8 Tips on How to Use Instagram for Small Businesses (2022)

8 Tips on How to Use Instagram for Small Businesses (1)

What’d you see the last time you scrolled through your Instagram feed?

If you’re like me, you were bombarded with selfies, pictures of delicious-looking food, videos of people’s pets, and inspirational quotes.

And probably not too many interesting posts from small businesses.

The sad fact is that lots of small businesses aren’t even on Instagram. Often, they either don’t want to learn how to use it or they don’t think it’ll help them improve their business.

But they’re wrong. Instagram can help your small business succeed.

And that especially applies if your ideal customers are anywhere from 12 to 25 years old. Just take a look at how popular the app is with that audience:

8 Tips on How to Use Instagram for Small Businesses (2)

But even if you’re marketing to an older demographic, Instagram is worth your time. After all, at 4.21%, brand engagement rates highest on Instagram. That’s right – it beats both Twitter and Facebook.

(Video) Instagram Marketing 101: Using Hashtags, Stories, and More to Grow Your Business

So, let’s talk about several ways you can use Instagram for your small business to effectively to engage with your audience and get better results from your social media marketing efforts.

1. Find, follow, and interact with your ideal customers

Finding your ideal customers on Instagram isn’t too difficult. The first thing you should do is look at the accounts who are following businesses similar to yours – if they’re following them, then they’re probably going to be interested in what your business has to offer too.

For example, if you’re a fitness guru who sells online weight loss courses, you’d want to follow some of the people who follow popular fitness gurus. If you’re a marketing agency, you’d want to follow some of the people who follow popular marketing agencies.

You get the picture.

Now, don’t get me wrong – not all of the people you follow will follow you back. But some of them will, and there’s a good chance they’ll engage with you if you’re posting the right content.

Then, you can start interacting with those people by commenting on their photos, liking their photos, and even sending them direct messages.

But keep this in mind:

If you spam people or write generic comments that aren’t tailored to fit the photo/account you’re commenting on, you’ll just hurt your brand and annoy people. Take the time to really form a genuine connection with your audience, and your efforts will eventually pay off.

2. Create content that appeals to your target audience

You know your target audience, but do you know what kind of content will make them engage with your brand on Instagram?

If not, it’s time to start researching. Take a look at your competitors’ accounts, and figure out which kinds of photos get the most engagement there. Of course, you don’t want to steal those photos, but you can certainly use them as inspiration when you’re creating your own posts.

If you’re not sure what kind of content to post on Instagram, here are a few ideas:

(Video) Instagram Marketing For Small Business (2022 UPDATE)

  • Behind-the-scenes videos
  • Inspirational quotes
  • Employee selfies
  • Blog post images
  • Product sneak peeks
  • Product arrangements

Try several (or all) of these, and see what gets the most engagement. Then, you can change your posting strategy based on what your audience likes best.

3. Fill out your bio strategically

Instagram isn’t LinkedIn – it’s much more casual. That means there’s no need for you to write a stuffy, boring bio full of business jargon.

Instead, opt for a more lighthearted feel to humanize your brand. Think about your ideal customer, and write your bio in a way that appeals to them.

As far as formatting, you can use emojis, vertical spacing, and other tricks to help your bio stand out from the crowd. Just take a look at this bio:

8 Tips on How to Use Instagram for Small Businesses (3)

See how Lime Crime uses vertical spacing and emojis? Their bio formatting looks much more interesting that it would if it were just a boring sentence about their company.

I’m not saying you absolutely need to use emojis or vertical formatting. Think about your target audience and what they might like to see in your bio, and take a look at what you most successful competitors are doing. From there, you can make an informed decision about how to format your bio.

Tip: While it’s good to be creative in your bio, you shouldn’t sacrifice clarity for the sake of creativity. Make sure your bio states what your company does in a way that allows the people who view your profile to immediately understand it.

4. Post high-quality photos

Don’t worry – you don’t need professional photography skills or even a good camera to pull this off. All you need is your iPhone camera.

Here are a few DIY photography tips you can use to improve your photo quality:

  • Use natural light to your advantage. If you’re shooting outdoors, try to take the photos in the late afternoon when the lighting is best. If you’re indoors, just open up a window (or your blinds) and you’ll be good to go!
  • Don’t use the front facing camera if you can help it. Using the back camera on your smart phone will often result in higher-resolution photos.
  • Edit your photos. Do not (I repeat, do NOT) use the default filters included in the Instagram app! Instead, download a photo editing app and make a few adjustments until your photo looks like it was taken by a professional.

If you’ve got an iPhone and would like to learn how to use it to take amazing photos, check out the iPhone photography school blog. It’s full of tips that’ll help you boost the quality of your photos!

