7 Tips to Use Instagram for Your Small Business in 2020

2020 is the year of Instagram. Instagram ranks second for the most downloaded free mobile app from the Apple app store as per the published date of this blog. Users of Instagram spend an average of 28 minutes on the app every day, and one in three of the most viewed Instagram stories are from businesses, according to research from Hootsuite. It also serves as a powerful marketing tool because of how natural the paid posts are – they blend into the users’ feed as if they were regular posts from users they already follow.

Instagram is different from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn in that it is a strictly photo-based mobile application. While it’s possible to use Instagram on a desktop computer, you can only create posts through the mobile app. Your content needs to focus on the quality of your photos and creating a unique aesthetic that is consistent with your brand image.

Here are a few quick tips on how to create an Instagram-able space in your office or business storefront, and how to make the most out of Instagram in 2020.

1. Have access to bright natural lighting, or invest in good lighting.
Smartphones such as the iPhone 6 and newer, or Samsung Galaxy S5 and newer are perfectly fine for taking quality photos for Instagram as long as you have access to a brightly lit area. When you pair your smartphone camera with good lighting, you are set to take exceptional Instagram pictures. If you don’t have a large window or any good areas for taking photos with access to natural lighting, you’ll probably want to invest in some lighting. You can go for a professional lighting kit if you wish to, but a bright lamp should work just fine.

2. Set up backdrops or have a blank wall.
Once you have your lighting situation figured out, the next step is to have a background you’re your photos. A backdrop is not necessary, but to have a blank area of wall space to use for the background of your photos will make a big difference in the way your pictures turn out. This is great for photoshoots of people or products because it helps the viewer focus on your subject without any clutter or distraction in the picture.

3. Create a color scheme ahead of time.
Instagram is unique in that it almost works as a visual portfolio of your small business. When a customer visits your Instagram page, they will see all of your recent pictures side-by-side. Having a general idea of the colors and aesthetic qualities that you want your company to represent will be useful as you consider what types of photos you want to post.  

4. Have at least one full-body mirror somewhere in your business.
If your business is a clothing store or a hair salon, you probably already have one, but even if you are a different type of business, it is still beneficial to have a mirror. Customers are more likely to take a selfie and set the location to your business or tag your business Instagram account, which is like free publicity for you.

5. Interact with your customers’ pictures.
When your customers post a photo or a story related to your business, engage with the picture. Try reposting the story or photo onto your business’s Instagram page. Not only does this work like a testimonial, but it also gives you more original content to post on your page that you didn’t have to create yourself!

6. Make the most out of your Instagram Stories.
Instagram stories are now viewed even more than Snapchat stories. But how can you use the power of Instagram Stories to engage with your followers and target audience? Since Stories only last for 24 hours before disappearing (unless you pin them to your profile as Highlights), this is a good opportunity to post content that is more personal and share your brand’s story. You can post updates to your blog, content from employees, “work life,” and more. Have fun with it, but don’t post too frequently or else people will skip through your Stories!

7. Use hashtags to make your posts more discoverable to your relevant audience.
You can reach more people when you use hashtags in the right way on Instagram. Try searching for what hashtags are trending now that are related to your business or niche, and incorporate them into your posts.

Now is the time for Instagram as we move toward a mobile-first, visual-based marketing world. Once you get the basics down, the results will be worth it, and you will have loyal followers on the fastest growing social media platform. So, what are you waiting for? Get started today or start implementing these tips, and call us at 515-232-2024 for more information on social media marketing.