How to create successful Instagram strategies for your small business

9th March 2021

Instagram remains one of the fastest-growing social media platforms in the world, with over one billion monthly users. Creating Instagram strategies for your small business is a no-brainer. 

Like any social platform, your Instagram strategies needs to be thought out. Simply dragging and dropping a strategy from another platform won’t be enough to ensure success.  

Here are some Instagram strategies that can help your small business build its brand, generate leads and boost revenue.

Know your target audience

Understanding the audience you want to reach is the first step in creating an Instagram strategy that works. 

It’s even more important for you as a small business owner because you have limited funds and resources. Instead of trying to target everyone, you need a clear idea of who your audience is. 

Many businesses create personas (fictional customers) to whittle down the target audience they’re talking to. Some ways to do this include:

  • Using website, sales or customer data to generate an idea of who your customers are
  • Interview or engage with your existing customers to find out what they want and the challenges they’re trying to overcome
  • Remember that your content needs to resonate with your target audience, so it’s important to understand who they are and why they would want to engage with your brand. 

Establish your visual identity

Instagram is a visual platform. It’s your opportunity to make your business stand out and look its best. 

While you might think that how your feed or profile looks doesn’t matter, you’d be surprised at the number of users who are turned off by businesses that don’t present an appealing visual story. 

The first step to creating a visual story is continuity through a defined visual identity.

Your visual identity includes your logo, color palettes, fonts, and even writing style. 

When you’re consistent with your visuals, users can quickly associate your content with your brand…which brand is known for red and yellow? Enough said. 

Create an editorial calendar 

An editorial calendar, also known as a publishing schedule, is used to control the publication of content across media. Calendars help balance the relationship between business strategy and art, while giving you a way to visualise the content you have planned. 

Include your feed, Reels, Instagram Stories, Instagram Lives, and IGTV. This helps you balance in your feed and know when you need to mix it up a bit more. 

When done right, an editorial calendar can also help you post content consistently. And in turn, keep you at the top of your customers’ minds.

The content calendar for social media strategies and channels in Metigy.

The Metigy content planner allows you to create, schedule, view and edit your content.

Curate content

Creating and posting original content is really the minimum requirement for creating an engaging newsfeed. Curating and posting user generated content (UGC) will help you take engagement to the next level.

UGC not only reduces the workload on you or your team but also helps you build a sense of community with your followers and customers. It’s also favored by the algorithm, so will help you increase reach of your posts. 

There’s no better way to pass your brand message across than showcasing happy customers using your product. 

Write engaging captions

Your caption should serve as a nice complement to your photo, carousel, or video. Captions also give you a chance to showcase your brand’s personality. 

Captions are an opportunity to direct your followers to visit your profile or your website through calls to action (CTAs).

Some best practices while writing Instagram captions include using simple language, using line breaks, and emojis. 

Build videos into your Instagram strategies

With Instagram, you can share clips that last up to a minute on the feed, 15 seconds on stories, and 10 minutes on your IGTV.

There’s also the option to post Reels, which are currently favored by Instagram’s algorithm.

All these options show that Instagram values video content. And rightly so.

Examples of video being used as part of Instagram strategies.

People interact more with video content because they find them more engaging and fun.

So if you don’t already plan to, it’s time to start thinking about using videos for your Instagram account.

Identify key accounts with a good number of followers

Identify competitors in your space who have started building followers already. Look through their followers and try to engage with that audience or a similar one.

You can also look for local influencers and engage with their content frequently. 

After you’ve built a relationship with them in the comments section, direct messages (DMs), and stories, you could ask them if it would be okay to send them free samples of your products.

As a small business, you might not have the budget to pay for influencers as part of your Instagram marketing, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t build relationships with them.

Use hashtags strategically on Instagram

Hashtags are one of Instagram’s most important features for business.

Research has shown that using between 7 and 30 hashtags per post performs best, but it varies depending on how many followers you have. Instagram recently added a feature allowing you to see how many people found your post through the hashtags.

This new feature can help you measure how effective your hashtags are at generating engagement. Don’t underestimate #hashtag strategy as a really powerful Instagram marketing tip for small businesses.

Respond to comments

Be sure to always respond to comments on your posts – your customers will appreciate the response, showing that you care.

Don’t make the mistake of simply posting and forgetting about your post.

Use Instagram ads

If you are using a personal account for your business, you might want to switch to a free business account.

That way, you could promote business posts by simply clicking on the ‘promote’ button, then choose your call-to-action message. 

A little paid advertising can go a long way. Instagram ads allow you to target very specific audiences, increasing your exposure to the people most likely to be interested in what you have to offer. Thereby generating excellent conversion rates and often proves a good investment.

On a final note…

Putting these techniques into action takes some time and planning, but like all good strategies, the results are worth the work. 

Growing a dedicated following on Instagram won’t happen overnight, but Instagram users are very active and love to engage. 

Remember to have fun and experiment.

Start posting to your Instagram feed today with a free trial of Metigy’s social media scheduling calendar and management tool – click here to try it for free.

Already a Metigy user? Log in and explore Instagram Content Publishing today.

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