(Video) Instagram For Business In 2022 | Social Media For Small Business Beginner's Guide

5. Use hashtags

When you’re using hashtags, think about what words your target market might be searching for that also apply to your photo. For example, if you’re running an entrepreneurship blog and posting inspirational quotes to your Instagram account, you might try using hashtags like #entrepreneur and #mondaymotivation.

Whatever industry you’re in, use the Hashtagify tool to research and determine the best hashtags to use for your business and target audience. When you type in a tag, you’ll get other tag suggestions, like this:

8 Tips on How to Use Instagram for Small Businesses (4)

Experiment with different hashtag combinations and see which work the best. As long as your hashtags are relevant to the photo you’re posting and your target audience, they should be fine.

A word of warning:

Don’t overdo it with your hashtags. If you include 15+ hashtags every time you post a photo, you’ll look spammy and desperate, which will hurt your brand. Trust me – that’s not worth any amount of likes.

So, how many hashtags should you use?

Try sticking with 3 to 5 hashtags per post. That way, you can include enough hashtags to drive engagement but not so many that your account looks ridiculous.

6. Offer discounts

If your small business is an eCommerce store, you can get new followers and keep existing followers around by offering exclusive discounts on your Instagram account.

All you need to do is create a graphic that shows the discount percentage and discount code (you can easily do this using Canva), then explain how to use the code in your caption.

But you don’t have to be an eCommerce store owner to use this tip. Get creative, and figure out a way to offer exclusive discount for the products and/or services you offer.

(Video) Instagram for Business - Ultimate Beginner's Guide

7. Make sure your feed is cohesive

To create a strong brand on Instagram, you need a cohesive feed. Ideally, your pictures should stick to a similar color scheme (if you have a brand style guide, use it), and you should use the same filter and/or editing process for each photo you post.

Let’s take a look at a good example of a cohesive Instagram feed. It belongs to YouTuber Anastasjia Louise:

8 Tips on How to Use Instagram for Small Businesses (5)

You can see that she sticks to a dark theme, and her pictures are mostly black and white. As a result, her feed is visually appealing and you immediately get a strong sense of her personal brand when you look at it.

But you don’t necessarily need to stick to a dark theme like her. Think about your audience and what types of photos are most likely to appeal to them. Then, create a cohesive feed by using a photo editing app like Afterlight or VSCOcam to create a custom editing process.

When you use one of these apps and edit a photo the way you like, edit all of your other photos that way too. This is one of the most important steps when you’re trying to create a cohesive feed.

You’ll also want to share the same kind of content consistently – that way, your audience knows what to expect (and they know it’ll be something they like!). Just make sure you monitor your results when you post and adjust your strategy based on which types of photos are getting the most engagement.

8. Craft some killer copy

Don’t underestimate the power of your copy when you’re writing captions for your Instagram posts. Those captions can be the difference between 1 like and 1,000 likes, so take your time while writing and make sure whatever you put there is good.

Also, keep in mind that Instagram captions can help you build your brand. If your brand is edgy, write something edgy. If your brand is positive and uplifting, write something positive and uplifting.

Whatever you decide to write for your captions, tailor the messaging based on your brand and target audience, and you’ll see better overall results from your Instagram marketing efforts.

In Conclusion

(Video) 13 ways to use Instagram for small business

Just like anything else, the results you get from your small business Instagram account will depend on how much effort you put into it.

Follow the tips outlined here consistently, and you can feel confident knowing that you’ll soon see your following begin to grow. Keep it up, and who knows – Instagram marketing might just become one of your most powerful methods of connecting with new customers!

FAQs

How can I use Instagram to improve my business? ›

How to use Instagram for business
  1. Add professional-looking photos. ...
  2. Use Instagram Stories. ...
  3. Stream live videos. ...
  4. Interact with your followers. ...
  5. Use hashtags. ...
  6. Use Instagram Reels. ...
  7. Advertise on Instagram. ...
  8. Obtain audience insights.

How do small businesses grow on Instagram? ›

8 Instagram for small businesses best practices
  1. Set up your Instagram business profile the right way. ...
  2. Be relatable, not salesy. ...
  3. Engage with your followers. ...
  4. Grow your audience organically, don't buy them. ...
  5. Use hashtags to extend your reach. ...
  6. Use Instagram Carousels to hit the same users again. ...
  7. Post regularly.

What should be the first post on Instagram for business? ›

What should I post on Instagram to get followers?
  • Product photos.
  • Behind-the-scenes photos.
  • Instagram Reels.
  • User-generated content.
  • Instagram contests.
  • Video tutorials.
  • Influencer content.
  • Product announcements.
8 Jun 2022

How do you use Instagram professionally? ›

In settings , find Account and tap Switch to Professional Account. Pick a category that best describes your business, then select Business. You're all set, you've got an Instagram business account. Now complete your profile using the tips below.

