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Instagram 101 For Startups

Instagram is one of the best platforms to showcase your portfolio where people can see your content right away and might consider visiting you or acquiring your service soon!

Over 1 billion of active users are already actively participating on Instagram monthly and you know what this means for your business?

Yes, you’ve got that right. A whopping opportunity of earning more when you used Instagram the right way. I mean, let’s talk about famous influencers on IG which have massive amounts of followers. Notice the big names in the entertainment industry who are starting to build their brands on IG and selling products.

Does Kylie lip kit sound familiar, what about the famous Lush fresh handmade cosmetics?

These brands have made it big on Instagram and possibly, so can you if you are a small business owner just starting to build your own brand. In the US alone, 71% of business owners or brands use Instagram. And what does it say for the social media capital of the world? 10 million active users in the Philippines uses Instagram. Amazing right?

If you are currently considering using Instagram as a platform for your business, well you are on the right track!

With Facebook favouring accounts who are using Facebook ads more, Instagram could be a “free” tool you can use to reach certain audiences or customers. Instagram also uses ads but there are ways to get your brand out there!

If you are a local business owner who owns cafes, bars, restaurant, hotels, salons, bakeshops, travel agency, jewellery shop, consider this too. Basically, everything that showcases a product or service. Yes, Instagram is necessary especially for those who are in the creative niche too such as artists, designers and photographers.

Instagram is one of the best platforms to showcase your portfolio where people can see your content right away and might consider visiting you or acquiring your service soon!

So how do you get started? Here are 10 tips to start growing your business with Instagram.

Create an Instagram account. If you want to further use the other features and access the insights, connect it to your FB Page or Business Page. Accessing the insights help you determine the best posts, content, location of your audience and when they are active. This helps you know when is the best time to post, what content to further optimize and how to strategize your content even more.

Know your business goals. So you are all set up! It is important to note what is your business goal. Of course, you want your account to generate sales right? That could be one among other goals. Goals can also be for spreading brand awareness so people would know that you exist. It could also be in showcasing your services or what you do behind the scenes. Basically, your goals will reflect what you want to show your audience and what you want them to do with your account.

Decide on a brand colour, theme and style. Yes, branding is important so people can easily identify who you are and what your brand represents. Instagram is a visual-based platform. That’s why it is important to know what does your brand stands for. Choose your brand colours, brand voice, and style carefully. There are a lot of Instagram themes and styles you can base online.

Follow relevant and related accounts. Following people who are in line with your business helps you gain an audience that could be potential clients. Follow your competitors and see what they do too. When you do giveaways or collaborations, you might end up working with them in the future too to increase the growth of your account as well.

Plan your content. It is important to plan your content before posting. You already have your goals and you have access to your insights, so by planning it will help you post them strategically. Through planning, you can also schedule them on the time they are most active. Weekly planning is a good way to start when filling up your content calendar. You can use scheduling apps such as plano.ly, Preview, Later, Hootsuite or Buffer.

If you manage multiple accounts, 30-day planning would help so that you don’t have to worry with daily posting routines. If you have a budget and can’t manage to run this, then I suggest you hire someone to manage it for you.

Utilise the features. Did you know that Instagram favours those who use their newest features more? New features on Instagram include Insta Stories. Insta Live, IGTV, FOLLOWING hashtags, videos such as boomerang, superzoom, focus, rewind and handsfree, and many others. So be creative in promoting your services or products by using any of these to your advantage.

Engage with your followers. With Instagram’s new algorithm, establishing engagement is a must as it is now mostly favoured. Why? Simply because Instagram favours relationships, authenticity, and popularity. So when someone comments or likes to your post, reply back. They’ll appreciate the thought. Interact with their post. If you receive low engagements consistently on your posts, the trick is to create and utilise engagement pods to help boost your post a little. Well, if you do not know what an engagement pod is, I will share more soon.

Explore relevant hashtags. They say hashtags no longer work. I personally think this is untrue. In fact, using hashtags on each of your posts can help them to be found when someone searches for it on Instagram. Marketers used to have a maximum of 30 hashtags on each post but with the constant change in the algorithm, it is better if you can write dynamic hashtags that are unique to the post. So, the best way to use hashtags it using a combination of the common hashtags, and more specific ones so you have a chance to land on the top post on the explore feed. And this means more exposure for you.

Use location, mentions and tag. When your business is locally-based, enable your location when you post would help your audience to locate your brand better especially if you have an establishment. You can also tag relevant accounts and use regraming when you are inspired by other people’s posts. Mentioning them and tagging them will help both you and them to gain exposures too. When you have a really good content, chances are your post might go viral and get shared by many as well. So just keep on posting great photos and great content too.

Be consistent. LAST important thing to remember is to be consistent when posting. Once a day is already enough so your audience knows the time you post. It would be weird and spammy if you post different times per day and leaving them hanging for the following days.

So there you have it. I hope this helps you start using Instagram for your business more effectively moving forward.

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Blessy Dacanay
Written By

Blessy is an Instagram Marketer and a Visual Brand Stylist. She helps spread awareness about the possibilities of working from home through social media as she is a mom as well. You can reach out to her via LinkedIn and Facebook.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Digital Aroma

    29th December 2018 at 5:44 pm

    Useful information for all start ups. Thank You for sharing.

    • Blessy

      Blessy

      22nd February 2019 at 11:15 pm

      Glad you liked it! Hope you find this helpful!

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