Social media marketing is probably one of the most important promotional strategies that businesses and brands need to use to grow their customer base. Social media is a great tool for business promotion. One of the best platforms to promote your business on is Instagram.
More Instagram followers that you have more is the potential for your business to grow. But like any other marketing strategy, there is a method to it and certain key points to look out for. Today, we decided to take a look at 5 ways to promote your business on Instagram. We hope to nudge you in the right direction.
- Setting a business account
First things first, you have to set up an Instagram business account. This is a crucial step. Your personal IG account cannot act as your business account. This account should be dedicated to your business i.e. your products and services. Include your website or online store link to this account. It can help interested buyers reach your business portal or online store directly. This account should be professional. Do not add personal stuff in there unless it’s necessary or relevant to your product or service promotion. The profile image and name should remain the same.
This will ensure that your brand is recognizable with a graphic. Ensure that the bio of this account is written in an attractive way and should be professional. It should concisely describe your business. For example, if you own a bakery, the description should be precise on your USP along with what you sell. This does not mean you have to include every item you sell. You can include your best sellers.
Other items can be included on the Instagram posts. Also, remember bio might not be permanent. You can use your bio to talk about the latest thing going on in your business. For example Christmas season sale or something similar.
- Know your clients
One of the ways to run a business campaign on any social media is to understand who are your potential clients and what they like or what they want. This is something that you should invest a lot of time in. Good research will help you cater to your niche. Though it might be appealing to cast a wide net thinking you can rope in lots of customers, it might backfire if you are starting out. Finding out and targeting a specific niche can give you better results.
Let’s take our bakery shop for example. If you can make really good cupcakes and provide customizable cupcakes then use that as your USP and target clients who like cupcakes. This can help you get better results than just casting a big net to include all people who have an interest in buying confectionery or bakery products. There are various tools which can help you with this. Some are free while some need paid subscription.
Choose the one you are comfortable with. Of course, paid one will give better results but you can get a basic idea with free ones. You can use Instagram insights which is a popular tool used by many. There are listening tools as well which can give you insights into what users are generally talking about the niche are trying to hit. You can use these tools in combination to get a better result.
- Learn what to post
This might not sound much but it is another crucial step. You might have been Instagramming for years and would like to think that you know the game but it is very different when it comes to promotional posts. You don’t want species or personal stuff to creep into your business posts. They need to be professional and should always be related to the product or service. But keep in mind if you try too hard to sell you might annoy Instagram users.
One thing that everyone should keep in mind while marketing on social media is that it is social media. People use this to relax and share their pics, posts and connect with people. At its heart, it is not a marketing portal.
Instagram is an image and video sharing portal. Your posts should appeal to users but not annoy them. If you are promoting what they like you won’t need to push too hard. Use good and professional photos of the actual product. Let’s go back to our bakery. Your cupcake pictures need to be attractive and should be of your own product. They need to look delicious and should make viewers want them.
This way you are not pushing too much. Also, understand what makes a good photo for your business and use good editing software and filter to give the best result. Learn to edit and size your photos for Instagram. Photoshop is a nice tool that many use for this purpose.
- Start being Active
Since your business is still small and you don’t have so many followers you need to actively engage with them. This does not mean that you will keep nagging them in their DMs to buy your product but rather you have to engage in a conversation with them.
Reply to your post comments. This is something you need to do regularly whether you are small or big. You need to care about your customers and show them that you care by replying on their comments or relevant posts. Follow relevant brands and influencers.
Ask your customers to provide you with feedback as comments on your posts. Use customer testimonials from your website or store as Instagram posts. But of course, don’t just put a screenshot up there rather make a post thanking the customer for the review. Just remember actively posting is not enough. You have to reach out to your potential customers as well as your current ones. Let them know you care.
The last tip is to use meaningful hashtags to ensure that people who follow such hashtags are able to see your posts. There’s a technique to it and you need to strategize it. Don’t spam hashtags. It puts many people off when they see a post is just brimming with hashtags. It comes off as desperate. Find out which hashtags are going to be general.
Taking our bakery example we can see that a general hashtag for this can be #delicious. If you post a cupcake or a cheesecake pic you can use #delicious, #cupcake as general hashtags. There can be various other general hashtags.
That can help make your post visible. The other hashtags that are a must for any brand or business are brand-specific hashtags. For example, if you make special cupcakes for let’s say 4th of July week then you can use your own hashtag to hit home that point. It will help you promote this campaign. Look at what other brands similar to you are doing and how they are using their branded hashtags. Once you have an idea about what people are responding too you can make use of it.
As a general note try to be unique and standout. For small businesses, uniqueness is very important. It can help your clients identify with you. Also, keep at it and put in some smart hard work and you will grow surely. We wish you the very best!