Leveraging Instagram for Your Small Business
Written By Shoni Duesling – Digilah (Thought Leadership)
Life Coach at https://www.instagram.com/twelveinchesaway/
With 1.3 billion users, Instagram is the second most popular social media platform behind Facebook, making it one of the most effective tools to help small businesses grow their brand. While its high number of users means that small businesses can reach more people, Instagram’s visual nature offers a great potential for building strong brand identity and brand loyalty.
How to leverage Instagram
So, how can you leverage Instagram for your small business?
Capitalise on the Visual
Potential clients will form an opinion on your business after just one look at your Instagram feed. That is why it is vital to communicate your brand identity as clearly as possible. To do this, you first need to get clear on your branding. Choosing a look and feel you want to communicate is the first step, after which you can choose a cohesive design consisting of your colour scheme, fonts, icons and/or images that align with your look and feel. Once you have done this, start posting! You can post tips, quotes, diagrams, photos, videos, basically any content that communicates clear and important messages to your community. A great way to build brand loyalty is by letting people know who is behind the brand; so, post photos or videos of you and your team. You can also use Instagram Stories (posts that disappear after 24 hours) to share announcements, tips, or behind-the-scenes snippets of what is happening in your business. Regardless of your strategy, create a cohesive look for your brand and capitalise on the visual.
Engage With Your Community
The more you engage with your community, the better. Engagement increases brand loyalty and it allows you to open up a two-way conversation so that you can better understand and serve your community. One means of engagement is to include a call to action in your feed posts. A call to action could be asking people to click the link in your bio, asking a question they can answer in the comments, or asking them to like, share or save the post. Another way to engage is to greet new followers. Take a moment to message each new follower. You are building a business, but you are also building a community with other human beings – take advantage of the opportunity to connect with them. Yet another way to engage is through the built-in engagement tools in Instagram stories. You can create polls, quizzes, or ask questions. Once you have posted a story, save it as a highlight so that it will permanently show on your feed for old and new visitors alike. Engaging with your community is one of the most enjoyable and beneficial things you can do for your small business.
Reach more people with your business by collaborating with Instagram’s IG Live feature. This feature allows you to live stream for up to 4 hours either on your own or with other businesses, past clients, or whoever would be relevant to your community. One benefit of IG Live collaborations is that you get to engage with your community in real-time as they type in questions or answers to your questions. A second benefit is that you and the person you are collaborating with can share your expertise on your products and/or services in depth. Third, your sharing can build brand loyalty, as your community gets to know you and the person you are collaborating with through a longer video. Lastly, both you and the person you are collaborating with will likely gain new followers from each other’s communities.
At the end of the IG Live, you can share it in your stories and tag the person you collaborated with and (if you are the one who hosted the video) you can save it to your page for future viewers. So, think of one person you could collaborate with and reach out to them.
Over to You
So now it is over to you. Instagram is one of the best platforms to use for your small business. Through capitalising on the visual, engaging with your community, and collaborating with others, you will be on your way to establishing a clear brand and creating a community who will support your growing business for years to come.