Digital Marketing, Instagram

7 Tips for Using Instagram for Business

So many small businesses miss out on the opportunity of Instagram due to either their lack of understanding how the platform works or how to find and grow their audience. When it comes to uploading images to Instagram, the two main avenues are either via the app on your phone or via a social media management portal like Sprout Social or Hootsuite (note: unless you’re using one of the social media management portals, you cannot load images to Instagram via a laptop or desktop).

Let’s explore seven tips you can use immediately to grow your followers on Instagram and increase your sales leads.


Show Off Your Product Creatively on Instagram

Pictures and creativity are the main focus of this social platform, so you’ll want to get creative when you’re introducing your products to your audience.  The more creative your images, the more engagement you’ll receive.

To make yourself stand out, don’t just simply snap a photo of your product or someone using your services.  You’ll want the photo to stand out so if you’re a coffee shop, for example, have someone holding a cup of coffee about to drink it while sitting in your shop.  You can then use photo enhancing tools or apps, such as Canva, to add filter or captions to give your image that professional and fun final touch.  Instagram also gives you tons of filters to play with as well during the upload process.


Spend Time on Your Instagram Profile

Having an informational, entertaining and eye-catching profile will also be crucial in bringing in followers.

You’ll want your profile to be filled with a unique story, top of the line photo quality, and hashtags and links (both of which will help potential new followers and leads find you).  Spend 10-15 minutes looking at the profiles of your competitors to see what they are doing and use this as a launching point for your profile.


Grow Your Audience on Instagram Through Following

Consistent posting is important on Instagram, but so is the process of following and unfollowing users. 

You’ll want to perform a search based on hashtags or keywords to find your audience.  Another great place to find them is to check out who is following your competitors.  Posting daily keeps your account active and ensure your audience has a reason to engage with you. Make sure you like other posts too — this shows you’re active and that you’re not just about promoting yourself.

Daily posting, following, and liking of other’s posts shows your audience that you care about them and they may show off your company to their friends and family to spread more info about your business. 


Developing Anticipation and Awesome Offers on Instagram

Posting offers is a great way to get more followers for your Instagram account. And to keep things interesting, consider posting teaser images and news about upcoming projects and products.  You could create a daily countdown until the release of a big product, post a puzzle for your audience to solve in order to figure out something about an upcoming project, or perhaps post a collage of random photos that when put all together will make an image of your soon to be launched product.

Have fun, build excitement and anticipation and now only will your followers engage, they will be more likely to share with others, thereby expanding your reach and potential audience.


Review and Adjust Your Instagram Strategy

Twice a month, carve out some time to take a step back and review your Instagram’s successes and losses. Look at how many likes certain posts received and organized which is the most popular to the least popular. From that point, make a comparison between the most popular and the least and take notes on what’s different.

Once you know what your audience is responding to, you can adjust your strategy for the next few weeks of Instagram posts.

Instagram Loves Hashtags

Using hashtags on Instagram is critical when it comes to getting found and growing your audience.  Hashtags will expand your reach and get your message/posts seen by more prospects.

To find hashtags to use, check out your competitors to see what they are using.  You can also do searches to see what some of the most popular hashtags are for your industry.


Collaborate and Share on Instagram

Small businesses should stick together to help boost each other up. Joining up with others and developing products, promotions or simply cross-promoting together will get their followers and your followers see the potential of each of your businesses and grow both of your audiences.  

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