hall of fame
Kim Jordan

With more than 400 million active users, Instagram has taken the online world by storm.

Since its beginning in 2010, larger companies have established themselves by sharing posts that include everything from creative advertisements to behind-the-scenes photographs to product contests, and other industry-related imagery. But who says you have to be a large corporation to reap the benefits of this great social media network?

Instagram, like virtually every social media network, has opened the window of opportunity for small businesses to compete with bigger competitors. So, as a smaller business in today’s largely technology-driven world, it’s crucial to have an online presence.

Let’s go over some of the best practices that your small business can follow to jumpstart success on Instagram:

Getting Started

If Instagram is foreign territory for you—fear not! Simply begin by creating your business account. If your business is already on Instagram, but you haven’t created a business profile yet, it’s easy to make the switch!

Here are some important tips to keep in mind when creating or updating your business profile account:

– Keep it public. A private profile hides your creative posts from non-followers. This eliminates your potential to increase traffic to your page and grow your business.
– Don’t overthink your profile image. This will be the first thing a follower will see when he or she visits your page. So, make it memorable. Use this space to showcase an image that correlates with your brand. It could be something as simple as your company’s logo.
– Make sure your username and handle are in line with your company’s name and easy to remember. For example, the Graphic D-Signs’ Instagram handle is @graphicdsigns!
– Use your company’s bio to your advantage. Here, you have the chance to showcase what your company does and grab visitors’ attention. This is a great space to share your company mission or tagline.

Posting on Instagram

There are countless things you can share on your company’s Instagram profile. As a small business, the most important items for you to focus on are the products and services that your company offers—but don’t limit yourself to advertising what you sell. Instagram gives you the chance to “humanize” your brand. Don’t be afraid to share behind-the-scenes photographs, repost customer posts and interact with visitors by starting a fun giveaway or contest.

Quick Tip: No matter what you’re sharing on Instagram, be sure to always include #hashtags! According to QuickSprout, posts that include 11+ hashtags get 79.5% more interaction than posts with zero hashtags (per 1k followers).

Interacting With Followers

Social media is a powerful marketing tool. It provides the ability to connect with customers on a more personal level. So, use that to your advantage. Rather than sharing a post and walking away from it, monitor it. Pay attention to the comments. Yes, many visitors will comment with only a few words or an emoji. But, keep an eye out for visitors who comment with valuable questions or seek more information about your products or services. Responding to them in a thorough, timely manner presents a great opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and showcase your personality and values. This is your chance to turn a stranger into a customer.

You can do more than wait for customers to come to you. Instead, YOU can proactively engage with the people in your market. Search for hashtags that relate to what your company does and engage with users who may be searching for a service that you can provide. For example, a wedding photographer can search for posts by someone who recently got engaged. By liking and/or commenting on a photo from that user, the photographer has a strong chance to win over a new customer.

Now, armed with these Instagram best practices, your small business is ready to become a social butterfly. Easier said than done? Well, the Graphic D-Signs team can help. We tackle social media marketing for plumbers, small businesses, HVAC companies and contractors on a daily basis. It’s our goal to make it simple for our clients to keep up with every aspect of their online presence.

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