3 Instagram tips for small business - Sparx Digital

Instagram has been one of the few social media platforms to hold consumer attention across the world for the last several years.

To be successful on Instagram (and any other social media platform), businesses must not only be consistently creative but also know how to run the media behind it, so that content is seen.

Businesses can no longer rely on organic reach alone. It can happen occasionally, but it’s a far longer game. If you don’t have the budget for paid advertising on these platforms, just know that winning, especially on Instagram, will be a marathon.

In today’s mobile centric world, consumers use apps like search engines to discover their purchases, all before they even visit your website.

Understanding Instagrams features and the way to leverage them will provide you an advantage within this competitive landscape.

The following article has been written for those who have set up an Instagram account, picked an awesome profile pic, optimised their bio and are now ready to delve into the various features that Instagram offers.

Use as many features as you can

Instagram is a continuously evolving platform, and boy is it feature rich! It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with these features to ensure you provide a variety of different content to your audience.

Photos – photos uploaded to your account will live on your main page (your grid) and will be seen by direct visitors to your account. You can upload photos from your camera roll or take an original photo within the app, and then choose from a library of filters if desired.

Carousel – this feature allows you to upload up to 10 photos and videos to one in-feed post, think of this as mini-albums for followers to swipe through.

Video – Instagram houses multiple video features and areas for these to be stored.

In-feed video posts – videos up to 60 seconds in length can be uploaded directly to your account in the same way you upload photos, these will present in your feed and live on your main grid.

Reels – this fun feature allowing users to have fun pairing multi-clip videos with a variety of filters, text, audio, and music. Just like in-feed video posts, reels will max out at 60 seconds and won’t be shared to your personal Instagram feed unless you choose this option. Instead, they are saved in a dedicated reels feed which can be accessed by the center button of Instagram’s profile page.

Instagram TV (IGTV) – IGTV is Instagram’s version of YouTube, a mobile-optimized platform for viewing video content that’s up to an hour long. IGTV videos will also present in a dedicated IGTV section which is next to the Reels section.

Going Live – Instagram also provides a livestream feature which allows you to broadcast live video from your phone while followers leave comments in real time. “Instagram Rooms” allows up to four people go-live together.

Instagram’s stories feature allows users to post 15-second videos and most other types of content (photos, notes, audio) that will then disappear after 24 hours.

It is recommended to create multiple stories per day, the more the better when it comes to stories as by keeping this area populated ensures your content sits in a highlight reel at the top of your followers screen, this is to alert them that you have content ready for them to view and to be quick about it!

Use Hashtags

Instagram hashtags for business should be a key part of your marketing strategy because they allow you to organically target audiences that are looking for specific topics, interests and even content from a specific location. This will help you reach as many people as possible for the longest period of time so your content performs better and has a longer lifespan.

Popular hashtags are a decent component of a hashtag strategy but shouldn’t be your sole focus because there’s a lot of competition for them and your content will quickly get buried. The best way to leverage hashtags is to use a combination of the following:

  • Trending hashtags
  • Focused Location hashtags
  • Moderately popular hashtags
  • Niche-specific hashtags
  • Personally branded hashtags

Be social

Comments and Direct Messaging (DM’s) – Whether you’re building a personal brand or marketing your business, it’s important to be authentic and use your soft-skills. Posting content is the easy part, building community is where you really make an impact, this means responding to comments and messages, and providing free value.

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