Instagram is more than just a massive photo and video sharing social network—it’s a powerful marketing and branding tool for your business.
That’s a lot of power and influence.
However, finding success on Instagram isn’t as easy as creating an account and throwing up some cutesy pictures. No, you’re going to need to get more strategic than that. With more than 71% of all US businesses on Instagram, you have a lot of competition.
Fortunately, it’s never too late to get in on the action. Now’s the perfect time to update, reset, or create your Instagram business strategy. Let’s get started from the high-level overview and then get down to the specific action items.
What are you hoping to achieve with Instagram? What does success look like? Is Instagram the best use of your time to accomplish your goals?
Start wrapping your head around why you want to use Instagram. Here are a few reasons to consider:
You could have multiple reasons for being active on Instagram, but make sure you have a purpose. As a small business owner, you have a lot you can be doing and delegating—ensure that Instagram satisfies a business goal before you invest time week-in and week-out on the platform.
Next, how do you plan to measure success? What metrics do you plan to track?
There’s no right answer, but determine now what’s important to you and why.
Personal and business Instagram accounts are different. Business accounts give you access to insights, ads, shopping, additional inboxes, profile contact information, and a call-to-action button on your profile.
Don’t worry if you already have an account—you can convert a personal profile to a business one in no time. Whether you’re creating a brand-new Instagram account or converting an existing one, follow Instagram’s simple step-by-step process.
You only have 150 characters to make a great first impression—easier said than done. A first-class Instagram profile isn’t something you can whip out after lunch. You’ll need to take some time drafting, tweaking, and finalizing this content. Here are the top things to focus on:
Instagram is all about sharing beautiful, eye-catching photos and videos. We could talk for days about how to find and create top-notch content, but that’s much more than the breadth of this article. However, if you’re desperate for content, here’s the short-and-sweet on what to do:
If you have the resources and bandwidth, experiment with Stories and Instagram Live to see which resonates best with your audience.
Posting consistently on Instagram is essential. It’s easy for your followers to forget about you if you post sporadically. Be consistent.
Your goals and your bandwidth determine the right frequency. That could be every week on Mondays and Wednesdays or every day of the week—that’s up to you.
Create a schedule and stick to it. Feel free to experiment with new posting days, times, and frequencies from time to time, but try to settle into a routine.
Utilize social media management software for scheduling, engaging, monitoring, and measuring. Here are a few tools with free Instagram options to consider:
There are a ton of options out there, and the possibilities explode if you’re willing to spend a few dollars every month. These are just our favorite free tools.
Like, follow, comment, direct message—do it all. Engage with the community!
This can’t be overstated, so let me be clear. You will NOT find success on Instagram by just posting content.
If you build it, they will not come. There are just too many businesses and personal profiles posting too much content on Instagram. To find success, you’re going to need to go out, find, and engage with your audience.
Regularly get out of the weeds and measure your success. Do you see the metrics you’d like to see? Are these numbers helping you achieve your business goals?
Don’t get so stuck in the day-to-day minutiae that you forget what it’s all about. Set aside time to review your progress, adjust your goals, and update your strategy at the end of every month.
The best time to get started on Instagram was way back in 2010, but the second-best time is now. Today.
Getting started on Instagram is easy, but it’ll take some time for you to start seeing results. Create your account, begin posting, and start building an audience on this unique, robust platform.