Instagram Basics for Small Businesses

Tips and Tricks

Instagram is known for its visually driven content that allows for storytelling and instant engagement with its audience. It allows for the creation of visually pleasing posts and reels in order to get your message out, thus increasing brand recognition and credibility. This dynamic platform allows the showcasing of products and services, which allows for the cultivation of a distinct brand identity, customer loyalty, greater visibility, and growth. Our blog will help you to learn how to utilize this platform.

What is Instagram?

Instagram is a popular social media platform allowing users to create, view, and share short, engaging videos and photos on mobile devices. With well over two billion active monthly users, Instagram's substantial influence and extensive reach have made it an exceptionally effective marketing and advertising tool for businesses of nearly all sizes and across all industries. By leveraging Instagram's massive user base and dynamic content capabilities, companies can build brand awareness, engage with their target audiences, increase web traffic, and drive sales.

For small businesses, Instagram presents a unique opportunity to establish a social media presence, connect with customers, and grow the industry—all at little to no cost. With strategy, small business owners can use Instagram to build their brand, engage their community, and gain new customers. Small businesses can significantly impact Instagram by sharing high-quality photos and short videos, posting regularly, using relevant hashtags, collaborating with influencers, and running contests and giveaways. Here are some statistics of one of the most popular social media apps:

  • · According to Semrush, Instagram is one of the world’s top 10 most-visited websites globally, with over 4.25 billion monthly visits.

  • · Only Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp have more daily global active users than Instagram, which has an impressive 1.386 billion people.

  • · Instagram remains the world's most-downloaded app, followed closely by TikTok in second place. Facebook and WhatsApp round out the top three. Given that Instagram launched in 2010, its position atop the download charts is all the more impressive.

  • · Of the two billion active users, 90 percent of users have followed at least one business account according to Instagram.

Instagram slang or lingo refers to popular words and phrases used on the Instagram social media platform.

Some common Instagram slang terms include:

· IG or Insta: Short for Instagram. Example: "Did you see my latest posts on IG?"

· TBH: To be honest. Used when giving an honest opinion about something or someone. Example: "TBH that selfie is not your best work."

· TBT: Throwback Thursday. Used when sharing an old or nostalgic photo, usually from the past. Example: "It's Thursday! Time for another TBT."

· Squad: Your close group of friends. Example: "Friday night with the squad!" · Goals: Used to describe something that is aspiring or envy-inducing. Example: "That beach vacation is total goals."

· On fleek: Looking good or on point. Example: "Your eyebrows are always on fleek!"

· Bae: An acronym that stands for "before anyone else," used to refer to one's significant other or boyfriend/girlfriend. Example: "Date night with bae!"

· IMO: In my opinion. Used when expressing your personal view on something. Example: "IMHO, sunsets are better than sunrises. IMO."

· FOMO: Fear of missing out. The feeling of wanting to stay up to date with friends and events on social media. Example: "My FOMO is acting up since I didn't go out last night."

Instagram for Small Businesses

Instagram has become a popular social media platform for businesses of all sizes, with over 2 million small businesses, including both large companies and small business shops, to connect with their target audiences. Using Instagram, companies can reach new potential customers with similar interests and tastes, making it an ideal tool for expanding a business's market reach and achieving critical goals through social media marketing.

Instagram allows businesses to create either personal or business accounts. A business account will enable companies to highlight their products, services, and brand while gaining valuable insights into their customers through Instagram's marketing tools. These tools empower business owners to develop and implement an effective and comprehensive social media marketing strategy to reach a wider audience.

For small businesses, in particular, Instagram offers an opportunity to build brand awareness and engage with customers personally at a low cost. By posting high-quality photos and short videos, sharing behind-the-scenes content, and highlighting your business's personality, small shops can foster a connection with followers and drive them to take action, whether visiting your store or purchasing your products online. With the right social media strategy, Instagram marketing can be invaluable for any small business looking to establish a solid online presence and boost sales.

Creating a Business Instagram Account

Creating a business Instagram account is one of the best ways for small businesses to increase brand awareness and engage with customers. An Instagram profile lets you share visual content like photos and short videos highlighting your products, services, team, and company culture.

To get started, choose a username for your business account that includes your business name or brand and is available as an Instagram handle. Then, set up your profile by adding a photo, bio, and website link that directs people to your business website.

Post engaging and consistent content on a regular schedule. Aim for 1 to 3 posts on your story per day (or as often as possible) to stay active in your followers' feeds without overwhelming them. Share behind-the-scenes photos, product images, customer photos, inspirational quotes, and more. Use hashtags to make your posts more discoverable. Reels are a very important tool for using Instagram. Consistently adding reels and posts to Insta will help your brand reach more folks organically.

Engage with your followers by liking and commenting on their posts. Follow accounts that post content similar to yours and those of your target customers, influencers, and competitors. Run Instagram contests, giveaways, and promotions to increase engagement and gain new followers.

Monitor your insights to see what's working and adjust your content and strategy over time. Track your follower growth, impressions, engagement rates, top posts, and more. Stay authentic and consistent in representing your brand on Instagram as your account grows.

With regular posting and engagement, an Instagram business profile can become an effective tool for promoting your small business, building your brand, and boosting sales. So, keep optimizing your account to reach new potential customers and keep them coming back again and again.

Developing a Content Strategy

With a clear understanding of your target audience, the next step is to develop a content strategy for your Instagram account. Your content strategy should align with your business objectives and be tailored to your target audience's interests.

An effective way to develop a content strategy is to brainstorm ideas that align with your brand values and unique selling proposition (USP). For example, if you run a beauty business, you could create tutorials on how to apply makeup, showcase before and after transformations, or share tips on skincare.

Your content strategy should also incorporate popular Instagram trends and challenges to increase your content's visibility and reach. Remember that Instagram's algorithm favors authentic and engaging content, so focus on creating content that resonates with your audience.

Executing your Plan

Once you comprehend your target audience and have a clear content strategy, it's time to execute your plan. This involves creating and publishing Instagram videos regularly, engaging with your audience, and analyzing your performance to make improvements over time.

To ensure the success of your Instagram account, it's essential to post frequently and at optimal times to maximize your reach. Use hashtags relevant to your content to increase discoverability and engage with your audience by responding to comments and direct messages.

Instagram Analytics provides a powerful tool to track your performance and improve over time. Use this tool to analyze your views, engagement rates, and audience demographics and adjust your content strategy accordingly.

Creative Instagram Content Ideas for Small Businesses:

· Infographics showcasing your business stats or key metrics

· Behind-the-scenes photos of your business in action

· Customer testimonials or reviews

· Photos of your team in action

· Short videos giving a glimpse into your business culture

· Livestreams or Q&A sessions with your team

· Step-by-step tutorials or how-tos for using your products or services

· Behind-the-scenes footage of new product development

· Interviews with key members of your leadership team

· Sneak peeks of new products before they launch

Growing your Business on Instagram

As Instagram's business community grows, standing out and effectively connecting with your target audience is increasingly important. To achieve this, developing a comprehensive content strategy that differentiates your brand and establishes your unique identity is essential.

At Comprehensive Consulting Solutions for Small Business, we help small business owners make an impact on Instagram by finding their target audience, developing a robust content strategy, and achieving their business goals. Contact us for a free consultation at (479) 935-2488 or visit our website.