Why Bother With Instagram for Your Small Business?

Why Bother With Instagram for Your Small Business
In our personal life, we can’t imagine social media without Instagram. What a loss – how ever would we get our daily dose of coffee memes, local hangout promos, silly kitty gifs, and inspirational #quoteoftheday ?

The trouble is, the only way to post to the beloved photo-dependent, meme-friendly app is to use the camera feature on your mobile device. Thank goodness this includes tablets and ipads! And while the platform has tried a few variations of theme -initially launching in 2010 (iOS) and 2012 (Android) followed by a very limited desktop app, it has remained steadfast as the go-to app for easy access to searchable photos and videos.

With over 600 million instagrammers to date and 400 million of them posting daily, who could deny it’s popularity?! That’s 95 million photos and videos per day!

What does this mean for your small business?  

Last year is said to be the first time more businesses used Instagram for marketing than Twitter.

More than 15 million registered businesses use this particular platform to date. Part of this popularity among brands is due to the platform buyout with FaceBook. Thanks to a solid decision by the-powers-that-be, FaceBook and Instagram can share ad space – that is, you can easily, simple, almost brainlessly post to both platforms at one time. Crazy, but what a time-saver for the busy business owner!

Better Posts = Better Engagement

Think about your business in a new light – or rather – think only in photos. What is the visual you want to portray? Color, casual, formal, dark, light, all of it plays a part in the visual brand on Instagram. More than 60 percent of the top brands on Instagram use the same filter for every post – hence the same look and brand!

Of course you aren’t competing with all of these businesses, but searching for your industry will give you an idea of how competitive you need to be.

#Hashtaglikecrazy

Secondary to this is your caption and searchable hashtags. These two steps go hand-in-hand. Write your caption based on your visual, then search out words to tag – sites like hastagify.com can help show you which hashtags are popular now (and can search demographically!). Start a hashtag directory as you do your search and you will have a cache of viable hashtags that your customers will be looking for! Now some folks despise hashtags, noting that they clutter the appearance of the caption, but if you want to raise engagement, you need them. (Plus  in-the-know instagrammers are well aware that the latest rules allow and ENCOURAGE hashtag following! What a great branding opportunity for your small business!)

In fact, just ONE Instagram hashtag can raise your engagement and visibility by more than 12 percent!

In a world that is fully dependent on mobile access, it is completely natural that an app for posting videos and photos (and is #hashtaghappy) would be mobile-dependent as well. If you business is ready to take the plunge, create your page, find your niche, and get those followers! Your brand – 600 million instagrammers – will thank you.

How Essential is Social Media to Your Small Business?

How Essential is Social Media to Your Small Business
Many businesses jump into social media because they “have to.” So they hire an intern who kind of knows what their business is and who definitely knows the platforms they are using… and then wonder why they aren’t seeing more customers.

In this day and age, if you are not on social media platforms, then you are missing out on reaching a big chunk of your target customers. According to Social Media Today, more than 74 percent of social media followers looked to their networks for advice on making a purchase!

Engagement is Key

Most anyone can get his or her FaceBook page “liked” by an existing client – but to get that client to comment or even write a review is a different story. The fact is, yes, you do “have to” be on social media. But you also have to draw in your customers – you have to provide an area for them to converse, you have to show that your business is more than dollar signs, and you have to engage.

Bring your Personality

So how do you do that? Make the focus about you and your business by promoting your products with visuals. Add in a few blogs, articles from expert sources, or other social media posts that directly relate to your mission, vision, and values. This will solidify your clients’ idea of who you are. The more they like, the more they will want to engage, the more they engage, the more realistic it is that they will walk through those doors and spend in your store. Add a video to the mix and folks will notice, too – since more videos are shared on social media than any other type of post.

Share the Love

Social media platforms are a great way to take the pressure off of you, too – and put it on the client. Your customers LOVE talking about what they like, so why shouldn’t it be you and your business? Provide opportunity for folks who follow your social media pages to “share” with their friends and your reach can grow exponentially! You posted one great photo with caption – your client has 1,000 friends who she shares to, and if even one of them shares, you are golden!

Even the smallest mom-and-pop shop can benefit from a social media page. Reviews alone could bring in customers. In fact, 93 percent of shoppers’ buying decisions are influenced by social media – because 90 percent trust peer recommendations. With those numbers, why wouldn’t you jump into social media?