Instagram is a powerful marketing tool, but a recent Manta poll found most small business owners don’t know how to use it. So, John Swanciger, CEO at Manta shares some tips to efficiently make use of Instagram as part of social media strategy
It’s no secret social media is here to stay – consumers flock to social channels daily, which, for small business owners, means there’s plenty of potential customer connections. With over 500 million monthly active users, Instagram is an especially important platform for small businesses. But according to a recent Manta poll, many small business owners are missing out.
The poll found that only 24 percent of small business owners include social media in their marketing plans, and of those who use the platform, only 20 percent pay to promote posts or place ads. What’s holding small business owners back from reaping the benefits Instagram has to offer? Thirty-nine percent of Manta respondents said they simply don’t know how to use the app.
Though small business owners’ plates are often overflowing, they shouldn’t let the ax fall on the photo- and video-sharing platform. Social media marketing is crucial to building a reputable and authentic brand that fosters strong customer relationships. While our poll found that small business owners lack social media skills, the good news is that it’s easy to get up and running on Instagram. Since only a handful of other small business owners are currently using the platform, now is an opportune time to stand out among competitors.
To start connecting with customers, small business owners should follow these best practices for using Instagram:
1. Know the difference between Instagram for Business vs. personal Instagram: To produce the best marketing results, small business owners should start an Instagram for Business account. Business accounts allow access to features that personal users don’t have, like promoted posts, ad campaigns and analytics tools to measure results and ROI on marketing spend. Unlike a personal Instagram profile, small business owners can add map directions to their business and allow users to contact them via Instagram. A business Facebook page is required to link to an Instagram for Business account.
2. Determine which content to post on Instagram: Instagram offers a unique opportunity to reach customers in a visually appealing way, so small business owners will want to think of the best tactics for using photos and videos on social. All business posts should align with the overarching marketing goals and it’s crucial to ensure consistency among posts.