What is the best way to promote your business? ›

12 tips to promote your business
  1. Take advantage of local listings. Register your business with Google — it's the new yellow pages. ...
  2. Use social media. ...
  3. Create engaging content. ...
  4. Optimize your website's SEO. ...
  5. Create press releases. ...
  6. Get involved in an online community. ...
  7. Use high-quality visuals. ...
  8. Pay for advertising.

What is the best time to post on Instagram? ›

More videos on YouTube

Brayden Cohen, Hootsuite's Social Marketing and Employee Advocacy Strategist, told us: “Typically, we like to post early in the morning and mid-afternoon. For Instagram, that means we try to post anytime between 8 AM – 12 PM PST or 4-5 PM PST on weekdays.”

How do you drive sales on Instagram? ›

Here are 11 tips to increase your visibility and sales on Instagram.
  1. Craft Stunning Images. Imagine your average Instagram user scrolling through her feed. ...
  2. Run Contests. ...
  3. Leverage Video. ...
  4. Give Exclusive Content with Stories. ...
  5. Respond to Comments. ...
  6. Join Instagram Pods. ...
  7. Use More Hashtags. ...
  8. Use Your Links Wisely.
15 Sept 2020

How often should you post on Instagram? ›

How Often to Post on Instagram. It's generally recommended to post at least once per day, and no more than 3 times per day, on Instagram.

Which content is most popular on Instagram? ›

Visual content like photos and videos are 40 times more likely to get liked and shared by the users on social networks. So there is no wonder why Instagram is constantly increasing and developing. This visual-based platform is more popular nowadays than at any time before.

How many times should a small business post on Instagram? ›

During Instagram's Creator Week in June 2021, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri suggested that posting 2 feed posts per week and 2 Stories per day is ideal for building a following on the app. To keep up with your competitors (or frenemies!) it's probably good to note that businesses post 1.56 posts to their feed per day.

What is the real purpose of Instagram? ›

Instagram is a free photo and video sharing app available on iPhone and Android. People can upload photos or videos to our service and share them with their followers or with a select group of friends. They can also view, comment and like posts shared by their friends on Instagram.

How effective is Instagram advertising? ›

advertisers have spent on Instagram app install ad campaigns are 4 percent lower than those set for the ad unit on Facebook, as a whole. A retailer hoping to drive sales through Instagram saw an increase of 179 percent return on ad-spend within 60 days.

How do you introduce yourself on Instagram? ›

9 Fun Ways To Introduce Yourself On Instagram (And Get Comments Back)

What to do after posting on Instagram? ›

  1. Respond to genuine comments. ...
  2. Start a complementary Q&A in your Instagram Stories. ...
  3. Add your Instagram post to an Instagram Guide (or two) (or three) ...
  4. See if it was Shares or Hashtags that did the trick. ...
  5. Create some breathing room and stop posting for a day or two. ...
  6. Prioritise an About Us Instagram post soon.

How do I introduce my business to social media? ›

How to Launch a Brand on Social Media in 5 Simple Steps
  1. Identify Your Goals. Before you do ANYTHING in marketing or social media for that matter, you absolutely have to know what your end goal is. ...
  2. Identify Your Audience. ...
  3. Set up + Optimize Profiles. ...
  4. Set + Implement Your Strategy. ...
  5. Measure and Optimize.
15 Jan 2016

How do I grow my Instagram business organically? ›

Organic Instagram growth strategies to build your brand
  1. Consistency is key. ...
  2. Invest in content production & content diversity. ...
  3. Run promotions & contests. ...
  4. Promote cross-platform. ...
  5. Share the wealth with influencers. ...
  6. Increase engagement time. ...
  7. Wrap it all up with Instagram growth analytics.
8 Jun 2021

How do I promote my post on Instagram? ›

To boost your Instagram feed post:
  1. Go to your profile.
  2. Below the post's image, tap Boost.
  3. Fill in the details of your ad by setting things like Goal (what results you'd like from this ad), Audience (who you want to reach), Budget (how much you want to spend daily) and Duration (how long you want your ad to run).

How do people get so many followers on Instagram? ›

Instagram is so much more than photos. Over the years, the app has introduced many ways to share content on the platform. Mixing it up with different content types is one of the best ways to gain more followers on Instagram because it gives you the chance to reach and connect with a wider range of people.

How many Instagram followers do you need to get paid? ›

The good news is, there's no strict minimum. Three influencers Insider interviewed — all with under 3,000 Instagram followers — said they got paid by brands to post to their small audiences.

