responsiblog

Mastering Your Small Business’s Instagram

October 2018
opening up a personal instagram page on a smartphone

How to Maximize Sales & Reach on the #1 Photo-Sharing App

Managing your small business isn’t easy - we know that. You need employees, management over your products and services, marketing, a website, and the list goes on. It’s tough not to get lost in it all. With social media being one of the most important aspects in attracting customers to your brand or business, the list grows even larger. Feel like you need some help? Use these tips to get your small business’s instagram off the ground.

Complete Your Profile

social media profile

You want to profile to be professional, eye-catching, and representative of your brand. The best place to start is with the top of your profile that showcases your profile image, a short company bio, and links to your site and contact information. This is the first impression you will deliver to your potential followers, so here’s some tips to optimize this part of your profile:

  • Your Instagram Handle: Keep it simple, preferably just your business’s name. If possible - keep a consistent handle across all social media (twitter and Instagram will be the big ones)
  • Profile Image: Be bold. Be recognizable. Using a company logo as your profile image is your best bet - it’s the icon that immediately allows customers and followers to recognize you. If you don’t have a great logo, use a bold, minimally-detailed image that represents your business as your profile image.
  • Company Bio: In about a sentence, describe yourself. Keep it brief but descriptive, letting followers know who you are and what you do.

The top-rated deep-dish pizza in Charlotte, NC.

Seattle’s #1 Injury Lawyers, protecting you since 1988.

Bath-bomb, Organic Soap, and Custom Cosmetics Retailer in Center-City Philly.

Build a Following

 follow us  chalkboard menu

When it comes to followers, it’s all about getting started. Start out by sharing with family, friends, and acquaintances. Follow your friends and ask them to follow back. From there, reach out to your customers; feature your instagram handle in-store or start a contest/giveaway for customers who follow your instagram.

                Plan your messages

oracle fox

Decide the content you want to share that will best represent your business. If you’re looking for inspiration, take a look at some of the best companies on instagram for inspiration. Here’s an overview of some popular types of Instagrams - check them out, see what you like, and brainstorm what will be best for your brand.

  • Product-Driven Content: Products are consistently featured in the images
  • Lifestyle Content: Images are not about products, but about the lifestyle of someone who uses the products, creating and idealized self for customers
  • People Posting: Showcases customers and employees, giving updates on backend and frontend of business from a human perspective.
  • Service-Driven Instagram: These can be tricky, especially if your service isn’t necessarily glamorous (we’re talking to you, Mr. Plumber). Try merging lifestyle content with your finished product, showing the quality of life possible after your work is done.

Aesthetics & Cohesion

evergreen diaries

The best Instagram accounts have one key characteristic in common: they look great. Many top company instagram accounts have professional photographers and content makers, but you don’t necessarily need that. Take the best photos you can (or snag some from the internet, or create your own content on sites like Canva, whatever works for you) and edit them with similar filters (apps like VSCO are awesome for photo editing) to create cohesion between images.

Hashtags galore

hashtags

Hashtags are how users who don’t follow you will find your content based on their similar interest (AKA the key to growing your reach & followers!). Maximizing the number of hashtags you use without cluttering your posts is key, which is why it’s best practice to leave space (using periods to space lines) between your caption and hashtags, or leave your hashtags in a separate comment altogether. Check out this awesome guide to hashtagging to garner likes & followers.

Utilize your story

pure barre pitt

The Instagram story is consistently growing in importance for your company’s Instagram presence. Stories are the first thing a follower sees when the open the app, so consistently posting stories will ensure that your followers are interacting with your content. Best of all, Instagram stories have tons of features that make your content fun and interactive (gifs, stickers, polls, and [for verified accounts, once you get there] swipe-up links to your website and content).

Since the Instagram story has its own section on your feed, it doesn’t clutter up your followers’ feeds or your own page. This is great, because you can post stories frequently and the format can be more flexible without disturbing the aesthetics of your page. Post about contests, company trivia, Q&As, share content you are tagged in - the Instagram story is your oyster!

Always link back to your website

Finally, yet most importantly, always link back to your site in some way. Instagram isn’t your whole website, it’s simply a portion of your presence on the internet and social media. Add a relevant link to your bio or refer to your website’s “link in bio” in your post captions. This is the easiest, most user-friendly way to drive traffic to your site - the heart and soul of your business - and increase your sales, once all is said and done.

Once your Instagram is succeeding, make sure your small business’s website does too. Rely on Responsival - the best website development company for small businesses - to get your website up and running with as much flare and poise as your Instagram.

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