People love community, and people love communication. If you have a business, you need to consider using Instagram. Imagine your customers engaging in your business without having to leave their homes. There are many ways that Instagram marketing is useful for different fields of business. Instagram is all about presentation. It’s a snapshot of what your business can do for the customers and local community.
Instagram is full of amazing tools to help your business grow. The five essential basics of Instagram are:
- Main feed posts
- Direct messages
You master these in order to grow an engaging audience and attract sales. To start off, let’s discuss the importance of your bio. Your bio gives followers the who, what, where, when, and how. Describe what your company is by using easy-to-read bullet points. You can also select a category for your business type which is important for search results when people look up your type of company on their discover page. Another important section with the bio is that you can add an email and phone number so people can contact you immediately.
Now that people know what you are about. They want to see pictures and videos to prove what you’re saying lives up to the description. The main feed post is a picture or a group of pictures to show something you’d like to share. For example, a candle business will post pictures of the latest product and maybe an advertisement to go with it. You want your feed to be unique and tell your story. Usually, main feed posts are more edited and curated.
An important Instagram basic is the story feature. Stories are a great way to show events as they happen and for a process series. The best thing is you can share your main feed post to your story with an engaging GIF so that even if people don’t want to scroll and just watch the stories they will see your product, promotion, or event. A graphical interchange format (GIF) is a tiny image or series of images that loop to appear animated and are popular in instant messaging and social media. Think of a happy dance animation you send in a text to celebrate good news.
Make your posts creative by using filters and the other features you can use on the top tool bar of Instagram stories. A great tool for making your feed more creative is Canva. It has a free version and has millions of images and templates for you to use. Later, you can put stories into highlights that showcase different products and categories that pertain to your brand.
The fastest growing media on Instagram is it’s the new Reels feature. Reels are 15 second videos using music from trending sounds. There have been some who claim you cannot grow on Instagram today if you don’t post these. According to an article from March 2022 from earthweb.com, “Content on Instagram Reels gets 22% more engagement compared to regular videos on Instagram.” Engagement is the best thing for your brand. It means people are paying attention to you and not just scrolling past.
The final basic I’ll highlight here it is Direct Message or DM. Many times, people will tag your company, and it will be sent to as a DM. It is crucial that you respond and interact with this function, because it helps to create better relationships and loyalty within your customers and prospects.
For example, a restaurant wants to post their menu highlights, people at the restaurant, and reels of chefs preparing food. Consumers love content. The more you show them, the more likely they will continue to watch and desire your product or service. If your service is fitness training, showcase your workouts through stories. Share clients’ progress through main feed posts and reels. Once in a while, show a sample workout so that people can try it and see if they like your training style. There are endless creative ways to get involved on Instagram to drive sales.
To find people to follow you within your niche, you must use hashtags. Hashtags will bring together people from the consumer base you want because the algorithm will show your posts in their explore page. A restaurant will use hashtags such as #ctfood, #foodofinstagram, #bestburger, etc. If you have trouble finding your hashtags, simply just Google “best hashtags” for food or whatever your company offers.
Utilizing influencers and bloggers is a growing way of marketing through Instagram. A 2018 article from smallbusinesstrends.com stated, “Given the marketing opportunities Instagram provides, savvy advertisers and businesses are spending money on influencer marketing on Instagram. In fact, so prolific are the marketing openings on Instagram that in 2017, the platform’s influencer market was put at $1.07 Billion.” Since the pandemic this has increased. People rely on opinions posted online of a company’s products and services. Regardless of where you are located, it is in your best interest to interact with local bloggers in your niche to spread awareness of your brand. This is important to make you stand out from our competition. That is how even a small business can go viral.
Instagram is free and easy to set up. Even if you start small, with consistent activity your followers will grow, and engagement will follow. Followers are not as important as engagement. Engagement is the key to increasing sales and growing a community. Make sure to focus on the building community. This builds trust in your brand. Do not just push sales messages. That will work against you. Start today to use Instagram to grow your business and pave the way for your success.
For an overview of social media and how to align it with your business gorwth goals, read the post on this site, Social Media Marketing Strategies for Revenue Growth.
About the Author
Our guest author is Madison Maske – marketing student, entrepreneur, and experienced Instagram user. She has run her own businesses since she was 16 utilizing Instagram. She established “Maske Makes It” when the pandemic created the requirement for face masks, and she sold over 600 masks strictly using Instagram. She is also a Campus Brand Manager for HBO Max, where she promotes HBO Max to fellow students using Instagram. Her contact is firstname.lastname@example.org and her social handles are all @madsmaske.