Nail Down Your Small Business Digital Marketing Strategy
What's short, sweet and fitting with our attention spans? Instagram. Instagram is the hottest social media network of the foreseeable future, with three fourths of its users being under the age of 30.
Why has Instagram become so popular? Well first, it's owned by Facebook, the most dominant social media network in the world. But being owned by the social media behemoth is not all that Instagram has going on.
So what is it that keeps Instagram users active and engaged more than any other social media app? In my opinion, it's the ease of consuming visual content, controls each user has to see what (and who) they want and limitations of what types of content can be posted.
Most marketers are avoiding automation and robotic tactics on Instagram altogether (which is refreshing), because Instagram does not allow it. Automated social media puts a majority of viewers to sleep anyways, right?
How to Post on Instagram for Your Business (from a Computer)
Get to Know the Features of Instagram
Instagram takes the mobile-first world and visual learners into consideration making it easy for people to share photos, videos and scroll through a feed multiple times each day. On Instagram, colorful, real-world visuals are combined with users often checking in to a location. Users can easily search what photos have been posted at their specific location, under specific hashtags or what's posted nearby.
There is also the Instagram direct messaging feature as yet another channel users will strike up conversations with their friends, peers and people at companies. Instagram integrates with Facebook Messenger marking it possible for marketers to see and respond to comments and messages on a desktop from other Instagram Users.
Profile security options and make it easy for Instagram users to control who they follow, what they want and like to see along with who can see their profile and posts or message them. Newer and exciting features of Instagram include videos of up to one minute and even live video streaming. This gives Instagram that competitive edge with other popular social media apps like Snapchat.
Understand How People Use Instagram
What times and why people get on Instagram
People using Instagram check in on the app periodically throughout the week or as they receive notifications (they opt into) of new posts from specific users they follow. The most popular times the Instagram app is used are 1) in the morning people are waking up (8AM) 2) in-between tasks throughout the day and during lunch (11AM-1PM) 3) when people get home from work and most likely to be in-between plans (6:30PM) 4) shortly before people go to bed (9PM). Although these are the most popular times the app is open and being used, I suggest posting while your business is open.
What people are most likely to post and consume on Instagram
The average user's posts on Instagram are personal during and surrounding their accomplishments, when doing things they enjoy or when participating in social activities. The body builder will post muscle shots. The mom will post kid and family pics. The runner will post while marathon training. The local restaurant can post while preparing patron's favorite dishes.
Think of your company as a person to help you nail down what to post on Instagram. Users of Instagram appreciate real time posts and honest, real-world content they find on the app. There's simplicity and consistency in visuals that are appealing and readily available to consume when there is time.
How businesses can succeed on Instagram
Consistency is one of the most critical factors to your success as a small business on Instagram. Hire someone to help you take and manage photos, content, engagements and messages or commit a time to check in and be there daily. Followers will quickly fall off when your business or location is not active.
There is no legitimate way to automate the publishing of your Instagram posts. You can schedule push notification reminders with prepared content to your iPhone or Android phone for free via Buffer.
For small businesses, your Instagram should be centered around who you'd like to reach, what types of content this group may find helpful, their feedback and suggestions, if possible, your customers, employees, and finally how you'll all let others know you're on Instagram to build your audience. If you don't ask others to follow you, they may not ever come, regardless of how great or well optimized the content is to be found.
Is Instagram your social media holy grail for new customers?
By properly photographing, telling a story and hash-tagging one thoughtful post a week on Instagram, you'll likely reach and engage with more people than you will after an entire month of posting on Facebook. Crazy, right?
Instagram attracts new local customers organically to any business with a photogenic location or great people and stories. You can also count on your Instagram active employees and loyal customers to snap photos, tell stories and check in to your business which will also appear in the timeline of every one that follows them.
With a basic content strategy, custom photographs and consistency you'll reach more of the right people organically on Instagram than anywhere else. This is especially true when you're starting social media efforts from scratch. Content unique to your company, people, customers, event or cause is more than welcome by other users on Instagram.
At Anxious Creations, our social media marketing philosophy is simple. Be unique, authentic, yourself and gather customer feedback on what you're posting. It's better to have a regular audience on one or two social media platforms. You'll find that you stretch yourself, your brand, audience and content too generic or thin when you try for three or four social apps if you are solely responsible or a small team with other duties to fulfill.
P.S. Anxious Creations and #dailywebsitetips are on Instagram @anxiouscreations513
Anxious Creations takes responsibility to maintain today's marketing, design and creative skills needed to help our customers succeed.
Hours of Operation
Monday - Thursday
8AM - 8PM
8AM - 6PM
Saturday and Sunday
10AM - 2PM
We are a paperless company and 100% owned and operated by women in Cincinnati, Ohio.