Instagram has a 4.21% brand engagement rate, higher than that of both Facebook and Twitter. That alone should be enough evidence that the social network holds a lot of potential in terms of brand visibility and outreach.
Although big brands and influencers have realized the potential of Instagram as a business tool, it seems like small businesses are yet to catch up. Scroll on any Instagram feed and you will see numerous informative and engaging posts by big brands.
Small businesses are missing out, especially those who rely on a target audience between the age 0f 16-25 who have reported Instagram as their preferred social site.
Craft Optimized Copy
Instagram captions are as important as the posts themselves. That said, you should spare no effort when crafting you captions as you post photos or stories. Copy is a powerful tool when it comes to relevance and reach and can make the difference between your post getting a single like or thousands of likes.
Other than help you say what you want to, you can use copy to build your brand voice. Edgy or positive brands can have an edgy or uplifting tone respectively. Whatever caption you decide to go with, tailor its message to your brand and you should see improved engagement and brand visibility.
Find and Interact with your Target Audience
Like every business, even small businesses should know their competitors. This keeps you abreast with developments in your area and lets you strategize on what you can improve to be better than you competition.
By knowing your competitors, you can find followers of those businesses on Instagram and follow them. As a follow up, you can start engaging them by liking what they post and even offering solutions when they need them.
Given, not everyone will follow you, but those who do will be genuinely interested in what you represent. When you do engage them, remember to offer value in line with the context of the discussion or image posted.
Otherwise, if your comments are only meant to serve your purpose and not offer value, you are bound to annoy people, which will hurt your brand.
Create Relevant Content
It’s easier to niche out as a small business. This means small businesses have a better understanding of their target audience as their demographic might not be as wide as that of a corporation. And with Instagram, that is a good thing.
With this knowledge, try and understand what piques your audiences’ interest and create conversation starting content. Again, you can use your competitors’ content to get an idea of what creates the most engagement.
Then you can repurpose that content to suite your brand image and voice and communicate whatever you want to put out there. Don’t get me wrong, I am not talking about using the same photos. I am talking about using the content as inspiration.
Use High-Quality Photos
Instagram is visual, and photos work wonders on the gram. While investing in professional photography might make a huge difference, it rarely is a requirement. Smartphones in this day are well equipped to take high quality images that stand out.
The only thing you need is to learn how to take better photos. One of those skills is using natural light if you are shooting outdoors. However, this does not mean shooting in the full glare of the sun. Instead, find a shade when the sun is at its brightest.
This combination of natural light and shade provides a softer tone, effectively improving image quality. Additionally, you can use image editing software to touch up on the photos you have taken. However, stay away from default Instagram filters.
This is one of those tweaks that keep coming up every time a discussion on how to get Instagram followers comes up, and for a good reason. Hashtags work amazingly well to put you in the feeds of the right audience.
Ideally, you should use hashtags with search terms. Terms you believe your target audience uses to search for products like those you provide. If you are running an entrepreneur account, use #entrepreneur or #dailymotivation.
If you are just learning how to use hashtags, tools like Hashtagify will help you identify the best hashtags for your business. Just don’t go overboard with hashtags, 3-5 should work just fine.
In the end, your effort determines your results. Consistency, relevancy and creativity will make you stand out. Take your time and research what people might want to know or see, then put that before them, and they will follow you!