Updated: May 18, 2022
Social media is playing an increasingly important role in the success of a small business. There are so many platforms and so little time to create a strategy that increases awareness and resonates with your audience.
Today we are going to focus on Instagram. This platform is super helpful in elevating and increasing your business visibility online. Here are a few pointers to get you started on optimising your profile for Instagram!
Asides from the profile picture, the bio is the first thing a user will see when they land on your website. This short snippet of information should include any unique selling points and an overview of what your service/product is about. Think of it as a small introduction to your business. This area is limited in the amount of text you can include so it's important to be succinct and to the point.
Furthermore, Adding some target keywords into your introduction also helps with Instagram SEO. These are almost like buzzwords that people look out for to help them understand your business and help you get found on the platform.
Like with anything you do in your business, then there needs to be a strategy in place. However, we could be here all day speaking about strategies so to keep it simple for those starting - you need to post content that provides value to your audience.
There is no point in posting your product and service with captions and images that scream ‘buy now’ or’ purchase today'; if the audience doesn't know what your business is about. Instagram is a great platform for educating your audience on your business and connecting with them to provide a more personalised experience.
Once you have thought these factors through, time to get creative. People love aesthetically pleasing imagery and feeds so it's important that your post reflects your brand guidelines and has a consistent theme.
Hashtags are a fantastic way for getting your business in front of niche audiences that you know will be interested in your service/product. Just try it, go to Instagram and search for a keyword related to your business. for example, if I owned an ethical makeup brand I would type in something along the lines of #cleanbeauty or #ethicalbeauty if that was one of my USPs.
You will probably find a whole feed of everything related to your business. What's this is a fantastic way of connecting with specific communities. Hashtag strategies are a great way to ensure you're also targeting the right communities - we love them! Not all hashtags related to your biz will work for you, some hashtags are too saturated, so it is important to carry out analysis to ensure they aren’t too crowded!
Engaging with your audience.
Don't post and ghost. There we said it out loud, it is a rule you should try to abide by.
Many companies will just post and not look at the platform until they next need to post. In not replying to comments, DMs or interactions you may well alienate your audience. People love to feel special and valued so, therefore, providing a personalised experience is key. Make your audience feel like they are talking to YOU, not just a platform image!
When it comes to engaging with other users on the platform, it's important that your comments provide or add value to whatever the post is. Posting a generalised comment of ‘this is great’ or ‘love this’ is nice but posting a more personalised comment, maybe adding a point or saying why you agree (or disagree) will help build connections and intern, your following!
Third-party tools will make your life easier. Trying to remember to publish a post every day at a certain time is not the most efficient way to go, especially if you are small biz with 1001 other things you need to be doing. Scheduling tools and platforms that help you plan and create post drafts coming in super handy. At Balance, we swear by a couple of tools for us and our small business bosses. We have tried and tested a few methods and these tools are our go to’s:
Airtable - This is a fabulous tool for creating and planning posts out. There are different types of template boards you can use for social to blog post creation to PR management but we decided to create our board from scratch to cater to everything we need. This is also great for approval processes because you can have your team collaborating on it too.
Later - This is a scheduling platform for Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. There are a few platforms out there with their pros and cons but we like to use this one. On the free version, you can schedule up to 30 posts a month which may be enough for you if you are just starting.
There are other platforms like Asana and Trello where you can customise the boards to suit your post creation needs but these two are our top faves!
So there you have it, top 5 tips to help you exceed on Instagram as a new small business. Give these tips a go and let us know how you get on! Next month we will be exploring the world of Facebook and how you can get started on that platform as a small business. Sign up to our email list below so you can be one of the first to receive next month's release!