Instagram Marketing: Best Practices for Small Businesses

Unlike Twitter, where marketers need to be creative with the way they write and what they write, Instagram doesn’t need words. If the product is photogenic, all you have to do is post photos of it using different filters. People spend a lot of time on Instagram – they have the biggest commitment among social platforms – so they don’t mind browsing photos of the products they are interested in.

As a result, Instagram users are always exposed to relevant brands. Brand engagement is higher than anywhere else on social media platforms: 68% of users regularly engage with brands on Instagram, while only 32% of users regularly engage with brands on Facebook, writes .

Instagram is not just about organic growth. It is also the perfect platform for advertising. Most marketers and small business owners know the main rule of Instagram: post great content, especially great images.

1. Use Instagram Stories

Many avoid Instagram stories. The ephemeral content seems outdated and requires a lot of effort for something that lasts 24 hours.

However, Instagram stories are one of the most effective features of social media marketing. Stories contain links and text, which can immediately increase traffic to your website. Features such as hashtags and geotagging, which are available in Stories, make it easier for users to find you based on your location and interest. Stories involve urgency and action calls. The stories appear at the top of the Instagram feed and are automatically uploaded one after the other, so that the user doesn’t miss any, even if they don’t intend to watch a story set by a brand.

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To create a story, open (or download) Instagram and create an account for your brand, if you don’t have one. You can take a photo or video and upload it immediately to your Story with a single click. You don’t need knowledge or skills to create a story.

2. Improve your customer service

The easiest and most rewarding way for a small business to stand out from the crowd is to provide excellent customer service. Big brands can’t reach the same level of customer service. Big brands are bombarded with comments, complaints and questions. No matter how big their sales, marketing and customer service teams are, it’s impossible to handle so many online (and offline) customers.

Small businesses often aim to provide personalized, friendly, attentive and warm service to customers. This not only makes them gain new customers, but also creates loyalty among old customers.

For Instagram, set a goal to respond to comments (both good and bad), answer questions, and respond to complaints in a timely manner. In order not to miss any mentions about your brand (labeled and untagged), use social listening. Social listening tools collect mentions of your brand on important social networks.

Monitoring and analyzing your social media mentions helps you notice a social media crisis over time and manage your brand reputation.

3. Use influencer marketing

Influence marketing is another effective practice for all businesses, large and small. The difference for small businesses is that while corporations often use offline influences (celebrities, athletes, etc.) and expensive online celebrities, small businesses target microinfluencers and macroinfluencers. And these microinfluencers are often even more effective. Here’s why: Celebrities are especially useful for brands, as they spread the awareness of millions of fans. Influencers with 2,000 or even 50,000 followers have an online growth that can be tracked. They value their reputation and can only advertise your product to their community if they really like it.

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Micro-influencers have another benefit: They are usually more relevant to your product. They have often proved to be experts in a specific niche. All you have to do is find influencers in your niche.

To find relevant influencers with low or medium levels of follow-up, use a marketing database or a social listening tool with a marketing feature.

4. Take a look at the competition

In marketing, as in anything else, most things have already been tried before you did. To avoid experimentation, look at your competitors and learn from their successes and mistakes. Use tools to analyze what worked for them and what didn’t work for them in terms of marketing campaigns.

Photo source. Unsplash

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