Marketing on Instagram in 2018 for Small Businesses

Instagram is one of the most popular social media channels if not the most popular. If you’re an entrepreneur, Instagram is incredibly important for your business. It’s also important for everyone, who are trying to get their voice out there and build an audience. If you think that Instagram is the platform that can help you succeed in what you’re doing, this post is for you.

It’s Not As Easy As It Seems

So you might think that Instagram is a pretty simple platform – you make a picture, upload it to Instagram, write a caption, add some hashtags and click “Share”. Well, on one hand, it is just that. But on the other hand, there’s a ton of work! Taking a picture from the best angle, editing it to the bits, using as similar as the possible color palette for every image, crafting a catchy caption, choosing niche hashtags, posting on a particular time, and engaging with your followers and target audience all the time. So if Instagram for you is more than just a place where you can share the pics you took, than you must take it seriously, know what you’re doing and keep doing it constantly.

What Do You Want To Show?

The first question you need to ask yourself is what do you want to show to your audience? If you’re selling some products, you probably want to showcase them. It can be simple product images, images of details, products in use or behind the scenes process. If you’re a photographer, creator, blogger or anyone else, it’s pretty similar. You need to choose some particular categories that would be interesting for your audience and would encourage them to engage with your post.

What Can You Offer?

Another incredibly important aspect of your Instagram and social media overall is the value you provide. Of course, you can just post images that you like but until the moment you began purposefully think about the value you provide your audience with, no one will take you seriously and you won’t see your audience growing. Think of what is that you’re an expert in or what’s your goal, e.g. if you’re selling some products, maybe you want to showcase everyone your sustainable producing methods, or maybe you’re simply wonderful at cooking and want to share your experience with others. Each case is different but whatever it is that you do, you can and need to find the value that you’ll provide to your audience.

Choose your color palette

Also, make your images look cohesive by using the same color palette. You can find your own photo editing method and create a unique filter, you can buy presets or you can use free ones on the tool you’re using. The thing is, once your images have the same palette (or at least very similar), the whole feed feels professional and appealing. And you know what? This is exactly what will make people follow.

What Will You Post?

Now let’s get to the Instagram posts. You must have a plan of posts you’re going to share and unplanned posts can happen only when you’re sure they won’t disrupt your feed. There’re plenty of free apps that you can use to prepare your images and find the best sequence to post them. So far I’ve tried a lot of different Instagram planning tools and if you’re looking for a free choice, UNUM is the one that I recommend. Why? Because it’s simple to use, that’s it.

When Will You Post?

Besides, you also need to post consistently and if you’re not using Salesforce or any other tool that could post directly to Instagram, you’ll want to have reminders. You can simply use reminders on your phone, the ones UNUM app has of any other tool, such as Prime, for example, every day it notifies you when it’s the best time to post. However, it’s not about the tool you’re going to use, what matters is that you post consistently.

What Will You Say?

Well, the captions of your posts are no less important than the images. They must be interesting, catchy and captivating. You want people to have an interest in you ant this is the best way to do that. Tell them what you have to tell. Besides, interesting captions are irreplaceable when it comes to Instagram exposure. The thing is, the more time people will spend watching or reading your post, the more people will see you. And longer captions are what makes people spend more time on your post. Therefore, don’t underestimate the caption, take your time and make it perfect.

How Will You Be Discovered by Your Audience?

As you can guess, when it comes to reaching your audience, hashtags are the key. However, in order to be discovered not by anyone but by your target audience, you want to use very niche hashtags. The ones that your audience is using or following. In this case, it would be great if you could do a research of your target audience and businesses similar to yours, especially if their target audience is your target audience. You’ll definitely find very niche hashtags. What you need to do is to choose the ones that suit you and use them as well.

Why Must You Engage With Your Audience?

Engagement is also a very important part of growing your Instagram presence. First of all, if someone comments on your post, reply to them as soon as you can. It’s because such kind of engagement is important for Instagram’s algorithm and the more responsive you are, the more people will see you. Also, you should engage with your audience yourself. Check out posts with those niche hashtags, your target audience is using them so why not to show them your interest? There’s no need to follow everyone or like every picture. Just show your honest interest, like posts that you find interesting and comment if you feel like doing so. Also, if you’ll be commenting, don’t just write “Love it!” or “You look fab!”, this is what bots are made for and people probably want to follow you after seeing such a comment. Instead, be honest, tell what you think. And if there’s nothing valuable you want to say, don’t write anything. However, always remember to engage with your audience.

Why Should You Use Instagram Stories?

Well, and the last thing is Instagram stories. They’re wonderful when it comes to building better relationships with your followers and they also increase your exposure, especially if you’re using hashtags or location tags. It’s a great way to share your behind the scenes process or show something they wouldn’t find on your Instagram feed. Use it to communicate with your followers, to make them know you better and to know them.

Instagram can be just a place where you share your best shots but when used wisely, it can be an incredible tool to communicate with your audience and elevate your business to the next level. Of course, if you’re not already planning your posts, captions, hashtags, or engaging with your audience, it can be overwhelming. But step by step, you can do it. You can turn Instagram into your most successful social media platform and enjoy all its perks. Be brave and do that!

September 11, 2018

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