5 practical ways your small business can improve it’s Instagram strategy

Facebook bought Instagram back in 2012, back then it only had 30million users and now Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users and 500million daily active users*. The growth in popularity of Instagram has been incredible and its a great social media network for raising awareness of your brand – if your target audience are known users and your brand has a visual story to tell.

Facebook is still the most popular network, but they’ve made it increasingly difficult for small businesses and brands to build an engaged community without investing serious advertising budget. Which is why many brands are choosing to focus more time and resource on their Instagram strategy. Instagram provides a great platform for creative expression and has huge reach potential. Below are 5 practical ways your small business can improve its Instagram strategy.

1. Tell your brand story
Every brand has a story, define yours and create a clear brand proposition using words, hashtags and images. Is it clear to new users who land on your profile page for the first time what your brand is about? Utilise your Instagram profile bio section and create story highlights that tell your brand story as you want it to be known. Define your tone of voice and list the content you intend to create and share. Going forward, everything you do needs to tie back to your brand story and proposition.

2. Identify your audience
Who do you want to talk to? Who are you talking to? Your social media content needs to resonate with the audience you are trying to engage with your brand. Create a persona for each of your target audiences and describe their demographics, TV they like, where they shop, where they eat etc. Next think about how your brand can communicate effectively with them. What will grab their attention and drive a result? Once you’ve done this a whole wealth of content ideas will transpire.

3. Make time to plan ahead
When creating content always do it with one of your audience segments in mind and define what it is you want them to do. A variety of content is key, pushing the same messages a day in day out can get boring very quickly and interest may tail off. The amount of content ideas you may be overwhelming so try grouping them into themes and then plot them in a calendar for the week or month ahead. As long as your content fits your brand story don’t be afraid to try new ideas – finding your winning Instagram content formula takes time, and a lot of test & learn.

4. Be active
Communication is a two-way street and pushing out content is not enough in the algorithms of Instagram. All social networks reward their most active users with higher exposure. Start conversations, find conversations, join conversations, follow hashtags, and always interact with/respond to your followers and fans. Spend five minutes a day diving into Instagram you might be surprised what you find.

5. Test, learn & measure
What does success look like for your brand on Instagram? What do you want to achieve and why? Success on social media is not just about the number of followers. How engaged are your followers? What do your followers look like? How engaging are your posts? Do you want to drive traffic to your website to then generate sales? Only you can define this. Benchmark where you are now and set targets to help you achieve your goals. Monitor your progress at least monthly and pick out your best and worst posts. Listen to your audience. When they love something – tweak and repeat. When a post drives high CTR – tweak and repeat. And so on.

Social media is not rocket science, there is no one size fits all formula to drive success and every brand needs a tailored approach. The above steps will set you on the right path for a winning Instagram strategy and if you would like to discuss your brand’s Instagram or social media with Hi Digital please get in touch with us.

Hi Digital are a boutique, digital agency dedicated to helping start-ups and small businesses to fulfil their goals, with a winning digital presence and effective use of digital marketing. Find out more about what we do and how we can help your unique brand.

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*Source: TechCrunch – Instagram hits 1 billion users