In April this year, Instagram reached a milestone of 700 million monthly active users, MAUs, of which 200 million visit the platform daily.
For small business owners, this Facebook-owned social network is one of the best channels to extend their reach. With 3 out of 4 users taking action if a post inspires them and 70 percent following at least one business app, Instagram is a business owner’s consumer paradise.
However promising the stakes and rewards, you have to do more than merely creating an Instagram account. You need unique, compelling content that promotes higher engagement. It may be thru likes, shares, comments or number of followers.
Here are five tips to increase Instagram engagement for small business.
1. Use the right hashtags
Hashtags are most likely the most important feature of Instagram. Studies have shown that posts with hashtags have almost 13 percent higher engagement than regular posts.
Using the right hashtags, you can find relevant conversations and expand your reach in your industry. These conversations help you see what your consumers are looking for.
More importantly, you need a unique hashtag for your business. Then, you cross-refer it to your social media profiles. Remember to use this hashtag in your posts and be creative with your other hashtags.
Look for the top specific hashtags related to your posts and don’t limit yourself to general topics. For example, if you have a fishing supply business, “#fishing” will most likely limit your reach.
2. Create compelling, high-quality content
Your posts have to push followers and readers to take action. If you own a bakery, a picture of your latest product and its story will drive higher Instagram engagement.
To grasp what content people like, check the social media pages of rivals or larger brands in your industry. Learn from their content with the most engagement and create your own.
While professional photos and videos create high-quality content, you can also use a smartphone with a good camera for the job.
And remember not to flood your followers’ feeds. Quality is more important than quantity.
3. Engage with followers
In brief, higher engagement is more than merely posting, liking, commenting, sharing and closing the app. You also have to explore hashtags and like or comment on non-follower posts. If you find their content convincing, follow their accounts. They will return the favor and share some of your posts.
4. Start the conversation
Your business will not exist without customers. You have to actively reach out to your target audience to be successful with your Instagram engagement strategy.
A call-to-action, CTA, in your posts shows your followers what they need to do to start the conversation. The CTA may be through a caption or text within the posts. Better yet, post captivating images they can relate to. Your potential customers are more likely to like, comment or share posts with photos and videos.
5. Promote your page across social channels
While Instagram is a viable platform to extend your reach, try to promote your page through other social channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and more.
Inspire your followers from other social networks to follow your Instagram account and start conversations in your posts.