How To Use Instagram For Small Business

ipad-1344394_1920By: Christina Scott
Traditionally, Twitter and Facebook have been in the lead when determining which platforms will be most beneficial for a social strategy— but they may not always be the best option for your brand.
Instagram is quickly catching up, and has become a natural for small businesses to turn to for marketing purposes, because of its simplicity, visual impact, reach and discover-ability functions.  
Creative, inspiring and premium content is what the Instagram community desires, and this community is smart, driven and proactively on the hunt for new trends and fashions. Because of this, Instagram has the highest level of engagement of any social network—users are searching for and engaging with the exact content that they want to see. Not only are users browsing new content they enjoy, they are specifically using it to search for new brands and influencers.
As with any other social network you will need to set a marketing strategy in place to make the best use of Instagram for your small business. Here are the basic steps to creating a strategy:
Goals – The first step is thinking about what goals you want to achieve through using Instagram; whether it is brand awareness, promoting products, or driving traffic to a website or specific marketing effort.
Target Audience & Content – After you identity your target audience, you will need to determine what type of content they will want to consume, and create an eye-catching content strategy.  Make sure you use imagery and text that aligns with your brand’s personality.
Hashtags – To further your chance of being discovered, add hashtags into the mix to instantly pull your pictures and videos into specific topics being searched. Where trending hashtags match your goals and audience, proactively use these within your posts.
Timing – Test your posts at different times of the day with different frequency to determine when is the best to achieve the best engagement.
A/B testing – Try small tests with different content (photos, caption lines) and test to see which is the most effective with your audience, gets the most likes, comments etc.
Once you have the basics in place, you can move on to some other strategies that will further boost your success on Instagram.
Influencer Marketing – Collaborate with influencers in your industry for the chance of viral growth. You can reach out to influencers with the incentive of free product or payment in return for their promoting your brand.
Engaging With Your Followers – Use Instagram to reach out and engage with your target audience, engage with your followers often, offering incentives, an premium content, and even reach out to your co