So, You Think Your Small Business Doesn’t Need an Instagram…
With over 3 billion people using social networks across the globe, small businesses everywhere have a wonderful opportunity to grow their business from their phone. Benjamin Franklin once said, “Time is Money,” and as a small business owner, you know that this statement rings true when it comes to marketing your business. Our previous blog post told you why small business’ must use social media for success. Now, let’s dig a little deeper. We want to not only talk to you about why your small business can benefit from using Instagram but also want to provide you with tips and tricks for success.
So, why use Instagram for marketing?
Did you know that Instagram currently boasts over 500 million daily active users, with most users spending an average of 53 minutes every day on this social network? So, who are these 500 million users? In 2019 Hubspot released statistics for Instagram users. It said that 71% of Instagram users are under the age of 35. Now, before you look at these statistics and think that you should only be focusing your advertising on traditional business to business avenues…let me stop you there. Though Instagram may host a ton of millennials, it also hosts small business owners at your fingertips who are looking to support other small business owners. Advertising via Instagram is more fun than just posting a photo of something you sell in order to get people to buy. Instagram gives you the opportunity to connect to your customers by commenting on their posts, thus leading to authentic conversations and further brand recognition. Let’s face it, people buy from businesses they like. In turn, the relationships you form on Instagram help build trust in your brand. Hubspot.com says that 97% of marketers are using social media to reach an audience, and 84% of those marketers were able to generate increased traffic to their website with as little as 6 hours spent a week on social advertising, content creation and interaction with their audience. We know what you are thinking…as a small business owner, it is hard to find a “free” 6 hours per week to dedicate growing your social media. That is where a digital agency, like Momentum3 Growth, can help- but we can talk more about that later. Though there are ways to pay for advertising on Instagram to help increase impressions and followers, through our personal experience we have found that putting in a little leg work can be just as fruitful, and a whole lot more fun! The time spent cultivating these relationships will lead to more inbound traffic to your website and a greater conversion rate. You can cultivate these relationships by liking photos from other accounts, commenting on photos posted by others, mentioning/tagging other people in story posts or on your feed, and direct messaging individuals. Instagram also gives a crucial opportunity to deal with reputation and crisis management head-on. We all know that in these instances silence is not an option. Through Instagram you can monitor conversations relevant to your brand, putting out fires where need be. You can also listen to your competitors in your brand niche, making sure you stay at the front of your game.
What should you be posting on Instagram?
Our Consumer Engagement Specialist, Catherine, has had the wonderful opportunity of growing her own personal brand through Instagram, as well as growing the brand of a nonprofit organization that provides safe housing for minor sex trafficking victims. She is our Instagram Guru and is ready to share some of her top success tips for growing an Instagram following.
When starting an Instagram for business purposes, your starting goal should always be to personalize your brand. You want to provide a connection with others by showing them the ins and outs of your daily life as a business owner and connect with them on a deeper level.
Here are some suggestions for quality content:
- Showcase your customers.
Word of mouth is one of the most powerful tools a company has in their marketing toolbox. Dimensional Research says that 90% of consumers say positive online reviews influence their buying decisions. This fact suggests that most buyers are looking to social media before making a purchase!
- Partner with influencers on Instagram.
This means teaming up with Instagram bloggers for advertising purposes. Just recently I went to an event put on by a local succulent shop for advertising purposes. They hosted a party for several of us and provided us a fun opportunity to create our own succulent garden. The garden was gifted to us for free with the expectation that we not only post about the event on our feed but also to our stories. In turn, they gained a larger following and thus gained more business.
- Provide a glimpse into your office’s daily life through Instagram Stories.
Instagram stories are a wonderful avenue for this. The photos and videos posted to stories only last a mere 24 hours. I have found stories to be a fun opportunity to humanize your brand and make people like you more. Another wonderful reason stories are a popular feature is that it allows you to market your business/products even if the algorithm of Instagram doesn’t allow you to show up in your customer’s fee.
Tips and tricks that might help you as you embark on the world of Instagram:
- Start by creating your strategy. What is your objective? Who will be your target audience? Are you wanting to focus on competitor research?
- Develop a content plan. What are you going to post? How can your post boost engagement through captions? What hashtags should you use for maximum effect?
- Do some research to discover when to post to get the most response for your effort.
- Links do not work in captions on photos. When I post a new blog to our website I grab the image that I used in the blog post and put it on my Instagram feed. I then use the caption to write a brief description of the article and suggest clicking on the link at the top of my profile to read the rest of the post. Please note – you must then link the blog webpage at the top of your profile. I change the link every time a new post is written so that our customers can always stay in the know.
- Make sure all of your posts relate to your brand.
One last thing before we go:
The most important piece of advice I can offer is to keep your posts entertaining and informative. Posting regularly will help you maintain a presence in your audiences feed and when they are ready to make a purchase they will no doubt come to you!
If all of this sounds like too much for you to tackle, please keep in mind that Momentum3 Growth offers a Social Media Service and we are happy to do the legwork for you!