If your SME has plenty of visual content to share, Instagram is a great platform to add to your social media marketing strategy. While B2Bs that offer IT support and payment compliance services struggle to serve up snaps which inspire, small businesses from cafes and bakeries, to hair stylists and boutiques have tonnes of potential material at their fingertips that they can easily turn into great digital marketing fodder.
It may be more niche than Facebook, but Instagram is growing fast and, most importantly, Instagram posts attract more engagement than posts anywhere else in the social sphere. This is a platform which attracts real engagement, boosting brand awareness and brand loyalty in a way that Facebook and Twitter simply don’t.
So how can your small business reap these benefits? Our top five tips for SME Instagram success will help you get started…
- Launch a hashtag
Creating your own hashtag will help you collect more content relating to your brand posted by users. It will also help build your brand identity on the platform and allow you to begin building a stronger, more interactive community around your Instagram presence.
The most important thing is that your hashtag is unique. Jumping on another business’s hashtag is considered very bad Instagram etiquette, so before you launch your hashtag, make sure nobody else is using it by checking with Instagram’s search tool.
Your hashtag also needs to be memorable. Take some time to brainstorm with your team to come up with a tag that sticks in the mind and reflects your brand.
- Hashtag intelligently
You may now have come up with the ultimate brand hashtag, but you also need to get on board with other hashtags to make your content as searchable and engaging as possible. Try typing terms pertaining to your business into tools like Websta. The tool will then reveal some of the most used tags relating to what you do and the sort of content you post. Make sure you weave the most searched-for tags into posts wherever you can.
- Don’t overdo it
The last thing you want to do on Instagram is spam your followers. That means not over-posting and not over hashtagging. This will annoy your followers to the point of unfollowing you. Keep your content as enjoyable as possible. If you are going to make a promotional post, make sure it’s balanced out with fun, non-promotional content too.
- Create a “house style”
Appearance matters – and this is especially true on Instagram which is all about how things look. Create a house style for your business by sticking to one filter and/or one border to ensure your brand looks consistent, professional and recognisable on the platform.
- Share and share alike
Sharing makes the world go around. It also makes social media a buzzier place to be. We all love the ego boost of someone appreciating and sharing something we’ve done, which is why regramming content from your followers and customers is a smart Instagram trick. Small brands like Traveling Vineyard do well out of reposting content published by their reps and clients, using these images to extend their reach and nurture brand advocates.