Instagram can be a total game changer for small businesses trying to connect with their audience! But with the ever-changing algorithm, you might be wondering, how do I grow my business on Instagram in 2024? 🤔
In this blog, BT’s social media manager, Henry, will walk you through his tips and tricks to grow your small business on Instagram!
Why small businesses should be using Instagram
Instagram has been in our world for over 10 years now, and it’s not going anywhere! It’s one of the most powerful marketing tools out there for small businesses. Thanks to its focus on the visual, it’s ideal for showcasing your products and services.
As of 2021, 64% of marketers plan to increase their activities on Instagram. If you want to shift your focus to Instagram and start leveraging it to grow your small business, here are our top tips.
Before delving into content creation, it’s crucial to establish a clear strategy for your channel. Define your goals and start with one or two small goals to get the ball rolling. Once you get comfortable with those goals, you’ll be able to expand into even bigger goals for your channel! Having these goals and strategies in place will help you to theme your content and make your brand more consistent and relatable.
Create a strategy for your Instagram profile
Goals you might like to consider to kick things off:
Increasing organic sales
Improving brand loyalty
Driving website traffic
What are the different content types on Instagram?
Instagram has four main content types on its platform. We recommend using a mix to hit every possible angle to engage your audience!
Grid posts – these live on your profile indefinitely
Stories – these are live on your story for 24 hours
Reels – these are short-form videos that live on your profile indefinitely
Lives – these are live videos that you can record directly within the Instagram app and then get stored on your profile the same as grid posts and reels.
Get clear on your content
Often when you’re starting or rethinking your channel, content can be the hardest thing to come up with! So here are Henry’s top content ideas and why they convert 🙌
Offer a glimpse into your small business operations or product creation process. This creates a personal connection with your audience and allows you to give them a sneak peek at what’s coming up in your business!
User-Generated Content (UGC)
Encourage customers to share content featuring your products. This builds authenticity and trust with your audience and can be a powerful promotional tool too! We love brands like Astrid and Miyu and they’re a great example of how user-generated content can grow your business
Polls and Surveys
Engage your audience by seeking their opinions using Instagram’s Poll feature on Stories. This interactive content not only entertains but also provides valuable insights into what your audience is interested in.
Giveaways and Competitions
Organising giveaways and competitions can be an amazing way to engage your audience on Instagram. Make sure you encourage your audience to share your content as part of the competition for maximum impact. Giveaways are also a great way to collaborate and support other small businesses on Instagram. Need some inspiration? Check out this guide to creating a small business giveaway by Sprout Social!
A key pillar of your content should be educational to help you stand out in your industry. By creating educational content you’re positioning yourself as an authority AND adding value to your audience too!
When your audience loves your business as much as you do, they’ll be excited to hear when you have a new product or service launching! You can create even more excitement by sharing sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes content about your upcoming launches! Looking for inspiration? We love Tala’s product launch strategy – check out their socials here.
Sharing inspiring or motivational content can work really well on Instagram. It engages your audience on a personal level and allows you to create a more familiar relationship with them.
How to create Instagram success
So now you’ve got your content ideas, you might be wondering how to bring it all together! Read on to find out Henry’s best practices as you go forward on your Instagram journey 🚀
Start with your profile
It’s often overlooked, but the best place to start when rethinking your Instagram is your profile!
Set a clear profile picture
Concisely sum up your business in your bio
Include your contact information in your bio so it’s easy for your audience to get in touch!
Be relatable, not salesy
Most people are using Instagram as their down time, it’s an app for fun! So focus on creating engaging content and building relationships with your audience rather than constantly promoting and selling to them.
Engage with your audience
Don’t post and ghost! When your audience takes the time to engage with you, return the favour so it feels like a real relationship. Respond to comments, follow back, and get involved with conversations on other people’s posts just as you would in a real-life conversation.
Don’t shortcut your way to the top
The worst thing you can do is buy followers. It’s a longer game but if you follow our guide, you’ll slowly but surely build a highly engaged audience who love what you do – and that’s worth more than any number of followers you might be chasing!
Maximise your reach with hashtags
Hashtags are used to categorise your content on the Instagram app. It helps Instagram to show your content to the right people and has the power to get your content seen by non-followers! So make sure you’re using relevant hashtags on all your posts to increase your visibility. Experiment using a mix of popular hashtags and more niche hashtags to see what works for you and your followers.
Experiment with carousel posts
Carousel posts allow you to share multiple images in one post, a bit like a mini photo album! Instagram have recently launched a new feature where if someone sees your carousel post and doesn’t engage, they’ll then be shown the post again at a later date but with a different image from the carousel. This means you’ve got a greater chance of engaging your audience on that particular post so definitely give them a go if they’re not already in your content plan!
Be consistent with your posts
You don’t need to be posting 10 times a day, 7 days a week. But you do need to be posting regularly in a way that feels right for you. Figure out how often you can consistently post and stick to it! Whether that’s once a week or a couple of times a week, find what’s right for you. And remember, you don’t have to physically be posting the content one post at a time! Make the most of handy scheduling apps like Buffer, Hootsuite and Sprout Social to schedule your posts and free up more time for you to work on your business.
Track your progress
It’s important to celebrate your milestones and figure out what’s working and what isn’t. Instagram business and creator accounts give you access to handy metrics that you can track for free in the app. We recommend tracking your follower count, impressions, and link clicks amongst other metrics to see how your profile is growing!
If you give Henry’s tips and tricks a go, we have no doubt that your small business will grow on Instagram in no time at all!
Need a helping hand? We know social media can be daunting, so if you’d benefit from some 1:1 support – we can help!
We have hundreds of amazing mentors like Henry on our free mentoring platform who give personalised support to help you grow your organisation.