If you’re not using Instagram to promote your small business, there had better be a good reason. Instagram has more than a billion users, and not just celebrity influencers and teenagers; it’s great for businesses too. In fact, 80% of all Instagram accounts follow a business, so there is enormous potential for getting millions of eyes on your brand.

Instagram has been around since 2010, and in case you’ve been living under a rock, it’s a social media platform in which users post photos and other visual content. It can be used by people to post holiday snaps, influencers to flog products or companies to promote their brands. With more than 500 million people actively using it each day, it has one of the most engaged audiences of any social media platform. Businesses who use it well can generate a hugely loyal fanbase.

Although you might think Instagram is only suited to the most dynamic, creative, and visual brands, this is not the case. Of course, some companies have a natural advantage, such as Red Bull with their team of elite athletes, or National Geographic with their eye-wateringly beautiful photography from around the world. You’d be forgiven for wondering how a local estate agent or insurance firm could possibly hope to rival this. But with the right strategy in place, any business of any size can see great success by using Instagram.

The most important rule for succeeding on Instagram is to post content that is of consistently high quality. With so much competition for attention, there is a wealth of beautiful photos and humorous posts at any user’s disposal, so you need to stand out with distinctive content. Your content needs to attract people’s attention and make them want to share it with others. 

The type of content you post will depend on your business, your messaging, and the particular products and services you offer. To get you started, here are some ideas for content that different brands might share. 

Product shots

Whether it’s trainers, speakers, or organic smoothies, you need to ensure you have a vast array of product shots to showcase your entire range and make it look appealing. You have a huge opportunity to get creative with your photography here. Play around with different compositions and lighting. Flat lays are a brilliant way to display products in a clean, eye-catching style, while shots of the product being used by a consumer give contextual information. If you offer a service instead, post shots of happy customers using it.

Company values

Sustainability has become a massive buzzword in recent years, and companies have no excuse for not doing their bit for the environment. Using your content to outline how your company is taking steps to help the planet will make your followers feel more positive towards your brand and may tip the balance when choosing between your business and a somewhat less environmentally-friendly one. Perhaps your product uses recycled material, or you offset your carbon footprint. Share behind the scenes photos that show how you are doing your bit to help.

Memes

When it comes to humorous topical content, some brands are absolutely brilliant at judging the tone. Others, however, come across awkward and forced. Whether memes are the right content format for you will depend on the style and tone of your brand, as well as your audience demographic. If your customer base is teenage consumers, you may be onto a winner, but if you’re a B2B company targeting high-profile CEOs, the joke may be lost on them. If done right, it can be a great way to show some humor and personality behind your brand as well as leveraging topical themes to boost your visibility.

Information

When you’re a B2B business without beautiful products to showcase, finding enough visually-appealing content to populate your Instagram profile can be difficult. But while the platform does naturally lend itself to the consumer market, that doesn’t mean other businesses can’t benefit from it. One way for B2B companies to use Instagram is to share information in the form of visual posts. This could be eye-opening stats, industry tips, relevant quotes, or an educational infographic. High-quality graphic design is essential here if you want to grab someone’s attention.

Company culture

Businesses don’t just use Instagram to attract new followers. It can also be used for recruitment, which in turn will help to grow your business. Before starting a job at a new company, people will do their research on your website and social media platforms to help them decide whether it is right for them. By showing followers a bit more about your company culture and what it’s like to work for you, you can make yourself look a lot more appealing to job applicants. Take snaps at company social events and behind-the-scenes looks at what goes on in the office. You want to use this opportunity to show that you are a company that values its employees and has time for a bit of fun as well as hard work.

Customer satisfaction

Most customers will look at reviews from previous customers when deciding whether to buy from a brand. Whenever you get a new satisfied customer, it’s always a good idea to take a testimonial from them in the form of a video or a snappy quote. Post these on Instagram and let potential new customers judge for themselves.

As we have seen, there are so many different types of content businesses can post on Instagram. What you choose to post will depend on what’s right for your specific brand. Great content will naturally draw followers, but to maximize your success, you also need to be following and engaging with other relevant brands and profiles and using hashtags to make yourself more discoverable. Include a call-to-action to your website on any product-specific posts but refrain from being overly self-promotional about your business, or you will struggle to gain new followers. When you set up a new business profile, it can take some time to build up a large follower base initially. By using a service such as Kicksta, you can quickly build a list of fans who are relevant to your business. Check out some Kicksta Instagram reviews here.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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