How to grow your business on Instagram - Instagram for small business

Tackling Instagram for business can be a mind-boggling effort when you’re first starting out. With close to 9,000,000 monthly active Australian users, you may be considering utilising the platform to aid in the growth of your business and see it flourish to its fullest potential.

Like any social platform, Instagram for business purposes should be used in conjunction with an overarching marketing strategy – including elements of Facebook ads, SEO, emailers and other forms of lead generation.

If you have been wondering how to use Instagram for marketing, we have collated the best tips and strategies to get you started.

Instagram for business tips

Instagram for business - small business using instagram to grow

Visual consistency is key

You know what they say about first impressions – they count! Instagram is a visual based platform and quality content in the form of coherently placed images, will draw your audience in before they’ve even read what you’ve got to say.

A professional looking business account will ensure that each and every picture posted, is in line with your brand. This means that colours, fonts and image style should all remain consistent. When using Instagram for business, you need to consider the platform’s 3×3 grid format. A handy tip is to download a scheduling tool such as PLANN, so you can plan your content in advance. This will give you ample time to arrange images in a visually appealing manner, and also allows you to schedule a well-balanced feed, ranging from promotional posts, to those which offer education, inspiration and personalisation (more on this later!).

Unsure where to source images from?

1. Check out free stock photography websites such as:
· Unsplash
· Pexels
· Pixabay

2. Repost content from other Instagram accounts, but be sure to credit correctly.

3. If you are a product based business – get some professional photography taken of your products. Alternatively, if this is too expensive, source a brand rep who will gladly take lifestyle images of your products in exchange for getting to keep them. Check out the Australian Brand Reps Facebook Page for more information.

Define your content pillars

Earlier we mentioned a few content types that can be used when planning your Instagram posts for your business page. Let’s delve a little deeper:

Promotional: often when brands are just starting out on the ‘gram, they have a tendency to bombard their audience with promotional posts. Reality check – nobody wants to see your product pop up day in and out. It looks desperate, robotic and inauthentic. Don’t over-do it, instead post a product photo or promotional caption, every few days.

Educational: Sharing facts about things relating to your industry, really cements your account as being a credible go-to source within the market. Share tips, benefits, industry updates, and commentary to spark conversation and offer value to your followers.

Personal: Audiences love to see the face behind the brand- especially if you are a small business. Don’t be afraid to post a picture of yourself once a month, as this humanises the business and builds trust with your followers. Alternatively, write a caption which introduces your passions, how your business came to be, and why you do, what you do.

Motivational / inspirational: While text based images tend to not perform as well on business accounts as the other forms of content, posting a quote every once in a while, can really help to boost the morale of those reading. You want people to feel happy when visiting your page, and reading your posts and this is a great way to implement it within your feed.

How to grow your business on Instagram?

How to grow your business on Instagram - content planning for Instagram

Use captions

The trick to Instagram captions for business, is to rotate between the aforementioned content types. This will ensure a feed of value which is selling an overall lifestyle that your target market can relate to, trust and ultimately buy from. You don’t want a feed full of promotion which is only selling product or service.

Another handy tip is to ask questions within your captions to encourage responses and discussion back onto your own post. This engagement will help boost your post’s performance within the Instagram algorithm, and ensure that it’s seen by more eyes.

Do Engage

We can’t stress enough the importance of networking when adopting Instagram for business. 50% of the success of the account relies on you being committed to interacting with like minded accounts in an authentic manner. This is the only way to grow your account organically. Be sure to comment and like the posts of related accounts, and when commenting, ask genuine questions and leave well written responses. Sending a one word ‘cool’ or ‘thumbs up’ emoji just doesn’t cut it. You’re not a bot – so read what others have to say, and respond with thought and love.

Check your bio

Ensure the bio on your business account is short and sweet whilst still communicating what you do. We recommend using emojis as bullet points within the bio, to add a bit of colour and draw the eye in. Try to place a call to action and ensure your website appears in the designated section below it. Be sure that your email, phone and direction buttons are kept up to date so people can easily contact you directly from your profile.

Hashtags

Having 3-4 sets of 30 hashtags relating to your product / industry or services and rotating between these sets is recommended. It doesn’t matter whether the hashtags are posted within the caption or first comment. When choosing hashtags, use a combination of big generic hashtags (those with 100k or more against them) and others which are more specific (1000-8000 posts against them). Generally, tags with millions of posts against them are not recommended as your post can easily get lost in the crowd. Knowing how to use hashtags is key to grow your business on Instagram.

Play with Instagram stories

Stories are a wonderful Instagram tool for business. They allow you to post videos which you may not necessarily add to the feed. You can give an insight to the behind the scenes workings of your brand. It’s also another way to get personal – so feel free to show your face and share a video to your stories introducing yourself.

Instagram stories have also introduced a range of cool features including polls and questions. This is an easy way for small businesses to do some quick market research. Do a poll asking which product options your audience prefers. Ask them if they would find value in a certain service. That way, you have the information you need as recommended by your followers.

As you can see, there is quite a bit of work involved in ensuring your Instagram profile is set up for the use of marketing your business. The key things to remember are – organisation (plan your content early), rotate between all content pillars, and that you are selling a lifestyle, not a product.

Ready to grow your business on Instagram?

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