Small Business Instagram Marketing Guide
Guide to Instagram Marketing for Your Small Business
When it comes to marketing your small business, there are few resources more valuable than Instagram. With over 159.75 million users in the United States, Instagram offers a variety of features designed to help businesses expand their audience and increase their digital footprint. With the recent introduction of new business tools, like Instagram Live and Instagram Shopping, there’s never been a better time to refresh your company’s Instagram marketing strategy.
Read on to discover our top Instagram marketing tips for small businesses and walk away with a better understanding of how to market on Instagram, engage with your target audience, and measure success.
Instagram Marketing Tips
First launched in October 2010, Instagram has grown and evolved immensely over the past 12 years. According to Semrush, Instagram is now the eighth most-visited website globally (based on total website traffic), with 4.58 billion visits in November 2022. As a leader in social media consumer trends, it’s crucial for business owners to stay up-to-date and informed on best practices. Below, we’re sharing 10 Instagram marketing tips for small businesses to help you get the most out of this social media platform.
1. Get strategic about posting time and frequency
The average Instagram business account posts approximately 1.6 times per day. So, if you want to keep up with the competition, it’s generally best to post at least one feed post and one or two stories per day. If your small business is just starting out, try to focus on consistency, first and foremost, over volume. The best times to post can vary depending on the nuances of your audience. However, Hubspot research shows the best high-traffic posting time to be Thursdays between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. (in your local time zone).
2. Use hashtags wisely
Adult users spend approximately 30 minutes per day on Instagram—a number that has recently surpassed Facebook and Snapchat. To help your intended audience discover your content while browsing, it’s important to use hashtags strategically. Hashtags are easily one of Instagram’s most effective tools for small businesses, and shouldn’t be underestimated. The ideal number of hashtags can vary based on the size of your account, but it’s generally best to use 7-30 hashtags in each post. We recommend adding your hashtags to the first comment of your post for maximum cleanliness and readability. Recent Instagram updates also now allow for hashtag tracking, where you can analyze how many users found your content through hashtags.
3. Offer discounts to loyal followers
Take the opportunity to thank your loyal followers on Instagram periodically with exclusive discounts and promotions. This will make them feel appreciated and they’ll be more likely to continue engaging with your content. Instagram-exclusive offers can also help bring in potential customers who might stick around out of curiosity and eventually become loyal followers.
4. Respond to comments and questions
Avoid the Instagram marketing mistake of forgetting about your content immediately after posting it. Always take the time to respond to comments and questions from your followers. This will help you build your online community, connect with customers, and show that you care. Along the same lines, it’s also important to consistently engage with other users’ posts and comments on a regular basis.
5. Post high-quality video and photo content
Although there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to building an Instagram marketing strategy, it’s important to remember that Instagram is a highly visual platform. Post only high-quality photos and videos, and consider the best content format for your audience. According to SocialInsider, carousel posts (where multiple images appear in a single post) show the highest engagement among users—especially for smaller accounts with 5K or fewer followers. If your account has a medium-to-large following, you may be better off focusing on video content. For carousel posts, engagement tends to be best with captions that are 10 words or less—and for video posts, aim for more than 30 words.
6. Utilize stories and highlights
If you want to keep your performance on par with top competitors, try taking advantage of Instagram stories and highlights. According to Rival IQ’s 2022 Instagram Stories Benchmark Report, the top 25% most active brands on Instagram post at least 17 stories per month. A staple of the social media platform, stories are the perfect opportunity to let your creativity really shine. They may also help boost revenue, since 58% of Instagram users reported being more interested in a brand after viewing it in a story, according to one survey.
7. Encourage engagement with interactive content
Approximately 57% of people enjoy seeing quizzes and polls from brands on Instagram, according to an Instagram Trends Research Study surveying 4,500 Instagram users ages 18-50. Don’t be afraid to ask your audience direct questions regarding their preferences and input on future business decisions. Take full advantage of small business tools (such as stories) that make it easy to create interactive content that sparks conversation between you and your audience.
8. Collaborate with other small businesses
Collaborating with other businesses or content creators is a win-win strategy that can help boost your Instagram marketing efforts. You could have an influencer review your product on Instagram Live, for example, or host a giveaway competition with another small business. You can even take over each other’s accounts for a day for an exciting collaboration your audience is bound to enjoy.
9. Use paid ads to help boost performance
Instagram’s potential advertising reach has recently surpassed Facebook, with a potential reach of 849.3 million users. When it comes to Instagram marketing for your small business, paid advertising can really have a big impact. Reaching new audiences through organic methods alone has its limitations, but paid ads allow you to target specific audiences, increase exposure, and promote better conversion rates more quickly and efficiently.
10. Check your content analytics
You can learn a lot from tracking your Instagram analytics. Although it can seem daunting at first, analytics are crucial to understanding the performance of your Instagram marketing strategy. Check your stats via the Insights page to see what type of content sparks engagement, as well as the best timing for your posts, and more. Keep in mind that the average Instagram engagement rate per post (by followers) is around 2.02%. Remember: You’ll need to ensure that your business is set up as an Instagram Business account first in order to view content analytics.
Explore the Optimum Business blog for some tips for small businesses that you may find helpful. To learn about general services that Optimum Business offers to keep your business connected, contact our team today.