When it comes to running a small business successfully, it’s incredibly important to have a large online presence. In the days where people are spending so much time on their phones, you need to have a way to reach them by having a mobile-friendly website and focusing on your social media presence. One of the most important social media platforms out there (and it’s only becoming more popular) is Instagram. Even though this platform started as a fun way to share images with cool filters, it’s now become one of the hugest ways that businesses and influencers interact with their customers on social media. That’s why it’s so important to do as much as you can to improve your Instagram presence.

So if you want to learn more about the best Instagram strategies to get your customers’ attention, and continue to engage with them successfully, here’s how.

Switch to an Instagram for Business account

Even before you decide what kind of look you want for the pictures and stories you post, or how you’re going to compose the best hashtags, you need to establish yourself as an actual business leader on Instagram. There are plenty of personal Instagram accounts out there, but businesses need an Instagram for Business account. By connecting it to your Facebook account, and selecting what industry you’re in (e.g., ‘Writer’ if you’re a content creator), you’ll automatically get more views because of Instagram algorithms.

Additionally, you can provide more information about your business, such as contact information, address if you’re a brick and mortar store, and access to your website. There’s also the Insights feature, which will give you free info about your most successful posts, as well as your followers’ average age and location. It’s smart to use this feature, especially if your followers are younger; 59 percent of Instagram users are aged 18-29.

Research your followers–and reflect your research

Whether you have fashionable products to sell online from home or are running a coffee shop in the middle of a busy city, you need to research your followers to get them to follow you on Instagram. If you’re not using the right kind of images or your captions don’t speak much too them, then you aren’t going to get the engagement you want. See what your competitors are doing, and use Instagram tools like Hootsuite Analytics and Squarelovin to learn more and get more followers.

 

Once you’ve chosen an aesthetic style and voice for your captions, remember that this should match your website content and the Instagram stories you publish. And once you do start posting, be consistent, using the same filters and fonts. Instagram is a highly visual medium, so shifting that up too much will irritate the followers who started following you because of your original branding. Considering that there are 95 million posts shared on this app daily, doing your research and making your look stand out will make a huge difference to your success.

 

Use Instagram Stories

 

Another great feature on Instagram is the Instagram Stories feature. It was originally created so that the platform could compete with Snapchat, an app that was getting a lot of use by millennials and Gen Zers, and it proved to be hugely successful in drawing these generations in. So if you have many young customers, it’s worth mastering the Instagram Story. In general, it should match the aesthetic and vibe of your online presence generally. And depending on your industry, you can make videos about how your products are made or the cool new sale you’ve got going on. If you aren’t sure where to start, check out these tips from Mashable.

 

Instagram now has 1 billion users worldwide, so it’s time to get their attention by using this great feature.

 

Use great captions and hashtags

 

Finally, you need to think about the text that’s going to accompany your images. When it comes to captions, they should sound like your brand, with a vibe that’s either comedic, informative, or inspirational, depending on your product and audience. As for hashtags, you need to use ones in different categories: specifically your brand (for example, your brand name, which should be memorable), industry-related, niche hashtags specific to your audience, and trending hashtags. It’s also a smart idea to copy paste the ones you use most into your phone so that you don’t have to retype them every single time.

 

80 percent of users follow a business on Instagram, so by using the right captions and hashtags, you’ll attract a huge amount of followers.

 

These are some of the best strategies you can use to make your small business successfully market itself on Instagram. What other strategies do you use to promote your business on social media?

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