Why small businesses need to use Instagram


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Instagram has over 1 billion monthly users ready and waiting to consume content, and now more and more businesses are hopping on the platform to try and capture some of that audience. As content continues to show to be the king of marketing, businesses are now able to leverage further this social medium to convert engagement into real paying customers.

But, the common misconception about Instagram is that it’s all about the visuals. Whilst the platform is known for showing videos and images more than text captions, businesses can still find a way to maximize it to convert.

With so many ways to reach potential new customers, we break down why Instagram is perfect for small businesses:

1. Differentiate between business profiles and personal profiles

This can benefit a business in two ways. Firstly, it shows your audience that you’re a business, with distinctive features on your profile that stand out from personal profiles. Secondly, it offers additional features like a call to action button, boosted posts and account insights.

2. Grow an audience that WANTS to follow you

Unlike Facebook, organic growth on Instagram is much easier to achieve. It’s much easier for individuals to find you and follow your account than it is on Facebook (without paid advertising). The very nature of individuals choosing to follow you and engage with your content means your followers are more likely to share your products and services, and you’re more likely to grow through word of mouth as a result of that.

3. Focus on the visuals

What comes to mind when you think of Instagram? Gorgeous, curated feeds, captivating ‘Stories’ with engaging content – Instagram is all about the visuals, and the good news for your business is that people are more likely to remember something if they see a visual of it. As explained by Direct Line, Instagram is particularly important for so many businesses due to its ability to showcase your work at its best, particularly those in highly visual markets like the beauty sector. Beauty bloggers and hair enthusiasts are keen to utilize this platform in showcasing their artistic after-look makeup, make-up tutorial, hair do ideas and more. 

4. Learn what your customers want

You might think you know your target market, but when it comes to real people, a small business can always learn more about the wants and needs of its customers. Instagram lets you see exactly what content your customers are drawn to – from what images they’ve liked, to which accounts they follow. This information is vital for planning your content, your advertising, and the way you speak with your customers. It can carry over into all areas of your marketing.

5. Reach an audience you might have been missing out on

With 1 billion individuals using Instagram every single day, can your small business afford to not be on Instagram? The demographic of Instagram users varies widely compared to Facebook users, so failing to use Instagram means missing out on a lot of potential customers. You can reach even more users with carefully researched hashtags, ensuring your content will stand out from the competition.

6. Use Instagram as a re-marketing tool

If you have an Instagram gallery embedded into your website and a customer clicks through to your gallery and follows you, they’re more likely to return to your site at a later date. They’ll be able to stay up to date with your products and services and engage with your content through the Instagram app. In this way, Instagram can act as a re-marketing tool by capturing your audience for the long-term.

7. Publish posts to multiple accounts

One feature many small business owners love about Instagram is that it lets you publish posts to your linked accounts such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. When you’re tight for time this feature can be a godsend. When you’re really stuck for cross-channel content, you can simply create an Instagram post and share it to your other accounts with the click of a button.

8. Measurable results

Using one of Instagram’s many reporting tools, you can track all the data relevant to your Instagram account, which can be crucial to a small business’s marketing plan. Learning which posts get the most engagement, which Stories had the most reactions and which posts didn’t perform well will all help inform how to engage with your audience in future posts.

Put in the work, reap the benefits

Growing your Instagram can seem like a lot of work, but the benefits will certainly make it worth it. Whether you’re a beauty therapist or a florist, follow these steps and your business is sure to see a spike not only in followers, but in paying customers too.

With the right strategies, small businesses can promote their products and/or services, increase sales, and boost their brands online through Instagram. In fact, the platform continues to offer tools to help marketers in gathering insights to target the right audience. Instagram ads are also taking a whole new turn in line with Facebook ads. 

Taking the plunge

Running a small business doesn’t have to be overwhelming if all the puzzle pieces are in place. As well as Instagram and other forms of social media marketing, take time to think about things like insurance cover, qualifications, and funding to help ensure your small business hits the ground running.