It seems that Instagram is dominated by some of the largest corporations in the world. You can’t scroll through your feed without seeing adverts from huge brands and businesses that are consistently looking to expand their reach, but what about small businesses?
There is limited competition for small businesses on Instagram and there is certainly a gap in the market for a small business to leverage. People are starting to shift to local products and services rather than the big brands that they once loved, so how can you create a better Instagram engagement for small businesses? Many companies are jumping straight into auto liker apps without knowing the consequences. This article can help you make an informed decision.
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Hashtags are the currency of Instagram, using these is your most simple method of finding new customers, but where do you start? Instagram has an infinite number of hashtags, but some are worth more than others, especially if you want to stand out.
Consider your customer base and your target market, then look at your competitors and what hashtags their followers use. You need to understand what hashtags they are using so you can use them and insert yourself into the conversation.
Without using hashtags, people won’t be able to find you and follow you! On Instagram, it doesn’t matter if you use all 30, just make sure they are relevant and similar if not the same to what your competitors and target market use.
Content is a joint first runner, along with hashtags in terms of Instagram importance. If you have dry, dull feed no one will want to engage with you. If you are only showing pictures of your office or spreadsheets, chances are you’ll see your following decrease dramatically.
Curate your content, so that it not only tells a narrative about your product and service but make it eye-catching. Show your audience what they wouldn’t normally see from a business such as yours, stuff like behind the scenes shots, meetings, staff parties. The more human you can look, the better it will be for you.
You don’t want to come across as another faceless dehumanized organization. Pick a color pallet and stay with it. You want your feed to look curated, so try and keep with the same editing style so that people can get a feel for your business. Having a certain aesthetic about your feed and similarity between all pictures gives your brand a ‘vibe’ this is something that can’t be bought but it can be worked on.
Automation is fantastic if you don’t have the time to grow your Instagram account organically. There are a variety of tools on the market that can help you grow your following, by liking and following the type of users you choose. If you are going to use a service such as this, Quantum Marketer says you should use a proxy.
If you are unsure of what a proxy is, it is a service that acts as a middle man between your computer and Instagram. Instagram has been known to block IP addresses that have multiple accounts under them, along with accounts using automation. A proxy will hide your actual IP address by bouncing signals over different global servers, you can even select where you want the IP address to appear to come from (such as the USA).
Not only that, a proxy will keep the service you are using away from Instagram’s algorithms so that your activity won’t get flagged. They’re also exceptionally useful if you are operating more than one Instagram account, against this is something that Instagram has only recently started putting a stop to, but if you have multiple feeds associated with your business, using a proxy can help you keep all your accounts secure.
4. Initiate the conversation!
If you enjoy looking at your followers’ content, engage with them! You already automatically like content but why not start a conversation? People will always purchase from people that they like, this is always worth remembering and demonstrating that there is a human being behind the feed is a great way to get the conversation flowing.
Don’t make the comment generic; avoid phrases like ‘great shot’ and other overused comments as people can tell when they are being spammed. Instead consider how the content makes you feel and reach out from that point, the worst that can happen is they don’t reply!
5. Final Considerations
Instagram is still a valuable tool for marketing, especially if you are a small business. The platform is very user-friendly and as long as you are able to put out amazing content you won’t struggle to gain followers and the right kind of attention.
Always look for opportunities to engage with your customers, they’ll appreciate a new business offering their feed validation and will want to engage with you in return! If you are going to use an automation service, also consider the use of a proxy to make sure that your account isn’t flagged by Instagram.