In the land of curated feeds filled with perfect snapshots, more local businesses are seeking to set up shop on Instagram. And for good reason, as Facebook data reveals, 92% of users take immediate action — buy, like, share or follow — after seeing something on Instagram.
With the platform only becoming increasingly saturated, we created this guide to help scale your business through Instagram.
How To Promote Your Business on Instagram
1. Double up your social media content production.
2. Maximize your Instagram bio for business inquiries.
3. Analyze your Instagram follower growth.
4. Experiment with hashtags to widen your Instagram reach.
5. Partner with creators for Instagram branded content.
6. Invest in branded content Instagram ads.
7. Look into optimal times to post your Instagram content.
8. Cross-post to increase Instagram engagement and brand awareness.
9. Apply Instagram best practices for businesses.
10. Invest in professional Instagram management services.
Let’s dive into each item below:
1. Double Up Your Social Media Content Production
Instagram used to be home to nothing but square photos, but today, you can post images in different sizes, videos or reels and even broadcast a live stream on the platform. But what can you post as a local business? Well, let’s name a few social media content production ideas.
• Your products
• Behind the scenes
• Event posters and photos
• Question and answer (Q&A)
• Inspiring quotes
• Employee Spotlight
• Business milestones
• User-generated content (UGC)
2. Maximize Your Instagram Bio for Business Inquiries
Sitting at the top of your Instagram profile is your bio, where you’re free to add a punchy line to express your brand with a character limit of 150. Your page’s bio is also the only space where you can add a link. Although your Instagram content is what would initially interest someone in your profile, an Instagram bio for businesses is a crucial attribute that can liven their curiosity and perhaps turn them into customers right then and there.
Burt’s Bees has done an exemplary job maximizing their Instagram bio, highlighting selling points and a link to its website where people can shop.
3. Analyze Your Instagram Follower Growth
Insights such as your Instagram follower growth are valuable to inform your strategy for promoting your business. For instance, when you get a surge of new followers after posting a behind-the-scenes reel, you might want to lean into that type of content to capture audience interest. Use Instagram Insights to learn about your account’s followers and performance.
Above are instructions from Instagram on how you can view insights. Keep in mind that you must have a business or creator account to access insights.
4. Experiment With Hashtags To Widen Your Instagram Reach
Hashtags are a lot like keywords since both are used to facilitate discoverability. So to stretch your business’ Instagram reach, it’s ideal to focus on local hashtags, which are essentially location-based keywords rather than generic ones. For instance, if you’re running a coffee shop in San Francisco, Bay Area, #CoffeeShopBayArea could be one of your hashtags. While #coffee would have a wider reach, making it specific to your locale would grant you more chances to tap users who can actually become customers.
Or you could jump in on trends and events relevant to your business, like Rebuild Foundation, using #WorldBookDay in the example above.
5. Partner With Creators for Instagram Branded Content
Per Instagram, branded content is any content that features or is inspired by a business partner in exchange for value. Exchanging value could be a brand paying the publisher of the content or when products or services have been given for free. The platform requires everyone, regardless of their account type, to tag their business partners in every Instagram branded content.
A few notes from Instagram about branded content:
• People will see “Paid partnership with [brand name]” on top of your posts.
• Branded content is different from the ads you see on Instagram.
• Before uploading any branded content, ensure to comply with the platform’s Partner Monetization Policies and Branded Content Policies.
6. Invest in Branded Content Instagram Ads
Instagram content creators have the option to let business partners promote or boost their products. So, when a creator collaborates with a company to produce a piece of branded content, the creator may grant permission to turn their content into an ad. Alternatively, creators can create branded content ads that won’t appear on their profiles. Apart from direct boosting, you can also create branded content ads through Meta Ads Manager.
Benefits of branded content Instagram ads per Instagram:
• Creators have full control over their content.
• Access to organic and paid insights.
• Expanded reach.
Similarly, you want to create meaningful partnerships and not just go out on a whim, contacting the next available influencer. Instagram states that branded content ads are 25% more effective when the brand and creator are a perfect fit.
7. Look Into Optimal Times To Post Your Instagram Content
In our first tip, we suggested ramping up your content production. However, that doesn’t mean you should mindlessly churn multiple pieces of content whenever possible. To get the most out of every Instagram content, you must practice social media awareness by identifying the best time for posting. If you’re running a local restaurant, here’s a quick guide from Sprout Social:
With this, we still recommend assessing what works for your business. Industry standards serve as a guide not a rule, so your business can yield results in ways unique to yours.
8. Cross-Post To Increase Instagram Engagement and Brand Awareness
Your content, whether photo or video, paired with a witty and punchy caption isn’t something that should be shared one-off. Cross-posting your content to your other social media channels would not only get you greater Instagram engagement but also brand social media awareness.
For instance, if you’re figuring out how to get more engagement on Instagram, you can share your Instagram content on Facebook or Twitter to engage users who are not on Instagram. With this, keep these in mind:
• Only select content to cross-promote to avoid tiring your cross-channel followers from repeatedly seeing the same content.
• Not all Instagram best practices apply to other social media platforms; each channel is unique and should be treated as such.
9. Apply Instagram Best Practices for Businesses
Speaking of best practices, Instagram is constantly evolving, equipping consumers and brands alike with new features to connect. For businesses, however, this may mean that your strategy last quarter would no longer work the next. Apart from practical social media awareness, here are timeless techniques that should remain at the core strategy when using Instagram for business:
• Have a clear goal in mind. Identify what you want to achieve by using Instagram for business; engage, drive sales, or build brand awareness.
• Share your content at the right time. If you really want to milk your content, stick to optimal times for posting. We’re reiterating this due to its importance.
• Stay on-brand. Be careful not to exhibit a different brand persona on Instagram than those of your website and other social media channels.
• Tag your products. For eCommerce businesses, Instagram Shopping offers free tools to facilitate conversions. It’s high time to set up shop if you haven’t.
• Get real with Reels. Short-form videos are the dominating content on social media. Meta states you can reach 675.3 users with ads on Instagram Reels.
• Share UGC. UGC has a stronger influence on consumers’ purchasing decisions than content from brands or influencers since they’re from fellow consumers.
• Consider working with an Instagram marketing agency. An agency can not only help with content but can also connect you to the right influencers.
10. Invest in Professional Instagram Management Services
While the platform is intuitive, busy business owners may find it challenging to make time to set up shop on Instagram. But if you’re keen on learning how to get more engagement on Instagram, you can always call in the experts like Thrive’s Instagram marketing agency.
Thrive is a team of digital marketing experts who know best how to promote your business on Instagram, whatever industry you may be in. Per Meta, 70% of shoppers are heeding Instagram for their next purchase. So if you’re ready to capitalize on the platform and employ Instagram for business, reach out to experts today.