Instagram, if you aren’t on it for a small or medium-sized business you are leaving money on the table, money that perhaps your competitors are scooping up. Instagram ranks as the 5th most popular social media on the planet. Yet many small businesses are still mystified about how to use Instagram to promote their business. The reason is that unlike Facebook, for example, Instagram is primarily a visual media. Instagram relies on fast content to attract viewers with photos and videos coming first, and lots of word content coming second. One of the first things to realize is that the old idiom “hit while the iron is hot” has never been more apt for a social media site than Instagram. Instagram users want content that is new and fresh today not yesterday, and certainly not last week. So the number one rule is to figure out how to post content each and every day.
The second rule is to understand how Instagram users think
Instagram users certainly don’t mind buying things but they don’t want to rely on ads that scream “buy me” to influence them. Instead, Instagram users want to discover your content rather than be sold on it. So the number 1 marketing ideas for small business is to coax rather than a hard sell. The most successful marketing strategies for small business involve showing how ordinary people use a product rather than hire a skinny model in a fabulous evening dress outside the Eiffel Tower. If you are selling make-up, for example, a complete video on how to apply your make-up will be more noteworthy than a hundred Paris photoshoots. This is the reason that most small business marketing plans revolve around influencers. Do you think that Olivia Jade Giannulli, daughter of disgraced movie star Lori Laughlin in the college admissions scandal is the most beautiful woman alive with measurements of 32-26-35? It doesn’t matter. What matters is that millions of young girls between 14 and 25 think her opinion is the greatest thing since sliced bread. So the best small business online marketing plan on Instagram generally involves obtaining the services of a number of lesser-known influencers that your business can afford and engage in a continuous online relationship with them.
Network if you want to grow
Many small businesses have trouble at first growing their brand on Instagram. However, one way to do so is to not only develop your own stable of Instagram Influencers but to frequently post and common on other brands that are complementary to them. If you sell custom painted tennis shoes for example, comment often on people that appear in gym apparel, and make it known you admire them and perhaps even want to work with them. Eventually, one of those comments as well as subtle emails will develop into a subtle collaboration that will pay off big.