Instagram is the photo-sharing social network that has grown to be increasingly popular, particularly among younger generations. Compared to other social networks, Instagram may appear to have limited potential due to its heavy focus on beautiful images, few video capabilities, and users preferring little to no text. The truth is, though, that these restrictions make Instagram the perfect place to showcase your business.
Meant for “quick” consumption while scrolling through the feed, Instagram posts are precise and to the point. You won’t find ten-minute videos or rambling walls of text on this social network. Instead, visually appealing and instantly gratifying posts rule supreme. Ready to start your small business’ Instagram profile? Follow these beginner tips to get the most out of your Instagram presence.
Let your audience know who you are. First and foremost, add your company’s URL to your page’s description. Should a user stumble upon your profile and decide to explore further, they have your website in an easy, accessible spot. This also helps with your page’s credibility. A short description of your company or your company’s tagline in the bio wouldn’t hurt either.
Showcase your products and your company culture in your posts. Your products are the stars of your company and also happen to be some of the best content for Instagram. If you think your product isn’t interesting enough, think again. Get creative like Post-it does on their account. Their products are sticky notes and office supplies. When was the last time you got excited about your office supplies? Post-it excites and inspires followers every day, creating a real brand connection. Don’t have a tangible product (like us here at Domain.com)? There’s still a ton of content to be posted! From weekend trips to daily office life, you can always find something interesting, exciting, or beautiful to share. A quick word of warning about your products and Instagram: this is not the social media network to actively sell or pitch your product. Instagram is about building a community and connections. If you push your product too hard, followers will abandon your page. Instead of selling, find ways to build your company’s personality and brand.
Share user generated content and interact with them. Followers are sometimes the best content creators and can come in handy when you’re out of ideas. Sharing follower content or liking a photo shows users that you value them, are interested in how your brand influences their lives, and appreciate their business. For the most part, users enjoy having their content highlighted with a shout out and tag, but always ask permission before you repost. Don’t be scared to engage in posts that have nothing to do with your business either. Commenting on a photo of someone’s vacation helps your company look genuine and human.
Use text overlays when necessary. Have a message to communicate and want it to stand out? Text overlays are your answer. Text overlays add to the visual aspect of your post, grab users’ attention while scrolling through their feed, and make your message the focal point. There’s no guarantee a user will read the text below your post on Instagram, but they will see the text if it’s in your post. Use this technique sparingly, though. Remember that Instagram is a visual social network.
Utilize hashtags! Similar to Twitter, Instagram content is categorized using hashtags. Many hashtags are able to make the crossover from Twitter to Instagram and vice versa, helping with brand consistency across networks. Take advantage of trending hashtags when possible to put your post in front of a larger audience. Further, hashtags are a great way to attract new followers to your profile. The more hashtags you use, the more likely it is you’ll gain more followers.
Be consistent. One of the hardest aspects of Instagram isn’t choosing a filter. It’s gaining followers. Using a handful of hashtags on a post isn’t enough. You will need to consistently post a few times every week. You’ll eventually find a schedule that works for your business, but it’s necessary you stay on top of your Instagram efforts to see results.
Don’t think only women are on Instagram. In the United States, around 50% of users are men . This means that almost any product, brand, or business can find its audience on Instagram.
Instagram is one of the more creative social networks, so it is important to have fun with your content. Embrace your creativity and always have your camera ready to ensure a constant stream of intriguing, visually appealing content. Once you get the hang of it, Instagram should become one of the more fun social networks your small business is on.