Various traditional media can be used to advertise and market one’s business, such as print, commercial television and radio broadcasting. However, due to the accessibility of digital media, using social media promotions can be a cost-effective way to market your small business.
As a social media platform, Instagram allows its users to post photos, videos, and Instagram stories. The platform’s 700 million active users and high audience engagement makes Instagram very ideal for business owners who want to promote their business to a targeted audience minus the high cost incidental to using traditional media.
The following tips can be useful for business owners looking into using Instagram for business promotions:
- Set up an Instagram business account
- Get acquainted with the Instagram Business Tools Suite
- Take advantage of Instagram’s features
- Connect and interact with followers
- Explore partnerships and collaborations
1. Set up an Instagram business account
Business owners should first set up an Instagram business account. If the business owner already has a pre-existing Instagram account, they can select the “Switch to Business Profile” option found at the Options tab of their Instagram profile. Business owners can also connect their Instagram profile to the business’ Facebook page.
The Instagram profile should include profile pictures, descriptions, and usernames based on the demographics and preferences of their target audience.
Owners can then track insights and reaches of their posts, interact with their audience, and create their own business promotions.
2. Get acquainted with the Instagram Business Tools Suite
The Instagram Business Tools Suite is very useful for business owners as it can enhance advertising and marketing strategies. The suite consists of three elements, namely Business Profiles, Insights, and Promotions.
Business Profiles allow business owners to create a business account with added features such as options for contact details.
Insights allow business owners to determine the performance of both the business’ profile and its individual posts. Business owners can choose to view the insights of their business profile on the account dashboard or on the settings of each post.
The post settings allows business owners to view the impressions (the number of times each post was viewed by a follower), engagement (number of unique accounts interacting with the post), and reach (how many times the post was viewed by a unique profile) of the business profile. The account dashboard gives access to the number of site clicks, profile views, and follower demographics.
Promotions enables business owners to promote individual posts either by setting up an ad, a call to action button, or a landing page link. It also allows businesses to customise their targeted audience and the budget and duration for sponsored posts.
3. Take advantage of Instagram’s features
Business owners can also use Instagram stories for promoting their business. Although it can only be viewed for 24 hours by followers, profile owners can access the stories anytime in their archive.
Posting Instagram stories with the use of photos, short videos, boomerang posts, and live videos combined with features such as additional text, temperature, location, and stickers are available to increase creativity in promoting the business.
These features can be used to widen audience reach and create interest in the business. Instagram stories are also ideal for posting the processes and outtakes behind every business, such as the making of a product.
4. Connect and interact with followers
A well-curated Instagram business profile should be complemented by follower interactions.
Posting “behind-the-scenes’ photos of employees, product processes, and even tips and tricks on how customers can use the products properly can expand interest in the business and increase customer involvement in the business processes. Business owners could also use Instagram to announce dates and events.
Business owners can also incorporate hashtags into their traditional advertisements and business events such as product launches, sneak previews, and store sales to easily track the progress of the promotion and increase searchability.
Replying to individual queries coming from customers, from comments on their posts to direct messages and being prompt in addressing customer inquiries show that the business values its customer base.
Business owners could easily gain a “following” if they remain personal in their audience interactions and put focus on their customers.
5. Explore partnerships and collaborations
Business owners can consider entering into partnerships and collaborations. This may involve teaming up with other businesses for a possible product/service collaboration or cross-advertisements, and/or paying a social media influencers to advertise the business and its offerings.
Social media influencers that have a large following can advertise the products and services of the business organically without having to endanger audience reach. Profile owners can also tag other profiles and partners in their Instagram stories to further collaborative efforts and promotions.
Using social media marketing applications, such as Instagram, is an cost-effective opportunity for business owners to promote their businesses while establishing good customer relationships.