Can I make Instagram my main platform for my small business?

10 Tips to Make Instagram Work for Your Business

Answer by Trevor Carss:

Instagram is an excellent social media tool for your business, especially if your target demographic falls in the 16–30 age range. In terms of brand engagement, Instagram is the highest-rated social media platform today. There are a few key tips to keep in mind below. Remember that success does not happen overnight:

Post high-quality photos regularly, and ideally 1–4 times per day.
Stick to a schedule. I’ve done research on best times to post, and it really varies based on where your audience is located and what type of post you’re doing. Take photos of your shop, your products and your people. Show the human side of your brand.

Like, comment and follow your followers.
If people start following you, they’re interested in what you have to offer. Go to their profile and engage with them. Show you are committed to building a relationship.

Include a bio call-to-action.
Fully complete your Instagram profile, with profile image and single bio URL link. Ask your visitors to take action when they land on your profile description, i.e., Shop Now or Read More.

DM influencers.
Reach out to people who already have a large following. See if they would like to do a cross-promotion or sponsor a post. You might get a lot of rejections, but imagine if someone with thousands of followers promoted your brand. That is significant exposure in a quick time.

Use branded hashtags in your posts.
Tagging your photos appropriately will get you seen in the niches related to your business. Do research on the right ones for your industry. This hashtag tool is free and auto-searches based on the keywords you enter. You can have up to 30 hashtags in your post. I like having a small caption and using the comments section for my hashtag posting.

Follow your competitors. Then follow their fans.
Get seen by people who already buy products like yours. Your competitors’ Instagram followers already show an interest, just let them know you exist too.

Do not “buy” followers.
I could list hundreds of buying sites to get you tons of followers, but then your business’ trust and credibility would go out the window. With bought followers, you would only gain spam fans who aren’t really interested in your product or brand. Instead, grow organically by having conversations with real people.

Integrate with Facebook and Twitter feeds.
If you like posting your content on other platforms, turn these on with each post. Careful with Facebook as the hashtags work differently with a re-share.

Add your location to posts.
Target a specific area by adding your location to each photo. Include location-specific hashtags to be included in local feeds.

Increase reach with Instagram Ads.
Spend no more than $10 to promote your post. If you get some purchase orders, consider doing another round of ads for it. If you get nothing, experiment with another post. Be careful not to spend too much money on your photos. Although you can get highly targeted with your advertising, spending more time on organic growth will always yield better results.

Like with any social media platform, stick with it to see results for your brand growth. Best of luck.

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