How to grow your small business using Instagram

Small Business Marketing Using Instagram

Instagram is an online mobile application used for sharing photos and videos. Instagram is following in the footsteps of Facebook and Twitter and has quickly become a very popular social media tool. Instagram was originally developed so that people could apply different filters to the photos they had taken on their mobile phones and allow them to easily upload and share these photos with friends (or account followers) using the Instagram app. Most recently a video was introduced to Instagram, it can now be uploaded, but Instagram video clips are limited to 3-15 seconds in length.

Why do companies turn to Instagram?

  • There are more than 300 million Instagram users around the world.

  • Approximately 70 million photos are uploaded per day.

  • The account is “free” to set up, so there are few barriers to entry.

  • It is a medium that allows content to be easily shared 24 hours a day.

  • What kind of success have companies achieved with Instagram?

  • Companies like Levis, L’oreal, and hundreds of others have been able to use the tool to:

  • Publicize your products and services.

  • Increase brand recognition.

  • To showcase your community and work pro bono to inspire and attract potential customers to interact with your product, service, or brand.

  • Run successful promotions, contests, and giveaways.

Small Business Marketing Success With Instagram

Instagram seems to be particularly popular with product-based businesses due to its visual nature. Many product-based companies, such as clothing, jewelry, makeup, or even food, have found success with Instagram. This is because the application allows you to publish and share photos of people who use or use these products. For example, a food manufacturer may post photos of someone they cook with, share a meal with, or entertain friends using their food products. This success is not exclusive to big brands, as many small businesses have been able to harness the power of Instagram to attract their customers. For example, Melbourne-based cafe The Kettle Black had more than 45,800 followers as of March 2016. They have achieved this by using compelling photographs of their food and images of coffee meals that would appeal to Instagram users as well as by using hashtags that foodies, food bloggers, and other Instagram users would be interested in or looking for.

Influence marketing

Bloggers, social media stars, and media personalities have amassed a loyal following online with hundreds and sometimes thousands of people following their Instagram accounts. This group of ‘influencers’ means that there are several eyes ready to see your product or service. The audience has already been created for you. The engagement has already been formed and taking advantage of this by having your product uploaded to your Instagram feed or presented by a blogger or a popular Instagram account holder will help you grow your audience faster. Therefore, it is important to take the time to identify key ‘influencers’ in your industry and how you can take advantage of this.

Hashtags – What are they?

How can they be used to increase business exposure?

I suggest that if you are interested in getting on Instagram, spend some time doing your Hashtag research. Hashtags are tags that you can add in the caption of a photo that you upload. To create a hashtag, you need to use the # symbol in front of the tag and then add a keyword or multiple keywords without spaces after the hash symbol. For example, you can post a product image of a pair of jeans. Your hashtags could be: #fashion #style #jeans #lovethatstyle. You may already be familiar with hashtags as they are popular on Twitter too, but if you’re not online, take a look to see some examples of how they are used. The purpose of the hashtag is to tag your photo to a topic or topic category that is ‘searchable’ or ‘popular’ on Instagram.

Remind:

  • No spaces in your hashtags

  • You cannot use special characters in your hashtags Eg! @ $ &

Instagram includes a powerful search feature, so if posts are set to ‘public’, you can use hashtags to tag your photos and videos to make the content easier to search and more accessible to the public. That means when someone conducts a search and is exploring that ‘search term’, your content may be discovered, leading to more people discovering your company or brand.

Some hashtags are very popular, so it’s important to identify the ones that are most relevant to your industry. The goal of the game is really to get people to talk, like, follow and share your content. Hashtags help spread the word if used effectively, so take some time to figure out how to use them to get the most out of your content.

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