses to reach new audiences organically. A little paid advertising can go a long way. Instagram ads allow you to target very specific audiences, increasing your exposure to the people most likely to be interested in what you have to offer. This generates excellent conversion rates and often proves a good investment.

Good luck & have fun with it!

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