What Every Business Should Know About Using Instagram

How to use Instagram for small businesses

When you hear the word Instagram, you may immediately think of teenagers snapping pictures of their takeaway coffees, and it’s true that this is what it became famous for initially. However, with Instagram now having overtaken Twitter in terms of global users, all types of businesses are finding that there’s success to be achieved on the photo sharing platform. From independent artists to bars, bloggers and large brands, Instagram for small businesses is proving itself to be a huge part of the social media marketing toolkit. What you use Instagram for and how you use it will differ from business to business, but there are a few common pointers for getting started.

What to Post
So what do you actually post on Instagram? Well, it’s really entirely up to you. Product shots, behind the scenes pictures, and images of your team or local area help humanise your business, as well as showing off what you have to offer. They don’t have to all be shiny professional pictures – ‘Iphoneography’ and filters are very popular! If people can see what you do and who you are, they’ll feel like they know you, and this instantly gets you off to a great start with customers.

Hashtags
If you’re new to the # symbol, our guide to hashtags should help you get your head around them. They categorise content across many social networks, so understanding them will help you greatly when it comes to getting ahead online. Using them on Instagram makes your photos searchable. If you’re a bar and you’ve updated your Instagram with a photo of the selection of beers you have on that day, hashtag the name of the beers available, the breweries, the location of your business etc. Research hashtags in your industry and area – that’s how followers find you!

instagram for small businesses

Photo by josephmorris on flickr

Regular Posting 
If users see that you haven’t posted for two weeks, they’re unlikely to follow you. People love to see new content, and posting at least once a day will keep you fresh in the minds of your followers making them more likely to buy your product or use your service. By posting regularly, you’re also showing that pleasing your followers matters to you, and this should translate to the way you do business with your customers too.

Timing 
It’s generally acknowledged that users tend to check Instagram before they go to work, and again on their way home. Therefore, it’s worth keeping in mind that before 9am, and between 5pm and 6pm are optimum times to post. Of course, this can vary according your audience, but it’s common sense to try and predict the downtime of the majority of your audience, and aim to post within these times.

Keep It Interesting
Mix up your posts. If you’ve posted one of your product photos the day before, try and aim for a behind the scenes shot today. Users like to see varied content, and trying to rotate the types of post you upload will make your Instagram more interesting, and ensure you give an all round impression of your business.

Hit Refresh help businesses across Worthing and West Sussex with their social media, including Instagram. Get in touch via our Contact Page to find out more.

Header image by lattefarsan on Flickr.

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