Ahhhhh yes ... I remember the good old days shortly after Myspace when Facebook was THE main social media place to be (about a million years ago.)
Like … as a small business owner you really didn't need to worry about being anywhere else!
However, now Facebook is becoming more and more consumed with adds and people becoming frustrated that they never actually get to see the posts of their friends in their feed.
(I mean seriously … I see the same posts from the same people for like 3 days in a row!)
And while Facebook provided great free marketing for businesses back in like 2010-ish, they've now made it extremely hard to reach an audience unless you pay money.
I mean I get it … they had a bazillion people marketing through them for free so why not start actually charging people to be able to "reach" their audience?
Yesterday I posted something delightful on my Facebook business page and it literally reached just ONE measly person.
I started an Instagram account two years ago when I first got my iPhone, but now I'm realizing that it's important for businesses to use as well and I think that every small business should have one! Here's why ...
- Instagram gives you a lovely opportunity to share bits and pieces of your personal life in addition to your business!
- Younger people use it more than Facebook. Seriously it's true. Facebook is becoming an old, outdated fart like Myspace.
- Instagram is SO simple to use. I don't even like looking at my Facebook business page anymore because it's so darn complicated now! And they recently just changed it (for the millionth time) again yesterday. New layout, stats everywhere, messages hard to find, ugh!
So here's 12 essential Instagram tips to help grow your business!
1. Get an account if you don't have one already!
Even if you don't use Instagram right now, at least create an account RIGHT NOW so that your business name doesn't get taken! Do it. Now.
2. Provide a link to your business website and include your tagline!
Once you have an account, make sure that you provide a link to your website underneath your profile! (Like in the photo above.)
It's great to announce blog posts using Instagram, but if you don't provide people with a link to actually GO to your site, they're probably not going to look.
So don't forget to do this okay?!
3. Keep your selfies under control.
Not to sound rude but ... most people don't need or want to see a million of your selfies.
MOST of the time. ;-)
I think it's awesome to post photos of yourself every now and then for your viewers to be able to actually see YOU but … not every day. This is just my personal opinion!
(Notice how I don't have a selfie overload in my feed above ...)
4. Follow vendors, companies and brands that you adore and actually LIKE their posts!
And leave a comment on occasion, too. The more you interact with people, the more they will interact back with you. Also don't forget to tag whoever you're posting about that way they can be sure to see it!
5. Post business behind-the-scenes peeks!
I think these are fun. Let people get little glimpses into your business. I love to post a photo or two while I'm doing a session or wedding as well!
(For example, I love posting behind-the-scenes photos of my kitty Mr. Purrie "helping" me work! Hahaha. So helpful! #notreally)
6. Follow your clients!
It's a great way to keep in touch and to get little peeks into their life.
And if you post a photo of them be sure to tag them in it!
If you're a photographer and shooting a wedding, post a behind-the-scenes wedding shot and tag the bridal party. Or post a little teaser photo on Instagram for them to see before they receive their photos.
(The photo below was a shot of the groomsmen that I found to be hilarious! I was editing it after shooting a wedding and decided to post a quick little peek just for kicks.)
7. Link your Instagram posts to auto share on Facebook and Twitter!
(And whatever other social media you use.) There's really no excuses NOT to do this because it is SO easy. Instagram gives you this option every single time you post a photo! So do it.
8. Use relevant HASHTAGS!!!
I'm not always great about this one, but I'm getting better at it.
Hashtags allow people to find your photos by searching for keywords!
You want to use hashtags that are relevant to the topic of what you're posting so that the right people can actually find your photos.
Not sure what hashtags to use? Look at what hashtags the leaders in your industry are using and then follow suite! ;-)
On the same note, don't go OVERBOARD with hashtags. If you have a lot of them, put them in the comments section so that they don't show up directly beneath your photo!
9. Host some fun giveaways on Instagram!
A great way to gain followers would be to host a giveaway or contest and have your followers repost your photo (while tagging you,) to enter!
For example, I hosted a fun giveaway for a free planner. Woo hoo!
10. Find a balance between posting business photos and personal photos!
I LOVE my cat Mr. Purrie and I think that he is THE MOST ADORABLE THING IN THE WORLD, but I also don't post like 15 photos of him a day. (Which is hard … because he's so damn cute.) Choose the best one and post it … think QUALITY over QUANTITY.
11. Post "real" images too!
If you use a DSLR camera besides your iPhone, post some awesome shots from it every now and then! Show it some love and attention, hehe.
For example, if I've just shared an awesome photo from a recent creative shoot on Facebook, I'll simply save the image from Facebook and repost it on Instagram!
12. Aaaaaand finally, stay positive!
Especially as a business owner, it's really important not to air your dirty laundry on social media. Or to post rude or mean photos.
No one likes to follow some one who is negative, so try to keep your posts uplifting and engaging!
And while we're on the subject of using Instagram to grow your business ...
And on that note … it's time for coffee.
Oh! But before I go to re-caffeinate myself ...
Did you enjoy this little 'ol blog post? If so, be a sweet panda by sharing it on Pinterest! :D
And in return, I will send you tons of good vibes plus magical unicorn dust.
I'd also really appreciate it too. :-)
To share on Pinterest, just hover over the photo below and click on the little "P!"
Alright, NOW it's time for coffee!