With over 300 million users, Instagram is one of the largest social media networks in the world. It’s one of the most influential online platforms with some of the highest user engagement. This is why using Instagram for business is ideal for promotion and gaining new customers and followers for your brand.
Small businesses can benefit from the level of engagement on Instagram in a variety of ways. When used properly, Instagram can help with website clicks, conversion, and return customers.
Advertising on Instagram
Recently, Instagram has rolled out paid advertising. Businesses can create sponsored images to appear in a person’s newsfeed, even if that user doesn’t regularly follow that account.
The price of Instagram ads does not differ greatly from Facebook when you pay CPM (cost per 1000 impressions) or CPC (cost per click). Small and medium sized businesses have to keep their budget in mind when attempting to advertise on Instagram. Ads on Instagram can be created through the Facebook Power Editor (since Facebook owns Instagram). You can select ‘Instagram’ as one of the channels for your custom advertisement to appear. Your ads will then show up on the feed of the audience you chose to target. Simple!
In addition to paid advertising on Instagram, there are plenty of options for marketing and improving brand awareness for small businesses.
Using Instagram to Boost Your Small Business
The latest way that small businesses can benefit from Instagram is with the new Instagram Stories. In August 2016, Instagram released an update allowing users to post videos or photos to their ‘Story’ which can be viewed for 24 hours before disappearing. This allows you to share more things to your followers without overwhelming their newsfeeds. You can share behind the scenes photos, industry tips and tricks, provide live content during events, and importantly, boost one-to-one communication. There are no comments on Stories, but users can send Direct Messages if they want to communicate with you. You’re also able to see the number of people and usernames of those who watched your story, allowing you to measure metrics.
Hosting a giveaway or social media contest is great for boosting followers and engagement. You can ask your followers to post photos with a certain theme, tagging your company name and a unique hashtag (that you create) on their page. This way, their followers will see the image and contest associated with your company and want to get involved themselves. This boosts your followers, improves brand awareness, and gets people talking about your company!
Like Twitter, hashtags are key on Instagram for getting noticed and getting involved in the social media platform. Using popular industry hashtags will help you find new followers that are more likely to be interested in your company and make a purchase. You can also create your own hashtag for people to use when posting about your brand. Something more interesting than just your company name, but not too complicated so people can remember it. This is a fun way to engage people and spread brand awareness.
The content you post is also important. Posting your products and ways to use them in an interesting way is important, however, there is no limit to the kind of content you can post. Behind-the-scenes images, your office, employee life, work events – all of these are of interest to your followers and things that they won’t regularly see.
Lastly, you can choose to pay influencers to post about your company or brand. You can partner with companies or influential people in a similar industry or your own industry to cross market between your brands. For example, if you sell fitness equipment, you can partner with an influential fitness account to get your company noticed.
If you’re looking for more tips about how to use Instagram for small business, VivosWeb can help. Contact us today for social media management for your small business!