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Instagram for Businesses – Organic

28 March 2019

Instagram for Small Businesses

Using social channels is a great way to interact and communicate with your audience. It is a space that allows you to give your business and brand a personality. There are many features that can be utilised on Instagram both organic and paid. Below a few features and idea will be explained to help you get started.

Organic

Organic growth is anything you are doing to naturally gain customers over time, rather than artificially gaining followers through paid adverts and SEO. Instagram is a great space to build on this as it’s completely free and has over 700m worldwide users, which as you can see from the below graph, if only getting higher.

Source: Business Insider

Creating a Profile

The best place to start is creating your business profile. If you already have a Business Instagram page, then make sure all the relevant information is easily displayed on your page. You will have the ability to have one link that can be used to connect your website, using this will allow your customers to directly access your products or services through your page, although you should always make sure you have made clear where that link will take them i.e. if you are a salon you could use your link to take customers to your booking page, and use the caption space to write ‘click the link below to book your appointment’.

Make sure you make it clear who you are and what you offer. This way anyone visiting your profile will be able to make a quick informed decision as to whether what you offer is relevant to them.

 

Making the most of your Instagram profile

 

Feed

It’s now time to post some content. It’s always a good idea to post a few things before you start getting followers as this will give anyone new to your profile, a great indication of what they can expect to see if they follow you.

You need to make your posts as aesthetically pleasing and engaging as possible. You can post about anything you like – so don’t make it too ‘salesy’. Of course, you can post pictures of your products, but why not make the caption a fun fact about the product that your audience may not know? Remember you can show all aspects of your business, give your audience some exclusive behind the scenes footage or highlight a valued member of staff.

If your business is more ‘service based’, for example a marketing agency, an accountant or a repairs company then share top tips, pictures of your workspace or the process of the service you offer. Instagram is all about being visually appealing so bare that in mind whenever you want to post something.

Gaining Followers

Once you have created your profile you will be given the opportunity to follow some accounts, the best place to start is by following accounts you know, either as existing customers or personal friends, the people you are following are already aware of your brand they are a lot more likely to follow you back, making this is a great way to organically grow your following. It’s also a great idea to promote your new platform when speaking to existing customers

Once you begin to gain followers, make sure you’re engaging with your audience. This can be by liking and commenting on their photos, or by asking questions in your own posts. Whilst it may seem a bit daunting to ask questions for fear of getting no response (there is a high chance this will happen) it’s a really good way of boosting engagement, think of it as a way to slowly train your audience to engage with what your posting. Due to Instagram’s algorithms, if you audience aren’t engaging with your post it is likely they won’t see them.

Hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to organically grow your following. You can hashtag up to 30 times per picture, by using all 30 you are giving your post the highest chance of being seen, so we would always recommend using them all.

Give yourself time to explore the different hashtags relevant to your audience, start by searching things that you think will be relevant to your followers. Once you begin to find popular images there will normally be multiple hashtags under one photo and you can keep clicking the hashtags to find more and more that are relevant to your niche.

Using hashtags will really help grow the reach of your images, in turn growing the reach of your profile which with then grow your following. It will be slow progress and you will need to put the time in, in order to see the results. We would suggest 30-60 mins per day.

Stories

The ability to share short stories on Instagram is a relatively new feature that is not being utilised by many business accounts at the moment – a great reason to give it a go! Stories allow you to share short 10 second videos or photos with your audience that will only be available to see for 24 hours (unless you put them in your highlights – explained below).

Stories are a great place to share short insights into the business, displaying daily promotions, a favourite quote or a quick update on how the business is doing. This is a great place to get really personal with your audience – share a quick update about how things are going, straight from your phone, unedited. This are of your Instagram doesn’t have to be slick and look pretty, it’s not going to be around forever!

Highlights

Highlights are a place where you can save any important stories that you want to be around for longer than 24 hours. They will save to the top of your profile so great for sharing things FAQ’s and contact information.

 

Where highlights will save

 

As you can see we have chosen to highlight some great reviews that we have received from our customers as well as key contact information so anyone visiting our profile for the first time can see that we are a respectable company and can get in touch if they wish to.

Insights

If your Instagram page is set up as a business profile, you will have access to key insights to help you understand who your audience is and how many accounts you are reaching. Some information is not available until you have 100 followers, for example demographics and gender, but there is still enough information to get you started as soon as you start gaining followers and generating engagement throughout your profile.

Instagram is a great place to build a personality around your brand and engage with your audience in a friendly relaxed manner. There are a few tips to get you started but come back next week to find out how you can use paid adverts across Instagram to grow your following and convert this into sales.

If you already have an Instagram or choose to set one up, then follow us @energyadvicelineuk and we will be sure to follow you back!

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