Taking your business to the next level can be a daunting proposition. Getting the word out oftentimes requires a substantial marketing budget. Small businesses, in particular, can find this a challenge. Fortunately, one of the best ways to grow your business online is also one of the most affordable. Instagram, with its primarily visual nature and thriving community, is the perfect place for your business to connect with lively community potential customers. Instagram is also the fastest growing social media platform out there. So whether your business is product, service, or content oriented, Instagram is a great way to increase your reach.
You may not need to drop serious cash to grow your business on the platform, but it pays to do your research. Time is money, after all, and you need to get the best returns for yours. Let’s look at four points to help you get started.
Optimizing Your Bio: Putting Your Best Foot Forward
Your bio is one of the first things a potential follower sees, and with only 150 words to work with, you need to create a compelling hook from the get go. A brief but concise description of what your business is all about coupled with a call to action is a great start. It’s also a good idea to include a link to your homepage or email capture form here, as it is one of the few places a URL is commonly allowed on the platform.
It’s a Photo App!
Well, it’s more than that, but the point is, it’s a primarily visual platform, so you’re going to need strong images. Don’t worry about getting professionally staged photos! In fact, it’s better to have more authentic pictures that communicate your business’ brand to your audience.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when planning out the look of your business on Instagram is consistency. Pick a color palette and stick with it. Same goes for filters or the text you can add to your visuals. Instagram has a pretty good image editing suite built in, but there are also great apps out there like Instasize that can help you come up with a look that is uniquely yours.
Better Branding Through Hashtags
While Instagram has a huge user base, using the right hashtags can put your business in front of the right ones. The trick is to know your target group and to think of content that resonates with them. Avoid generic sounding tags, as these probably have thousands and thousands of posts under them. You don’t want your content lost in that shuffle. A great strategy is to use your own branded hashtag that is unique to your particular business.
Growing Your Community
Your relationship with your community of followers is just that: a relationship. And just like any relationship, a healthy one requires you to be attentive and genuine. You need to be responsive to your followers. Respond to them quickly, and engage them with real conversation. No cookie-cutter answers here, please.
You can also make your community feel special by giving them access to content not available anywhere else. An exclusive behind-the-scenes peek at your business, or a special raffle or promo, can go a long way to letting your followers know how much you value them.
Bringing It All Together
While hardly exhaustive, these steps are a great starting point for using Instagram to grow your business. Remember to be consistent in your efforts and attentive to your community. People respond to authenticity, so let your natural and genuine enthusiasm for your business shine through. Play your cards right, and those engaged followers can become paying customers.