Roughly 90 percent of people ages 18-29 use social media as one of their main forms of communication, meaning in a few years, people of all age groups will likely be serious social media users. For this reason, it is important for small businesses to build their brand on social networking sites such as Instagram, which has about 500 million active users.
There are many ways Instagram benefits small businesses.
A Good Way to Find New and Current Customers
When people upload pictures to Instagram, they often use hashtags to describe whats going on or what they purchased. By searching the hashtags for your company name, you can find current customers and comment on their photos or thank them for using your business. This makes them feel appreciated and more likely to return.
Hashtags also help you find potential customers. Consider the type of business you run and search for hashtags based on keywords that would fit your company. For example, a taco truck owner with an Instagram account may decide to search #tacotuesdays and like any pictures of tacos. The owner may also decide to upload pictures of his or her own creations and include the same hashtag. It is also acceptable to comment on a potential customers pictures, but don’t use it as advertising. Leaving a genuine comment makes them more likely to check out your page.
Give a Behind-the-Scenes Look at Your Business
People like to feel as if they are interacting with other people, not with corporate accounts that have no personality. By providing a look at your business from all angles, you are more likely to engage new customers. Show off your place of business, include short videos about how products are created, or put the spotlight on some of your best employees. Don’t forget to include some candid photographs of some of the fun that goes on behind the scenes. You want to come across as real, not posed for the purpose of a business opportunity.
Instagram Allows You to Add Your Business to a Location Map
It recently became more common for people to tag themselves at the businesses they visit when posting pictures on Instagram. Particularly interesting photographs may intrigue those followers to visit your business as well, but only if they can see where it is. By having an Instagram account, you can pinpoint your business on the map and see who mentions having visited you, which also gives you another opportunity to interact with and thank customers.
You Can Hold Fun Contests
Instagram is all about getting creative, and what better way to do so than with a contest? Invite customers or would-be customers to use their photography and video skills to show off your business in some way. Maybe you want the best photo of them visiting or receiving service from a certain employee, or perhaps you want video of them using your product or service in their favorite way. You can create themes, create your own contest-related hashtag, and award prizes that somehow relate to your business.
Its Easy to Share to Other Social Media
When you post content to your Instagram account, it gives you the option to upload the same content to several other social networking sites, including Facebook and Twitter. This makes it easier for you to cross-post your content and reach even more fans of your business. However, if you do use this feature, make sure you aren’t then going to the other accounts and posting or cross-posting the pictures or videos again. The result will be multiple accounts that have the same content several times in a row. This looks like spam and is likely to cause people to unfollow you.
You Can Build Engagement and Personality
By using quality content, you create a personality for your business that brings people in and expands engagement. Hamptoncreek is a great example of this. The company’s photos and videos are often brightly colored, professionally staged, and professionally shot. The content often includes pictures of the food products it sells, which brings in the foodie types, but there are also quotes and pictures of people on occasions, which may entice non-foodies who like literature or people watching.
Regardless of the type of company you run, be sure you update your Instagram account routinely. Several pictures or videos per week are ideal. This prevents you from spamming your followers but also keeps you from becoming so rarely seen on their timeline that they forget they follow you.