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How to use Instagram successfully as a small business

Instagram’s user base is growing at speed and passed the 600m user mark in December 2016. But how to use Instagram to your advantage as a small business?
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Contrary to popular belief, Instagram can work just as well for smaller brands as it does for big brands. As such, I’ve outlined how to use Instagram and raise brand awareness while growing your customer base simultaneously.

Indeed, since the app was first introduced six years ago, it has overtaken Twitter to become the social media’s rising star for businesses.

Step one: How to use Instagram – Have a target audience for your content

So, once you have an account set up, it is time to decide what type of content you are going to create to engage your audience. Knowing who to target when updating the social media feed with content is crucial.

Start with your current customer base and from here you can define your target audience in terms of age, gender and location.

From this point, your business will not only be able to tailor the content to that audience, but also know the existing channels and hashtags that can be leveraged, putting the company in front of potential and existing customers.

Keep your eye on hashtags and trending topics that may be relevant to content that you’re looking to post.

Utilising these can widen your audience significantly. There are top hashtags that are used specifically for gaining followers on Instagram and you can use these to put your content in front of the audience open for new material.

Above all, keep it relevant and have a theme to your content related to your business. Sons of Sawdust – a woodworking business based in Athens, Ga – operate in a studio space to rework reclaimed wood to create new products.

Simply by taking pictures of their work process and posting on Instagram, the company have a natural place for showcasing behind the scenes DIY and woodwork.

Step two: How to use Instagram – Engage and be active

It is no use creating engaging visual images if no one knows you have an Instagram account. The first step to utilising Instagram is to let your customers know that you have a social presence.

Put a link to your Instagram account on your website and advertise it on any other social accounts you have and include it in email signatures.

The key to a successful Instagram account is consistency and if you are going to post images, you should do so regularly. The more active the company is on the platform the more you’ll get in return.

Try and post on the at the optimum times each week and stick to this routine. Tools such as Social Insights and Iconosquare both have features showing best times to post for maximum engagement and interaction, as well as a host of other analytical tools that can feed into your Instagram activities.

Consider teaming up with a local figure or organisation with an already established audience on Instagram as collaborations of this kind can open you up to their existing audience and help you to grow your following.

Step three: How to use Instagram – Utilise existing material from the company; what’s your USP?

How to use Instagram

Instagram is the perfect place for this company to showcase its unique views

To create an engaging Instagram account, it is essential to stand out from the crowd. So where do you start in terms of generating unique content?

Your business likely offers a product, service, or experience that is sold to customers through having a unique selling point and you can use this to attract followers.

The London Helicopter has unique access to bird’s eye views of the London skyline every day. The company’s USP lies in offering an experience that people want to see something that very few people have.

As a visually led platform, Instagram is the perfect place for the company to showcase these unique views of London and share them with their followers.

Keep reading on for the final how to use Instagram tips, which include the importance of consistency and realisation that social media isn’t all about sales.

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Real Business

As the champion of UK enterprise for 20 years, Real Business is the most-read SME website dedicated to high-growth businesses and entrepreneurs. Through daily news, unique insight and invaluable guides we are an essential resource for thriving businesses.

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