Everything You Need to Know about Instagram for Small Business and Freelancers

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Whats Instagram? Under 60 secs:

Instagram is a social networking app made for sharing photos and videos from a smartphone everyone who creates an Instagram account has a profile and a news feed.

All your posts will be displayed on your profile. Other users who follow you will see your posts in their own feed. Likewise, you’ll see posts from other users who you choose to follow.

Instagram is a social media platform that allows its users to share images with other followers. It is free to all users and is an easy way to get your business’ name out into the universe.  And it’s a growing daily Instagram users.

How can a small local business or a feelancer can use INSTAGRAM?

Instagram is a fantastic branding opportunity for many small businesses. However, growing a large and engaged following can take a long time and be incredibly time consuming. The following nine tips will help you build your small business’ Instagram account and gain a large and profitable following quickly and efficiently.

Whether you’re brand spanking new to the world of Instagram or have found yourself unsure of how to manage your account, here are some tips to turn you into a small business Instagram marketing guru.

To maximize your time and drive Instagram success for your small business, we’re sharing Top 10 of our favorite Instagram tips and best practices for building your brand and following:

1)     Set up your business Instagram account

Create a short, snappy bio

Your bio should quickly tell your followers what you are about in a succinct, catchy way.

This means summarizing what your business is about in a way that reflects the image you hope to present.

For an example, look to popular brand Nike : their bio contains a brief opening sentence that shows their brand philosophy, their hashtag (more on creating your own hashtag in a moment), their handle on Snapchat, and a link to their site. Simple, succinct, and imparts all necessary information.

If you have a physical location, be sure to include necessary information on your location and hours here, too.

Include a link back to your site in your bio

Instagram is a little bit of an anomaly, in the sense that links don’t really “work” within the app. This means that you can’t include hyperlinks in your posts, but you can include a link back to your site in your bio.

So, make sure to include your most important link in your biography, so that users can open up a new link and access your site. This could be a link back to your main page, your newest product, or your latest blog post.

Choose a username and photo that clearly illustrates who you are When you picked your business name, hopefully you checked that you’d be able to use that name on as many social profiles as possible.

 

2)     Grow Your Following

The next step is to connect your IG account to your Facebook account.  This not only allows you to see who is on Instagram, but it also allows you to cross post your images to Facebook – a great way to drive engagement on both platforms! The area where Instagram is the same as other social platforms: you must engage.  Like other users’ images and leave comments.  You can also create Facebook Instagram apps via Woobox. This gives your account further exposure on your business page.

3)     Follow Back

You don’t have to follow ALL of your followers, but those whose ideas and interests align with your business are exactly the type of folks you should follow.  That way you can stay engaged with them and they, in turn, will engage with you and your content.

4)     Capitalize on Instagram Ads

One of the biggest obstacles that stops small businesses from trying social media advertising is costs. When you don’t have a big budget, it’s a little more difficult to justify spending money on advertising. But Instagram Ads present a great opportunity for small businesses because it’s extremely affordable.

Getting started is simple, particularly if you already have a Facebook Advertising account because it’s built into the same platform. However, we recommend creating custom image assets specifically for Instagram Ads instead of reusing the same ones you would for Facebook because of how it’s displayed in the feed.

5)     Offer promotions to your followers

Share sales and discounts

Beyond curating content that both subtly promotes your products and builds a lifestyle story around your brand, your Instagram is also a great place to share current sales, discounts, and promotions that you are running.

You can mention your sale or promotion in the caption of your photo, or even create an image in

Canva or similar with text overlayed that describes the promotion. Don’t forget to put a direct link in your bio if your promotion is available online!

Use contests to drive engagement

Instagram is a perfect platform to host contests; by creating a hashtag specific to your contest, you can encourage fans of your brand to participate by taking photos and using your hashtag for a chance to win (photos which you can later share on your own page).

6)     Don’t Over Post

It’s kind of easy to get carried away on Instagram, especially if you have several pieces of content that you know will make your followers go gaga! The great thing about Instagram’s news feed is that it’s pretty laid back, where an image can be viewed in a feed for up to 15 hours.  Because of this, it’s not necessary to even post daily, but many brands do.  The average amount of Instagram posts by Top 100 brands is 5.5 times per week.

7)     Add Your Location

When you share a photo or video on Instagram, you can tag the image with the location where it was taken. Posts tagged with your company location will display your name and address just above the image. Instagram users can then tap on your location name and see:

  • Your location on a map
  • Other photos and videos you’ve tagged along with your business information
  • Photos and videos your customers have tagged along with your business information

It’s easy to add a location to your posts. Look for the “Add Location” option when you’re getting ready to share a new photo or video. A list of suggested locations will appear beneath this prompt; if your business is listed, tap to add it to your image. If your company doesn’t automatically show up, tap “Search” or “Add Location” for a longer list of suggested locations.

8)     It’s all about the hashtag

While hashtags may seem trivial and annoying, they are a critical part of the Instagram ecosystem. Hashtags expose your account to thousands of users who may not have found it otherwise. Use Websta to find hashtags relevant to your industry and use them on all of your posts. The maximum number of hashtags Instagram allows per post is thirty. Power users will often max out the number of hashtags they use. However, on average, the most popular posts use eleven hashtags per image. Do your homework and load up on those hashtags to grow your account.

9)     Balance Your Images

While Instagram is a fun platform and is a great way to share your business’ story, you have to remember you’re there to engage your customers.  Make sure that you have a balance of fun photos with photos that highlight your product or business.

10)    Collaborate and S4S[Share 4 share]

One of the quickest ways to get a surge of new followers is to get a shout out or mention from someone that already has a large following. The great thing about Instagram is that a lot of popular accounts aren’t owned by huge corporations. They’re owned by regular people and lifestyle entrepreneurs who have done a lot of the leg work to build their own audience already.

When these people give a brand a shout out, their followers instantly go to check out the account and will more than likely give you a follow.

People love visual content, so that makes Instagram the ideal social media marketing platform for small businesses.  It’s also currently a completely free way to market your business to potentially millions.  Follow people, engage and you will have an impassioned following before you can say hashtag.

Instagram can be a valuable marketing tool for small business owners, and it’s growing in popularity every day. Make sure you’re not left behind. By following these tips, you can get started today, visually tell your business’ story, and build relationships with customers.

 

We hope that these tips will improve your channel’s performance and attract new customers. Please comment us which of these tips were most useful to you, and also let us know about other tactics that have worked for you.

-Nisha Dubey

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