3 Tips for Your Business Instagram

Instagram is a great platform to promote your business. Like with Facebook, it is quickly becoming a necessity for local businesses to have an active Instagram account.

This may seem like a given, but I am always amazed to see really outstanding businesses making basic mistakes that are costing them reach. So here are 3 basic things to keep in mind before you post:

1. Be Authentic  

Regardless of where you engage with your customers, they want to meet the real you. I've managed a small local business for almost a decade, so I get the impulse to have everything perfectly polished; however, there is a huge downside to this:

People know that you're being fake. As far as consumer trends go, for most businesses, people are looking to experience something real. 

In other words, you can't let your insecurities stop you from making meaningful connections with your customer base. Be yourself and let the chips fall where they may.

2. Why Are So Many People Forgetting To Use Hashtags?

Hashtags on Instagram are not optional if you want:

  • People to see your posts
  • Followers
  • Likes
  • Success on Instagram at all

Recently I've reached out to some businesses that I noticed weren't using many hashtags on Instagram. So I sent them a direct message, encouraging them to use more hashtags (Industry specific hashtags to be exact) and I got the same response from them all:

"I didn't think you were suppose to use many, I heard that on Facebook it causes your post to come up less." 

This is an understandable mistake, but don't get the platforms confused (even if Mark Zuckerberg owns them both). Hashtags are the lifeblood of Instagram. Utilize hashtags that you've researched to reach potential customers. 

  3. Really Engage With People

If I had to name the one thing that annoys me the most on Instagram, it would be when I get a comment or message from someone that I can tell did not view or appreciate my content.  

This is the primary form of communication from all my fellow digital marketers and brand builders. Not to mention, a majority of businesses on Instagram. Do not try to emulate what everyone else is doing! This should be Marketing 101. You want to stand out. 

You don't need to be flashy to do this. Just be the person who actually gives a damn and isn't just trying to sell.

When I leave a comment, I make sure it is at least relavent to the post, but my goal is always to be personal. When I reach out to people via DM I focus on relationship building and giving value. You will be amazed how relieved people are to get a real human interaction online. There is a demand there and you have the ability to supply. People are hungry for it, so don't just do what everyone else is doing.

Dan Cooley