With 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram has established itself as the ideal platform for SME’s to grow their audience and showcase their work. We spoke to social media guru and lifestyle influencer, Megan Taylor and Cate St Hill , an interior designer and Instagram extraordinaire about how to ace your marketing on the platform. With a combined following of 56,000, Megan and Cate are here to give their top tips for using Instagram as a tool to help your business grow. Having tried and tested all of these Instagram tips, and with a little dedication to the platform, they believe that you will too reap the benefits in due time.
Megan: Before doing anything else, change your Instagram account to a ‘Business Account’. It is completely free to change to a business account. When you have a business account you can find out valuable information about your audience. You can see where in the world your potential customers are, their age, their gender and even what time of the day they are most engaged.
Cate: Growing your business using Instagram is all about consistency. Make a commitment to post regularly; it doesn't necessarily have to be every day, but if you go weeks or months without posting, people will easily start to forget about you and your business. You want to remind your followers that you’re there and that your business could help them. Choose quality over quantity, sharing images and stories that have meaning and intention behind them.
Megan: Make use of the bookmark tool where you can privately save Instagram posts to different boards. To save a post to a specific board you need to hold down on the bookmark icon in the bottom right of a post and press the + button. With this you can create your own boards. I have boards for Instagram content inspiration, company re-grams, follower mentions, collaborations etc. If you are ever lacking inspiration for posts you can refer to these boards.
Cate: Always aim to post high quality content. An Instagram feed functions like a portfolio, it shows who you are, what you’re all about and the skills you can offer people. People can decide in a split second whether to follow you based on the images in your feed, so make sure they’re bright, sharp and clean. Invest in a decent camera and learn how to use it to showcase your creativity. Turn overhead lamps off and always shoot in natural light, especially if it’s a wide shot of a whole room or newly decorated space – the colours will be truer to life and you’ll avoid harsh shadows. Be clear what it is you want to show in an image and let that be the focus. The carousel function on Instagram is great for showing before and afters and different details.
Megan: Make sure you are following people that are relevant to your business. Are you a brand selling a product? Make sure you are following your industry relevant journalists, influencers and publications. Are you an influencer making a brand of yourself? Make sure you are following all of the PR companies. These people are your key to growth. Like and comment on these people’s posts, comment on their stories if you relate, start a conversation and network in the easiest way possible.
Cate: Keep reminding people about what it is that you do, whether it’s in your captions and comments, with behind the scenes Stories or regular offers for ﬁrst time customers. Show your followers examples of previous projects and let them know that you’re looking for clients, so they know to enquire about your services. One of the best ways to grow a business is by word of mouth and recommendations. Screen shot any positive feedback or praise and don’t be shy in showing those testimonials to your followers. If you’re a designer you could share a little of your design process and how you put together a mood board, if you’re a decorator you could ﬁlm a quick, mini tutorial to help your followers achieve the same look.
Megan: Stories show personality and can be rawer and more unedited than your curated main feed. To start, I suggest a single story explaining who you are and what you do can help people feel more connected to you as a person and a brand.
Instagram stories live feature is a great way to get your customers in behind the scenes, Instagram also give live stories priority over pre-recorded stories.
Once you have 10k+ followers you gain the ability to use a swipe up link. This is game changing because you can direct traffic straight to your website without having to say “Link In Bio”. The likelihood of people swiping up is much higher than those that have to go and find the link in your bio.
There’s a reason why social media is called social media; it’s about connecting with people and being sociable. You can’t just post something, leave the app and hope it will do its thing. Take time every day to seek out like-minded people and fellow business owners; like, comment and interact with them in a genuine, authentic way. You can also use hashtags to find people with similar interests and aesthetics. It’s all about finding your community or tribe and building relationships.
Now that you have your ideas and the marketing know-how, you’re likely to need to have the right small business insurance and public liability insurance. If you’re unsure as to what cover you need for your business, contact us for more information or get a bespoke quote today.