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7 basic steps for using Instagram to promote small businesses

Instagram is among the top few social media platforms today. It can do wonders for your small business but only if you use it in the right way. Instagram offers more visual experience than words and it suits the modern busy lifestyle that people have adopted. In the online, you only have a few minutes to grab your audience’s attention. Instagram can help you out as it offers you the perfect space to promote your business through images. Having a business account instead of a personal instagram account helps you as you can see the analytics and can use the “call to action” button. However, using the business account might mean you will need to pay for advertisements if you plan to utilize them.  More than the amount you are willing to spend on paid advertisements, the time you spend on making your Instagram account active and interactive will help your business more. 

Here are the 7 basic steps that you should take to make the most out of your instagram experience.

Your bio makes all the difference

You need to have a bio which can get the attention of your dream client quickly. Take a look at the bio of your favourite Instagram accounts in your own field of work. You will see that most of the successful accounts have made the most of the 150 characters space that they have available. Be creative and to the point.  Always remember to add your website address to your profile (and email & phone number if you want people to contact you that way), as well as your logo or a good quality photo for your profile image.

Be sure about the theme you want to follow

There are so many accounts on Instagram. To stand out among the crowd, it is important that the theme you use and the editing style you follow is cohesive and well integrated. Most of the Instagram followers see the overall picture that your account presents. They know they can expect something good from your account if the theme seems well coordinated. You can create a theme by using a similar type of photos, creating template graphics, or by sticking to a colour palette. If you stick to the same filters every time you edit, it’s much easier to create a cohesive look. For Instagram, it is important that the content should be visually appealing. 

Posting frequency & Captions

The most important step to successful instagram interactions is your frequency of posting. You don’t to post every day, but at least aim for 3 times per week. Optimal number of posts per week depends on the nature of your business. In some cases it is good to have a post every day. In other cases posting 2 to 3 times a week will be good enough. Decide the frequency according to your type of industry and stick to it. When you post, your goal should be to get as many engagements as possible on your post. Likes aren’t enough anymore; the more comments, the more Instagram will like you and show you to more people! So create your captions with that in mind; you could try asking questions. Did you know that your Instagram caption can be up to 2,200 characters long? That’s a whole lot of space to share with your audience.

Use the right hashtags

Instagram gives you the option to use 30 hashtags with every post. Use as many as you possibly can. You should spend some time looking for and researching the right hashtags for your business. Instagram suggests the most popular hashtags related to the content you usually post. Check what your successful competitors are doing, and to try and use hashtags that are popular enough to have people following them, but not so popular that your content would get drowned out. Make your selections carefully. 

Tagging other accounts & always add a location

Tag relevant accounts to your post. However, you have to find that very thin line between tagging too much and tagging others in the right way. Do not spam. Tag only the relevant people who are related to your post. Location is another way that people use Instagram, so always add location to each post. Posts with a tagged location result in 79% higher engagement than posts without a tagged location. 

Engage with other accounts

Instagram works best if you engage with other accounts. Follow other accounts which are relevant to your field of work. Check your competitors accounts and see who is following them, because chances are they might be interested in what you are sharing too.  Go and follow those people and engage with their content by leaving meaningful comments.

Instagram stories

Instagram stories are there on your account only for 24 hours, but they have added a new advantage to your instagram account you are using for your business. The great thing about Instagram Stories is that because they’ve created so many cool tools, you can really get as creative as you’d like. When you’re creating your Instagram Stories marketing plan, everything you post should come back to your business goals. Once you know what your Instagram marketing goals are, you can better determine what types of content to post!

About the Author

Orzala is the owner of Make it Happen Services. An online marketing boutique that helps small businesses develop and implement effective digital marketing strategies using social media and email marketing techniques. 

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