Updated: Apr 6, 2020
Tip #1: Use A Content Calendar
Content calendars are a must have as a small business! Whether it's digital or on paper, scheduling your content and sticking to a plan will help you stay organized and more consistent. I personally love to batch my content calendars in the beginning of each month so I have enough time in advance to create content if needed without stressing.
Tip #2: Curate an Eye-Catching Feed
When it comes to selling on Instagram, it's all about the visuals! I highly recommend dedicating time to curating an eye-catching feed if you're looking to increase website clicks -> sales!
Feed Tip: use a variety of photos like flat-lays, inspirational quotes, informational visuals, product shots, and lifestyle photos. Don't be afraid to mix things up, people want to relate to your feed!
Tip #3: Be Consistent
Consistency is key in all aspects of business, but it is especially important to stay consistent on Instagram to stay relevant in your customers/followers feed. The Instagram algorithm is always changing and Instagram prioritizes accounts that followers engage the most with so make sure you're consistently posting and creating engagement worthy content.
Tip #4: Engage With Customers
Engaging with your current and potential followers is extremely important as a small business. I highly encourage all of my social media clients to spend a total of 30-60min a week engaging with their followers and potential customers to build trust in your brand. People want to connect with you and your business, they want to be a part of your journey so if you build that relationship between your customers, the chances of them buying from you are a lot higher.
3 Ways to Engage: The 3:1 ratio: three likes on their most recent posts + one genuine comment. This shows them you see their content and you like what they have to share. Commenting is one of the best ways to engage if you're being genuine. I love to visit followers accounts and engage with at least 2 posts and respond to their captions. A lot of people use questions or personal stories for captions so instead of immediately commenting on their outfit, read their caption first. Stories! Stories are great because they're more personal. If you notice something relatable, respond and start the conversation.
Remember - when engaging with customers, you want to keep things REAL, not about sales so keep the business side of things to a minimum. Nobody wants to be a consumer, they want to be part of your story.
Tip #5: Use Targeted Hashtags
Hashtags are tricky like the algorithm sometimes, but they're also an amazing tool if done right. You have to be careful when using them because if a hashtag becomes too popular, your photo is more likely to get lost in the mix which makes it impossible to pop up in the top nine. Showing up in the top nine posts is essential because your image will stay at the top for a while before dropping as people continue to use the hashtag.
Hashtag Strategy: mix small hashtags (10K-700K posts) with large (700K+). I recommend about 75% small + 25% large (3:1 ratio). Chances are, you'll be a lot more likely to show up in the top nine!
Tip #6: Utilize Instagram Stories
As discussed before, Instagram stories are a great way to engage with your followers both on their stories and your own! I use my stories to show readers the behind the scenes of writing blog posts, meetings or simple things like grabbing coffee. People are nosy, they want to know what you're up to and what your life is like. As a small business, show them what your day is like at the office, a behind the scenes video/boomerang of your shipping orders.
Inspirational/humorous stories are also great. I love to share funny memes on my clients accounts that relate to their business or quotes that inspire me.
Tip #7: NETWORK
If you noticed, I put network all in caps because it is so important as a small business to network with your community and like-minded entrepreneurs. Not only is it a great way to make friends, but it expands your audience and gets your name out to more people. You never know who they might go home to and share your business with!
I'm not going to lie, when I first started, I was terrified of networking and attending events. I have always been an outgoing person who can start a conversation with strangers easily, but when it came to the business side of things, I was so shy. I don't have a degree, everything I know, I learned through experience or research and I felt weird trying to network my business so I turned down so many invites. After a while though, I questioned if I was holding myself back because "I wasn't ready" and truth is, I absolutely was. The next event I was invited to, I asked a friend to come with me and we both walked out of there with three new friends. So if you're unsure, invite a friend to calm your nerves, don't pass up the opportunity because networking is SO important in the long-run.
For more tips on how to succeed on Instagram as a small business owner, entrepreneur or creative visit these most recent blog posts: