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8 tips to get the most out of Instagram for your small business [Part 1]

What do you see when you scroll through your Instagram feed? For many people; their IG feeds are filled with people’s vacation selfies, cat videos, motivational quotes, celebrity news and photos of delicious food. But did you know you can also use Instagram to grow your small business?

As of 2021, Instagram has over 1 billion users worldwide; So if you are questioning whether you should invest your time and money into getting your business on Instagram, this number should motivate you to take that leap of faith. Countless small businesses have benefited from this platform, and yours can too. But how?

In this guide, we are going to look at 8 tips that you can use to take full advantage of Instagram Business as a tool to grow your business. 

1. Set up your profile properly

This may seem very trivial, but a good profile is what introduces your business to the world. One of the first things that inform our decision on which Instagram page we should interact with is what is displayed on their profiles. How should you set up your business profile? Here are a few key tips:

  1. Make sure your page is a business page, and your business category is indicated.
  2. Choose a good profile picture; preferably your business logo or if one is not available, a picture of what you sell or a service you offer.
  3. Briefly include what you do in your bio; make it short and informative.
  4. Add a link to your business website.
  5. Add your location and business hours.
  6. Include your contact information.
  7. Include payment information for your products.

Make sure that within a few seconds of someone skimming through your Instagram Business profile, they can tell who you are, what you sell and where you’re based. If strictly online, ensure payment and delivery details are clear. . It is one of the most important selling points for your Instagram store.

2. Use story ‘Highlights’

Instagram story highlights enable you to showcase even more about your business to users. Instagram stories last for 24 hours on your page, highlights last even longer and feature more prominently on your page. What important information can you include in your highlights?

  1. Show some more information about what your business is all about.
  2. Share customer testimonials and reviews.
  3. Post Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about your business.
  4. Share the location(s) of your business and their picture or maps.
  5. Introduce your staff members.

Once you have done this, be a bit more creative with it and come up with more ideas for your page highlights.

3. Post high-quality pictures or videos

The importance of this cannot really be stressed enough. This does not mean that you need expensive equipment to achieve this; all you need is your phone camera.

If pictures and videos are an important element of your business, this is how you can use your phone camera to create better visual content:

  1. Make sure you have adequate lighting.
  2. If you are outdoors, avoid direct sunlight which may blur your pictures.
  3. If you are indoors, open a window to let in that natural light and you’re set!
  4. Make sure your phone camera lens is clean.
  5. Don’t you just hate blurry pictures and videos? Always make sure your lens is clean; wipe it with a piece of cloth or tissue paper.
  6. Edit your photos and videos. Again, you don’t need sophisticated tools to do this. There are plenty of free, easy to use tools online which will help you edit your photos and videos. Use apps such as Snapseed and PicsArt to edit your photos and FilmoraGo and InShot for your videos. There are many more options you can choose from though.

4. Create content suited for your target audience

After you have identified your target audience,  find out how to get them and how to keep them engaged and interested in your page. How do you do that?

For example, if you sell women’s clothing, inform your audience on current trends out there by posting stories or even re-posting content from other pages. With this, your audience will know that you have a good understanding of what you do and will be prompted to even buy from you.

It is your job to make sure that your audience is not bored with you and that there is a possibility they may even share your content.

Interest in your page will lead to good sales!

5. Craft some good captions

Do not underestimate the power of good captions for your Instagram posts. A good caption can be the difference between 10 likes and 1,000 likes. Take your time to craft a copy that creates interest.

Don’t just indicate the price of your product as a caption; try and write something that will create interest in your product and will make users want to make the purchase. 

If your brand is fun and witty; write something fun and witty. If your brand is motivational, write something motivational. Try and tailor your message to your brand and your target audience. This will greatly improve your Instagram marketing efforts.

6. Use Hashtags

This will require a bit of research on your part. Find out what your audience is searching for that might also apply to the content you post. If you run a store that sells shoes, you might try and use hashtags such as #fashion or #shoegame.

Tools such as Hastagify and Ritetag will help you find out what hashtags are most relevant to your posts and which ones are currently trending.

A word of caution though; do not use too many hashtags in your posts,  3 to 5 hashtags are enough. Too many hashtags might make you look desperate and inappropriate, which might hurt your business.

7. Offer discounts

We all love a good discount, right? So why not offer some discounts on selected products on your Instagram store? This may increase purchases on your page.

All you need to do is create a simple graphic indicating what product or service is on discount, how much the discount is, when the discount runs and any other relevant information. You might back this up with a short explainer video on how your followers can take advantage of the discount.

8. Track your analytics

Someone once said that analytics are like the medical report for your Instagram page. This is because they show you how your page is faring, what is working and what is not.

Constantly keeping track of your analytics makes sure you are at the driver’s seat of your business. They give you a picture of what you need to do to get where you want to go. 

You just need to research what the various terms in your analytics page mean; terms such as engagement, impressions and reach, then you will be good to go.

More content on how you can use Instagram to grow your business will be published in Part 2 of this article. Stay tuned for that.

You might also be interested in our course on how you can sell profitably on Instagram in Kenya. This course will give you the comprehensive playbook on what it takes to start and run an IG store in Kenya; from sourcing to making deliveries. Perhaps it’s time for to you become an Instagram Business guru?

Are there any other tips we have left out that you think should have been featured or should be featured in future? Please do not hesitate to leave us a comment below.


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