Do you have a small business that is visually oriented? Whether you’re an independent clothing label, a pet parlour, a bistro, a florist or a travel agency, the very fact that what you do looks good is a huge asset when it comes to digital marketing – especially in the social media sphere.
While B2Bs struggle to create visual content that will appeal to consumers online, you already have fantastic brand-owned content that you can share with an engaged audience with the snap of a smartphone and the touch of an upload button.
With 90% of the world’s top 100 brands currently running an Instagram account, and user engagement 10 times higher than Facebook (not to mention 84% higher than Twitter!) Instagram is a very valuable social platform for amplifying your brand, if you have the resources and know how to make it work.
Here are our top hacks to kickstart your account…
- Know your hashtags
Whether you’re low on ideas or just want to find a way to engage with more users, doing your hashtag homework can really help. Search for hashtags related to your business and note down those with the most posts and likes. When you start typing a term into the search bar, Instagram will autocomplete with a few of the top related searches, helping to find even more popular stuff users are engaging with. Tools like Websta also give you an idea of the most trending, related hashtags. Type a term relating to your business in the search bar to serve up tags you may not have thought of using.
- Be distinctive
The more easily followers can recognise and identify your images, the stronger your brand identity on Instagram will be. This platform is all about looks, and having a consistent style will make you look more “put together” and professional. From always applying the same filter, to using the same frame, create a “house style” and stick to it.
- Share user generated content
People love to see their stuff showcased online. Regramming is a great way to build up a community around your brand and to help turn customers into brand advocates. Small businesses like Traveling Vineyard regularly post snaps from their reps and their customers, helping to extend and expand their community. Just make sure you DM or message users to ask permission before you clearly regram their images, giving full credit. Here’s a handy guide to regramming.
- Create your own hashtag
To help unify your followers and ensure you pick up on any user generated content, creating your own hashtag is a good idea. Use this in all of your posts and encourage users to do the same when they share images of your product or business. To work well, your hashtag needs to be unique and memorable. Check the hashtag with Instagram search to ensure nobody else is using it before you get started and brainstorm with your team to come up with something that will stick in users’ minds. This article from TINT is full of inspiration.
- Follow Instagram’s business blog
Instagram now offers a selection of paid tools and advertising options for businesses. But even if you’re not quite ready to start using these, their business blog is well worth keeping up with – packed with updates and ideas that could seriously improve your Instagram knowledge and your brand’s success on the platform as it evolves.