6 Ways to Use Instagram for Your Small Business

6 Ways to Use Instagram for Your Small Business

From tweens to empty nesters, everyone is on Instagram- 300 million monthly active users to be precise.  This visual–heavy social media platform has surpassed Facebook in usage and will soon be number one in the social realm. Many businesses are placed in the hub of urban areas that are full of young professionals. Are you missing out on marketing to the millennials?

53% of online U.S. adults between the ages of 18 and 29 use Instagram (source). So why aren’t more small businesses on Instagram? Here are 6 ways that you can use this social channel to your business’s advantage.

1.  15 Second Videos

These micro videos are a simple way to show your restaurant’s ‘back of the house,’ give a local’s perspective of the area, or to introduce your staff members. There are so many unique ways that you can use Instagram video in your social strategy. It’s also simple to use!

2.  Custom Hashtags

Hastags are a great way to discover influential users or to search for specific content. You can create custom hastags for your business and your patrons to use them. This is an easy way to track photos being taken with your brand! You can then repurpose these photos (the quality ones) on your other social channels or in your marketing material. Regardless, these custom hashtags will help generate awareness of your brand and your community.

3.  Create Conversations

The more social sites that you are present on, the more involved in those community’s conversations you inevitably are. This can become a tool for customer service, lead generation, reputation management and even marketing. The key is to get involved and be relevant.

4.  Tell Your Story

Show off your best assets. Show customers in their natural state. Show your maintenance staff taking care of business, and your staff with a smile. Show your followers exactly what you want them to think about your business.

5.  Give Your Staff a Voice

Your business’s staff is the frontline of your image. Let them use Instagram to share their day-to-day experiences with the community. Let them have fun with it and talk to customers.

6.  Photo Sharing Contests

Host photo sharing contests using a custom hashtag to organize the submissions. Contest winners can receive donated gift cards from local businesses or a business swag bag. Instagram contests are a low cost to you but will give your followers a sense of community and get them excited. In turn, they will also become your biggest brand advocates.

Instagram is growing in popularity, mainly because of it’s ease of use. While it is only available on a smart phone or tablet, it is a simple social site to figure out and it’s images can easily be shared across your other channels (sharing is caring!). If your small business isn’t on Instagram, what are you waiting for?

For inspiration, here are some great Instagram handles to follow (thanks, Small Biz Trends)- @nike@sephora@vans and @starbucks.

Employee Advocacy and Social Media

Employee Advocacy and Social Media