How do I get 10K followers? ›

How do I get 10K followers on Instagram?
  1. Collect the foundation followers. ...
  2. Make your posts outstanding. ...
  3. Benefit from similar content of the most successful competitors. ...
  4. Schedule your posting. ...
  5. Keep your audience constantly engaged. ...
  6. Use Instagram Followers Apps to your benefit. ...
  7. Cooperate with bloggers and other influencers.
3 Jul 2020

Is Instagram good for local business? ›

Your business's local lifestyle can best be described as the life a customer leads after they've purchased your products. Because Instagram is such a visual social media platform, it's the perfect channel to demonstrate what your brand's local lifestyle looks like.

What should be the first post on Instagram for business? ›

What should I post on Instagram to get followers?
  • Product photos.
  • Behind-the-scenes photos.
  • Instagram Reels.
  • User-generated content.
  • Instagram contests.
  • Video tutorials.
  • Influencer content.
  • Product announcements.
8 Jun 2022

What is the best time to post on Instagram? ›

More videos on YouTube

Brayden Cohen, Hootsuite's Social Marketing and Employee Advocacy Strategist, told us: “Typically, we like to post early in the morning and mid-afternoon. For Instagram, that means we try to post anytime between 8 AM – 12 PM PST or 4-5 PM PST on weekdays.”

What businesses should not do on Instagram? ›

Instagram Mistakes: 7 Things to Avoid Posting on Instagram As a Business in 2021
  • Posting low-quality content.
  • Using too many hashtags.
  • Posting salesy content.
  • Posting personal opinions and views.
  • Ignoring customers' comments and DMs.
  • Making negative comments about competing brands.
  • Posting exclusionary content.
20 Aug 2021

How do I boost my Instagram posts? ›

How to boost an Instagram post
  1. Go to your profile.
  2. Below the post's image, tap Boost.
  3. Fill in the details of your ad by setting things like Goal (what results you'd like from this ad), Audience (who you want to reach), Budget (how much you want to spend daily) and Duration (how long you want your ad to run).

How do you get followers on Instagram without following? ›

7 ways to get followers on Instagram without following
  1. Schedule Instagram posts and post frequently. ...
  2. Promote your Instagram profile on other channels. ...
  3. Engage comments from other Instagram users. ...
  4. Try new content pillars and track results. ...
  5. Leverage influencer marketing. ...
  6. Run a hashtag contest. ...
  7. Get smart with hashtags.
18 May 2022

How do you get 1000 followers on Instagram fast? ›

In this article, we'll go step-by-step to show you how to get more engaged followers on Instagram.
  1. Complete Your Bio.
  2. Connect to Your Friends.
  3. Look For Your Audience.
  4. Consistency is Key to Get More Followers on Instagram.
  5. Post Content That's Interesting to Your Audience.
  6. Start a Conversation.
  7. Use the Right Hashtags.
29 Jul 2021

Which type of page is best for Instagram? ›

2. Which type of content works best on Instagram? Entertaining, unique, niche-specific, motivational, and actionable content works well on Instagram. In addition, tutorials and behind-the-scenes videos are also some high-performing content types on the platform.

What is the most successful business on Instagram? ›

Check out these seven successful business accounts you should follow right now and see what you can learn from them.
  1. WeWork. The shared office space brand makes great use of visuals, but also employs smart hashtags to help its content get viral traction and more exposure. ...
  2. Oreo. ...
  3. FedEx. ...
  4. Nike. ...
  5. Audi. ...
  6. Gucci. ...
  7. GE.
22 Jan 2018

Videos

1. How to Grow Your Small Business on Instagram | 10 Tips for Young Entrepreneurs
(vibewithchi)
2. How to Develop a Social Media Strategy Step by Step
(Latasha James)
3. Instagram for Business: 3 Quick Tips for Small Business Success
(Peg Fitzpatrick)
4. 8 Ways You NEED To Professionalise Your Small Instagram Business! Grow & Gain Customer TRUST
(PatternedPaints)
5. How to grow your business on Instagram 2022 | Instagram for business | Small business tips 2022
(Jade Beason)
6. 10 Instagram Marketing Tips for SMALL BUSINESSES 2020
(Crush It With Kris - Online Side Hustles)

Top Articles

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Jonah Leffler

Last Updated: 11/22/2022

Views: 6045

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (65 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Jonah Leffler

Birthday: 1997-10-27

Address: 8987 Kieth Ports, Luettgenland, CT 54657-9808

Phone: +2611128251586

Job: Mining Supervisor

Hobby: Worldbuilding, Electronics, Amateur radio, Skiing, Cycling, Jogging, Taxidermy

Introduction: My name is Jonah Leffler, I am a determined, faithful, outstanding, inexpensive, cheerful, determined, smiling person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.