Emma Thomas is a part-time digital marketing consultant, part-time travel blogger, and a full-time dreamer. I have three passions in my life, traveling, social media and writing.
The role of social media in promoting any business, whether small or big, can’t be overemphasized. For small businesses, presence on social media is however critical, because of its mammoth reach.
The Giants like McDonald’s, Samsung and Nike are household names globally. Even if these big names leave social media right now, their sale generation will continue. But can small businesses afford to miss social media presence? The answer is definitely a big No.
Let the figures reveal Instagram’s influence:
Instagram is one such powerful social media marketing tool that can take any small business to another level, provided it is used intelligently. Companies have been using Instagram and they found it quite useful. According to Mr. Thomas Mecchia, CEO of EMU Coupon, “Statistically speaking, using Instagram for promoting small business makes 100% business sense.” Well, I think he’s right. Check out some facts below:
- 1 billion people use Instagram every month and 88% of them are outside the USA.
- Users like 4.2 billion posts per day
- 5oo million people use stories every day. (Who does not know that stories work for brands)
If you are operating a small business or intend to start one, there is no way; you can afford to ignore such a dynamic medium that offers enormous opportunities to contact such a large number of people. This article will show you some time-tested ways to make your business grow speedily through Instagram:
SEO and Instagram:
Today’s online business is overwhelmed by Buzzword SEO. All the digital and social media marketing gurus strive hard to get a better SERP ranking for their businesses. Instagram, through well-formulated hashtags (As good as Keywords in Google, Yahoo or Bing) can greatly influence search engines ranking and drive them towards itself. An interesting example is that when you type Paris Hilton in Google, the retrieved results show her Instagram profile at a higher position than her official website.
The social media marketing paradigm” Content is king” holds good for Instagram also. Through engaging visual content, you can increase followers and likes and make your account more SEO friendly. You can also boost your Instagram SEO through influencers that are celebrities, renowned bloggers or other highly connected people with a large following. If these influencers write content for you for free or free merchandise, it will greatly benefit your SEO.
Ways to grow your small business through Instagram:
Following are some very useful tips that will be very useful in promoting your small business on Instagram according to Mr. Thomas Mecchia:
Convert your existing ineffective account into a winning profile:
If you already have a business account that is not generating enough followers and likes, you seriously need to revisit your profile in order to make it truly traffic attracting business resource. You can do this by taking the following steps:
- Remove all outdated photos that do not go well with your brand and add a professional looking grid of images that make a statement.
- Write a bio that grabs the audience’s attention. The only section in your profile that provides to incorporate a clickable link in your bio. Therefore do not use it to link with your website only, as many do. Use it for downloadable Apps, purchases, event registration or any other meaningful purpose.
- Provide all necessary contact information.
Showcase your business creatively:
Always focus on solutions instead of products. Be aware of the power of visual content that Instagram is all about. Try to create a visual persona of your business. If you want to upload pictures, make some research about color schemes and their impact (usually subconsciously).
If you are preparing a video, try to communicate your message in a subtle manner as possible. No matter what is your video type (an explainer video, a how-to or a product demonstration), use best videography skills to produce coolest videos.
Jason Hsiao, the chief Video officer at Animoto (a company that creates marketing videos) suggests that behind the scene scenarios work wonder because they don’t tell but show.
Use #hashtags wisely:
Hashtags are a surefire way to expand the reach. These are the signboards directing traffic towards your Instagram account. Therefore make sure that you are using the hashtags that are most relevant to your products. Though Instagram allows 30 hashtags in a post, it is better not to use more than 5, because it is often annoying to read a post with excessive hashtags.
You should keep an eye on what hashtags are trending and also those, which your competitors are using. Use simple yet catchy hashtags to increase your discoverability. A relevant example is a hashtag used by Coke during its program of names on bottle .i.e. #shareacoke.
Create effective Instagram stories:
The stories are one of the most popular features of Instagram. They disappear after 24 hours and can then be saved to devices. These are displayed at the timeline of follower prominently right under Instagram’s logo.
The small businesses can leverage the stories for conveying their brand and product-related messages to followers. It is also very easy to develop interesting and impressive stories as Instagram itself offers many tools to generate such stories. A variety of stuff can be posted in these stories using videos, texts, photos, and music, etc.
In March 2017, Instagram made available Instagram Adverts stories feature to all businesses globally. After its launch, small businesses are increasingly using this to target a new audience and enhance the effectiveness of their campaigns.
Giveaway coupons and codes:
Being inspired by the swift growth of Instagram, marketers are using exclusive discount coupon giveaways, because coupons and discounts increase the visibility of your brands. The discount and coupon culture are through growing quickly on Instagram, but still, startup businesses will find less competition here compared to Facebook. Giving away discount coupons help you grow exponentially, as you can double or triple your community within least possible time.
You can add a coupon to your Instagram by designing your coupon image and link it to the specific event) you may give coupon codes for valentine day, mother’s day, black Friday, etc.). The codes may also be incorporated in the description of a photo.
One important but easy way to increase your brand’s popularity is startup EMU codes. The trend is emerging fast. The fear of fake coupons is not there, because the EMU coupons offered by companies undergo an in-depth verification process, so your customers don’t have concerns about authentication. The retail giant Amazon also uses it to increase its customer base beside many big names.
The Growth of Instagram is profound. The opportunities it offers for start-up businesses to grow are unlimited. If you make an impressive and functional profile with a strong Bio and great content, you may take your business to amazing heights of success.