Topic: Instagram Marketing for Small Businesses

The power of Instagram is very strong especially when it comes as a way to market your small business online.

Many may think that only huge brands use Instagram for online marketing and brand building. This is true because companies like Starbucks, Pepsi or even Nike hold a huge market share. They already have established followings and it is easy for them to get engagement as well as results from their posts.

So how can you, as and entrepreneur or small business owner use Instagram for your business?

The truth is that it is not necessary for your business to be big like those enterprise sized companies in order to gain value from using Instagram as a way to get more customers. Actually Instagram will allow us entrepreneurs and small business owners to compete with those big companies. So is you have not yet started using Instagram to grow your business then up to this point you have been missing out on a huge opportunity that is still available!

Why Instagram for Your Small Business?

This is a newer social network that is growing like gangbusters. They are doing a lot to set themselves apart. Now with over a billion users, there is certainly a huge market on one website (app) that you can market your products and services to!

IG is one of the most downloaded apps on the market now.

Using this social network is something that could be new especially for any small business trying to get an online following from them. For instance, did you know that there are no clickable links inside of Instagram posts? This is because the network prefers to rely a lot more on quality visuals than simply text.

So what I have been noticing is that many small businesses are signing up to try it out but become confused about how they should be using it… Only to give up a short while later.

One idea that I could suggest to make this easier when you start using IG is to use a social media management tools like Sprout. It has the ability to integrate and is very easy to use. It does not matter what size your business is.

monitoring social media

Achieving Success with Social Networks

So what can you do now to start having more success marketing your business on this social platform?

Set Up Your Account Correctly

Your company should already have other social accounts as you may already have strong followings on other social networking sites. If this is true, then start pushing those on Tumblr, twitter and Facebook over to your Instagram account.

Also Instagram, through your profile settings allows a user to connect those profiles so your new photos or videos will get cross posted to other social networks.

Now on your account profile setting you are able to add your website link as well as create a bio so that you can describe what your company does. The image below is a good example of a company that sells a product:

an instagram account

There is a limit to the amount of characters allowed in a profile. If your website name is long you can shorten it by using a URL shortening service like Bit.ly. They also offer a tracking service so that you can monitor how many clicks / traffic is coming from Instagram.

What is Instagram Stories?

Instagram stories is a feature offered that is similar to snapchat where a user is able make a video or place several photos together into a story. After 24 hours it will disappear.

I have been hearing from other sources that small businesses are not really taking advantage of the stories feature. I guess they are trying to figure it out and how they can incorporate it into their marketing strategy. There is potential with this that should be taken advantage of… Those who figure out how to use it best in the early stages are the ones who will reap the benefits and profits.

Experiment, get creative and see what you are able to come up with.

Instagram Commenting

Once you start to build up a following and receive engagement, don’t be one of those posts something and never look at it again. Many entrepreneurs and small business owners do not spend much time monitoring the comments made on the visuals that are posted. This can be difficult, but really it’s not that hard and IG notifies you of any engagements made.

As I mentioned earlier there is an online service called Spout Social that lets you manage your account or several account easily.

Social Media Influencer Marketing

One way to build up your following quickly is through a method known as influencer marketing. This is true when you first start with a new account. This method will allow you to connect with people who already have an established following and it is an opportunity for your business to be expose to their audience.

In the old days before social media / social networks became popular, influencer marketing was primarily done by getting actors or athletes to endorse products. The problem was that it required a huge marketing budget. Now the game has changed thanks to social media.

There are many non celebrity types that are influencers who may have an huge following of 6 figures and 7 figures plus! This would also include high engagement with any visual that they post. This makes it easier for us small business owners and entrepreneurs to connect with those influencers at a very affordable price.

Some are even just down right cheap!

If your current marketing plan includes your business paying a celebrity to endorse your business then you may want to rethink and consider finding and using a Instagram influencer who has the audience/followers that would be interested in your services or products.

To do this the start by making a list of influencers who have big followings in your industry. When you find them look at the engagement they receive and that it is good. Sure a huge following is important, but engagement is even more so. So accounts have a lot of fake followers and engagement is low. Look at the volume of comments and likes they receive and the frequency of posting.

When you find a few you would like to contact then notify them that you would like to do something together. Before contacting them, make sure to have an idea of what you would like to do. Sponsored posts and contests seem to be to common options that you could consider. Getting a mention is also another idea.

Instagram Hashtags

Whenever you post something your followers will see the content that you posted. However, to get a bigger following and get discovered by other user who don’t know you exists is by using hashtags #.

At the time of this writing you are allowed to use up to 30 # hashtags. However in the beginning, with a new account, start with only a few hashtags and let the account warm up a bit as to not trigger spam filters. Over time and as you make more posts, the spam filters are more difficult to trigger as your account grows. This means you can market more aggressively.

I have a course that will show you how to grow your business and make more profits using Instagram.

It’s the perfect resource to start using this social network the right way. It includes everything you need to learn it quickly including easy to understand, step by step videos.

Listen there are so many people on this network that you simply cant ignore it. It’s a great way to use Instagram for small businesses.

Stay ahead of your competition and make more money.