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Instagram has been a major player in the social media world for some time. More than 65 million monthly active users, 10 billion photos and one of the most recognizable logos on the market make it a must-have marketing platform for small businesses – if they know how to use it.
With the steady growth of the photo platform, its influence on the purchasing habits of users is also growing. With this in mind, you can use Instagram not only to share photos, but also to attract new customers.
To help you thrive as a small business owner on Instagram, we've rounded up the best tactics and advice from successful SMBs. Here are seven proven ways to use the social network as a marketing tool.
1. Create engaging emoji captions
Using emojis is an effective way to retain your followers. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and hashtags are fun and a little different. Try using them together for extra creativity.
Emojis are especially effective on Instagram as they can be used to add personality to your messages. You can use the same emoji for different occasions, or mix up the colors and style of the message every time you post something new.
Related: 15 Ways To Optimize Your InstagramIn
2. Be original
No one can resist the lure of original content when displaying your captions on Instagram. There are thousands of posts similar to yours which means you need to stand out from the crowd.
Make sure you have a unique point of view or perspective that your followers will appreciate. You don't want to be seen as a person who simply shares what's going on in their life without adding value or making an effort at all. With unlimited Instagram followers, it is easy for people to find a specific user that they like. But if you want your contribution to be noticed, step out from the crowd and create something that they will remember.
3. Use hashtags wisely
If you use hashtags on Instagram, do some research on their performance beforehand. It's a good idea to search for your own specific hashtag and see what happens when you include it in your posts.
While there is no guarantee that your hashtag will be noticed, there are a number of factors that will affect its performance. There are certain hashtags that people use all the time, while others tend to perform better when used occasionally.
The best performing hashtags are around eight to ten characters long, and you should make sure that your hashtags are easy for people to read. You should also use a combination of hashtags rather than just focusing on one or two.
Similar: Why You Should Share Your Instagram Post On Your Instagram Story
4. Go beyond Instagram
If you want to get more Instagram followers then you should take advantage of the other opportunities that are available to you. For example, you can try promoting your account through Facebook ads or on Twitter. These websites allow their users to advertise their pages or products. So, consider using this feature if it meets your growth goals.
5. Post regularly
It's always good to post regularly, but you want to make sure what you post is engaging. This is an opportunity to showcase your brand personality and connect with followers on a more personal level, so don't waste it by posting bad content! Many brands use Instagram Stories as another way to keep their content current. They do this by creating short clips that are easy for viewers to consume and act as an extension to the account that matches their brand image. Definitely worth a try!
6. Attractive Instagram feed
If you have a well-designed Instagram feed, it makes sense that the profiles match too. These are the first pictures new followers see. So make sure they are interesting and enticing enough that people will want to keep exploring your feed. This is especially important if you are using a mobile device because you only have a small area to get their attention.
While many people already know this, there are still some companies that don't: Instagram is now an algorithm-based feed. That means it doesn't follow the chronological order of the posts. This is a big change for those who have primarily used it as a content curation tool and suddenly found that they had no visibility if their posts weren't directly engaging or were actively liked.
Take advantage of the algorithm by adjusting your posting times and finding out which time slots are best for you. While there is no magic formula for this, you can base it on:
What kind of content do you post? Usually, lighter, more digestible content is best to start with, while fatter or more graphic-intensive images are better later in the day. How much time do you spend on your account? If you spend less than an hour a day doing this, think about the early hours of the morning. This is because there are more people online during this time, so posts from this time will be some of the first to see them. Where do you live? Some markets are very different when it comes to how long people use their smartphones in these locations.
Schedule your posts accordingly to avoid disappointment and ensure your content is getting the visibility it deserves.
Related: 4 Reasons Why You Should Make Instagram Videos in 2021