Since it first hit the scene in 2010, Instagram has continually grown into one of the biggest social networks out there today boasting over 300 million users… If you think like a true business owner you understand the potential that lies within that huge database of grammars: CUSTOMERS.
The beauty of Instagram is, unlike a blog or newsletters, it takes almost no time or resources to get started. All you need is a smartphone and a good eye. Snap a few pics, upload them to your business profile, and voila- watch the customers flow in. Okay, so maybe it isn’t quite that easy. But, with a little work and a little time, you can start using Instagram to grow your customer base today. Here are three simple strategies to get you started:
1. Share what your target audience wants to see:
Okay, so it may be tempting to post a picture of your dog’s new raincoat, or your daughter’s first haircut. The problem is, unless you run a pet boutique or a kids’ cutter salon, your target customers probably don’t want (or care) to see those pictures. Save those for your personal page. For your business profile, post things that your potential customers care about. For instance, if you’re a coffee shop, post latte art, freshly baked cookies, and cozy mugs of hot cocoa. Highlight events that are coming up at your shop, share ‘behind the scenes’ pictures of the work you do, and have fun with your photos! Your customers will appreciate the transparency, and who could refuse a cookie?
2. Understand the power of a #hashtag:
If you’ve ever used Twitter, you know the importance of a hashtag. It categorizes your photo into any keywords you want and better ensures that your photo will be seen by the right people. To find out the best hashtags to use, try websites like Hashtagify.me which not only identify the key terms for your industry but how many times each tag has been used. The more popular it is, the bigger the audience. Let’s try this out with our coffee shop example. When searching ‘coffee shop’ on Hashtagify.me, you find out some of the most popular related tags: #latte, #coffee, #nowplaying, and #coffeelover. Use these hashtags in your post, and you’re sure to get some target ‘likes’, ‘follows’, and who knows, maybe even customers!
3. Launch conversations via social:
Don’t keep Instagram a one-way street. Encourage conversation to keep fans coming back. For instance, if you’re an ice cream shop, you may want to share a photo asking for everyone’s favorite ice cream, or to vote on a new flavor. This lets your followers feel like they’re ‘in’ and gives them a reason to be following you. Engagement on social media increases website visits, and, hopefully, store visits as well. It’s simple: remember that any action you get on social media is making you one step closer to action in business.
Instagram is a powerful tool that almost any industry can benefit from mastering. Using these strategies will do nothing but improve your brand awareness and bump up that bottom line. Now, get to the ‘gram!