Getting Started with Instagram for Your Small Business
With 500 million monthly users and 300 million daily users - you can use Instagram to connect with people all over the world in a unique and personal way.
Investing your time and effort in a new social platform requires a solid strategy and clear goals.
What are your business goals on Instagram?
Identify the purpose of your Instagram account. If you sell fitness clothing, your goal will most likely be to lead your audience to your website and sell your product.
However, Instagram users will not respond well to direct sales methods. Content marketing in general is all about educating your audience and building trust.
Do your Instagram pictures have a theme?
The best Instagram accounts are visually appealing. From lifestyle images to product images to 15 second recipe videos, there are a number of themes you can choose from as you develop your visual strategy.
Part of building trust with your audience is delivering similar images and videos. Someone will follow you if they like your pictures. It's really that simple.
Are you engaging in conversation with your Instagram audience?
The comments feature allow your customers to react in real-time to your pictures - and your brand. Instagram is an incredibly powerful tool for social listening.
You can also comment directly on individual's pictures. Commenting on photos is a great way to engage with your audience and show them that you are interested in their photos.
Are you collaborating with Instagram influencers?
To build your following, you need some street cred. Shout-outs from influencers are very powerful. Not only do shout outs give you access to a new group of followers, but humanize your brand.
How to find an Instagram collaborator or influencer:
Browse a hashtag you use, and use those results find another Instagram account or influencer with a similar or higher number of followers. Typically, influencers will have their email address listed in their Instagram profile. It's a good idea to follow the influencer first and leave a few comments on their pictures to show you are interested.
Once you leave comments on their photos, send an email to introduce yourself and your brand. Ask if they would be willing to collaborate or do an Instagram contest. Establishing that personal connection is the first step. Setting up a call can be helpful, or just asking within the email if they would like to do a joint blog post, Instagram contest, video interview, etc.
There are a number of social platforms to master today - Instagram is great for brands that want to connect with their audience on a personal level and display their product in a creative and visual way.