The Ultimate Small Business Guide to Instagram

small business instagram

Instagram has become more and more popular for promoting business—over 25 million businesses are already present on this social media platform, including many small companies. With over 800 million Instagram users, it’s one of the most popular social media tools for capturing a new audience and engaging with your existing customers. Instagram allows your Internet business to market your products or services to targeted and engaged audiences at a lower cost than more traditional forms of paid advertising. It is also a powerful tool to spread brand awareness since 70% of Instagram users have reported looking up a brand on the platform.

Marketing on Instagram can seem daunting, particularly if you’ve never used the platform for business purposes. In this post, we’ll provide an accessible social media guide for small businesses and discuss easy ways to leverage Instagram for your business needs.

Instagram Marketing Best Practices to Grow Your Small Business

Take Time to Set Up Your Instagram Business Profile

It’s important to set up an Instagram Business Profile for your company. This presents your account as a legitimate business and gives you the option to display important information, such as your business hours, store locations, and contact information. Further, a business profile will give you access to metrics around the performance of your Instagram tactics, including your impressions, engagement rate, clicks, and more. When you're ready to create an Internet business profile, follow these easy steps that Instagram provides.

Add Value with Your Content

Because Instagram is a visual platform, it’s important to invest time in producing high-quality content. Instagram has the highest engagement rate compared to all other social media platforms. Make sure that your content creates value for your audience and encourages them to engage with your business.

It’s important to note that you do not need to only post promotional images of your product or service to spread brand awareness and increase sales. Depending on the type of business and audience, some businesses may use humor to appeal to their audiences, while others may use inspiring quotes. Ultimately, it might take multiple tests to find the content that works best for your business. For your long-term success, you need to add value to Instagram’s community, rather than using the platform for advertising purposes only.

Maintain a Consistent Theme

Imagine each Instagram post as an individual page of your website—while each post should be good on its own, you'll need to create a cohesive theme to maintain an audience's loyalty. Using a cohesive theme, aesthetic, and message throughout your Instagram activities can help you maintain your audience’s loyalty.

You'll need to create a consistent tone of voice and a unified feed aesthetic as part of your theme. Ultimately, the more specific and consistent you are with your posts, the more likely you are to attract your target audience.

Consider Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a new and increasingly popular marketing strategy that has proven to be one of the most effective Instagram marketing tactics. It involves partnering with individuals who have a strong and engaged Instagram following (such as thought leaders, industry experts, or local celebrities) to promote your brand. Influencers not only create content around your brand, but they distribute this content on their Instagram.

According to a recent Nielson report, influencers’ content generates 11 times the ROI of the average traditional digital campaign. If you’re interested in learning more about influencer marketing and how this can improve your Instagram reach, check out our post, How to Find Social Media Influencers to Promote Your Small Business.

Use Paid Media to Expand Your Reach on Instagram

Instagram offers various advertising opportunities that can be effective for small businesses who want to increase brand awareness or grow sales. Instagram advertising is a great way to reach a targeted audience that fits your ideal buyer’s persona. If you decide to go with this route, make sure to focus on a single goal when creating an ad campaign.

To learn more about how to do this through sponsored content, check out our post, How to Drive Traffic to Your Small Business’s Social Media Channels.

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