Instagram is one of the most downloaded apps in the U.S., and with more than 500 million monthly active users, it’s safe to say Instagram is a necessary marketing tool. But what about small businesses? Could they benefit from a platform like Instagram?
Absolutely! Small businesses can get a jumpstart through Instagram, make profits through shoppable posts, and eventually, turn that small business into a full-blown mega business. In many ways, small businesses are allowed more creative leeway with their social platforms. To get started, look through our list of the top 10 Instagram features for small businesses.
It’s hard to get a big following when no one knows who you are. Leverage your Instagram bio as a meet-and-greet tool. Tell your audience who you are and what you’re all about. And of course, have your important links in your bio — ready for anyone to click away and start using your products.
But here’s the thing: You’ll want to keep it brief. Long gone are the days of lengthy bios. If you need to, hire a copywriter who can wordsmith their way into a successful bio that quickly tells your story and gets your followers asking for more.
2. Instagram Story Highlights
This one’s huge. And new! Instagram didn’t always have a section for highlights, but they do now — and it’s important that you use them to your full advantage. Instagram story highlights take your bio a bit deeper. For those who are interested, your highlights can give a glimpse at your values, your mission, and a little behind-the-scenes action that shows who you really are.
3. Emoji Slider Stickers
As a small business, one of your big tasks is to engage. Engage your audience and your potential customers. But how?
Instagram has plenty of tools that can help you interact with your followers. Emoji sticker sliders being one of the big ones! It may sound silly, but marketing experts have found that people react well to emojis. And they react even better when they have a poll or survey to answer.
4. Instagram Live
Ready to get real with your followers? That’s Instagram Live for you. If you haven’t tried it already, you should consider giving it a whirl. Instagram Live lets your followers really get to know you. Is it vulnerable? Sure. But is it a great marketing strategy? Absolutely.
Besides the marketing strategy and the possible growth you may find, using Instagram Live lets you talk to your followers in real-time. You can reply to their comments, post tutorials, or explain something that needs more explanation than a 280-character caption.
5. Food Orders
This one’s for the food and beverage businesses out there — Instagram food orders can go a long way for your business. Think: Uber eats + social media. With Instagram food orders, you can order food (just like you would with any food delivery service) and post about it!
Plus, you can send gift cards to your friends. This feature came out in April 2020, just in time for all the small businesses that were drowning in COVID-19’s aftermath. Those who want to support the local businesses certainly can with the help of Instagram’s food order capabilities.
6. Instagram Stories
If you’re not feeling up to an Instagram Live, you may want to stick to the stories. Or both! Instagram stories have proven successful for businesses of all sizes, and most small businesses have found particular success given the low level of effort and cost to produce them.
To market your business, use geotags, and collaborate with micro-influencers for your Instagram stories. The more views they get, the more exposure people get to your brand!
7. Countdown Stickers
Did you know you can host a countdown on your Instagram? Many small businesses find this especially handy because so much is happening at the early stages of a company. Whether you’re launching a new brand or counting down the days until your first store opens, these stickers can really help create the hype.
8. Instagram Analytics
This one requires a little bit of work upfront. To use Instagram analytics, you need to have a business profile set up. The good news is it takes almost no time at all! Once you’re set up as an official business, use Instagram analytics to track your audience and all the activity your profile gets. For small businesses, this is important — because it allows you to hone in on the right audience and what moves the needle with their following.
You don’t have to turn on a comments feature, but this is an element of Instagram that can really help you get an understanding of your audience. It’s beneficial for small businesses to hire a part-time community moderator, who goes through comments, replies to them, and keeps track of the general sentiment of commenters. Maybe people are thrilled with your new business; maybe they’re complaining about your product. These comments can serve as real-time digital feedback to help you grow and better your business.
Last but certainly not least… hashtags! When you’re trying to grow a presence on social platforms, hashtags can really make or break your path to success. If you’re using arbitrary hashtags, you probably won’t see any impact. But if you’re being strategic about your hashtags and tailoring them to each different post, you can see high growth in a short amount of time.
Seek help when you need it!
This one may not be an Instagram feature, but it’s an option for you nonetheless. When you’re struggling to keep up with all the demands of starting a small business, one of the easiest (and fastest) ways to get your business off the ground and running is through your social platforms — and we’re here to help you out every step of the way. Reach out to us and we’ll put you in touch with the right people.