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Launching a New Business on Instagram: The Right and Wrong Things to Do
If you’re thinking about launching a new business, you may be wondering if Instagram is the right platform for you.
There are many benefits to using Instagram for a small business. An Instagram Business Account allows you to reach a large audience, connect with potential customers, and build brand awareness.
However, there are also some things you should do and some things you should avoid doing if you want to be successful with your Instagram business account.
Here are 8 of the right things to do when you’re launching your business on Instagram:
1. Create a compelling bio
Once you create your Instagram Business Account, it’s time to set up your profile. Your Instagram bio is the first thing people will see when they visit your profile, so it’s important to make a good impression.
Luckily, there are a few simple tips you can follow to create a bio that is both eye-catching and informative.
How to Write a Great Instagram Bio
First, keep it brief. An Instagram bio should be no more than 150 characters, so choose your words carefully.
Second, use keywords to describe your brand or business. This will help you appear in search results and ensure that people know what you’re all about.
Finally, don’t forget to include a call to action. Whether you want people to visit your website or sign up for your newsletter, make sure to include a link and a brief description of what they can expect.
Check out this example from Dan Thomas on your bio and profile picture:
By following these simple tips, you can create an Instagram bio that will help you attract new followers and grow your business.
2. Use cohesive, professional-looking photos and videos
High-quality photos and videos will make your account look more credible and professional. If you don’t have access to a professional photographer, you can use your smartphone; just make sure your lighting is good, your photos are not blurry, and work toward a cohesive style. By creating a consistent look for your photos, viewers will start to recognize your brand. Is your brand bright and cheery, dark and moody, or bold and energized? If you mixed a little of all of these, it would be confusing, so pick a style and stick with it. Check out this article on how to take gorgeous Instagram photos with your Phone by Later.
3. Post interesting and engaging content
Your content should be relevant to your target audience and something that they’ll find interesting or useful. Avoid posting too much self-promotional content, as this will turn people off. Mixing in different types of content can be effective in engaging followers and growing your business.
Here are a few ideas that you can use to mix up your Instagram feed:
Share in-the-moment content: Give your followers a look at what goes on throughout the day at your business. This could include anything from videos of your team at work to pictures of your office or warehouse. Share images and videos of your products in use: Customers like to see how products are actually used in real life, so don’t be afraid to share images and videos of your products being put to use. These types of posts can be especially effective if you include customer testimonials or reviews. Show off your company culture: Let your personality shine through by sharing pictures and videos that showcase the culture of your company. This could include anything from team-building activities to company outings or charity work.
View this post on Instagram
By including a mix of different types of content in your Instagram feed, you’ll ultimately create a more well-rounded and effective marketing strategy.
RELATED: 125 Social Media Post Ideas
And don’t forget that Instagram is not just for photos, but for videos too. You can post short videos called Reels, longer videos (up to 30 minutes – formerly known as Instagram TV), and you can post short video clips to your stories, as well.
Want to dive more into Instagram video? Check out everything you need to know about Instagram Video by Hootsuite.
4. Use hashtags strategically
Hashtags are a great way to reach new people and get your content seen by a larger audience and a great way to connect with new people on Instagram. But it can be tough to find the right ones.
Here are a few Instagram hashtag tips:
1. Start with popular hashtags. A quick search will reveal the most popular hashtags for your topic. While you may not want to use these all the time, they’re a great place to start.
2. Check out relevant accounts. Take a look at accounts that are similar to yours and see which hashtags they’re using. Chances are, their followers will be interested in what you have to say as well.
3. Use tools like Tagboard and Hashtagify. These websites allow you to search for hashtags and see how often they’re used. You can also get suggestions for similar or related hashtags.
4. Keep it fresh. Hashtags that are used too frequently can come across as spammy or unoriginal. So mix things up and use a variety of hashtags to reach new people.
5. Run competitions and giveaways
People love free stuff, so running competitions and giveaways are a great way to generate interest in your business. Just be sure to do a contest that is 100% relevant to your audience and give away something that they would appreciate and that would lead them to your business and services as a next step.
For example, anyone would sign up for an iPad or gift card giveaway, so you want to be specific to your audience and their needs:
- Vegans looking for at-home meals – free vegan meal plan delivery
- First-time breastfeeding mothers – free breast pump
- Athletes wanting more energy – pre-workout or energy supplements
Find ideas that directly relate to your audience and will attract the right fans to your Instagram page. So no $100 Amazon gift card, be specific. Be sure to share your content via Instagram posts and stories.
Learn more on how to run an Instagram Contest.
6. Collaborate with other businesses and influencers.
Teaming up with other businesses or influencers is a great way to reach a new audience and get your name out there. You could collaborate on a joint giveaway or simply cross-promote each other’s content.
Find others that serve the same audience as you so that you can further your reach and attract more people to your business.
7. Use Instagram Stories.
Instagram Stories is a great way to share behind-the-scenes content, give sneak peeks of new products, and run short-term promotions. Be sure to use engaging visuals and make use of the various features that Stories offers, such as polls and quizzes.
What are Instagram Stories?
Instagram stories are a way to share photos and videos with your followers that disappear after 24 hours. You can add filters, text, and drawings to your stories, and you can control who sees them by making them public or private.
To create a story, simply tap the “+” icon at the top of the Instagram app. Then, select “Create Story.” You can take a photo or video from your camera roll, or you can take a new one.
Once you’ve selected your media, you can edit it using the tools at the bottom of the screen. When you’re finished, tap “Share.” Your story will appear on your profile for 24 hours, and then it will disappear.
So what should you post to your Instagram Stories?
The answer may depend on your business brand or the image you’re trying to project. However, there are a few general tips that can help you get started. First, try to mix up the content you share.
A Story should provide a glimpse into your business, so don’t be afraid to show some personality. You can also use Stories to showcase your work, whether it’s a new service or a finished project.
And don’t forget to have some fun with it! Add filters, stickers, and text to make your Story stand out. With these tips in mind, you’re sure to create engaging and visually appealing Stories that will keep your followers coming back for more.
8. Analyze your results.
It’s important to keep track of how your content is performing so that you can adjust your strategy accordingly. An Instagram Business Account offers a variety of built-in analytics tools, or you can use a third-party platform like Sprout Social.
Instagram insights allows you to do more of what works and tweak what isn’t working. If you are using a personal account, here is how to switch it to a business account.
Now that you know what to do, let’s look at a few things to avoid with your Instagram strategy.
Here are 8 things you should avoid doing when launching a new business on Instagram:
1. Don’t post too often or too little
If you’re posting to Instagram multiple times a day, you’re likely to annoy your followers and drive them away. Stick to posting once or twice a day at most, and ensure the content you share is high quality.
If you want to post more regularly, do it in your Instagram stories. That is where the magic happens to showcase your everyday activities and grow a relationship with your audience.
You also do not want to post too infrequently, or you’ll miss out on building relationships, staying top of mind, and growing on Instagram. At least, post 3 times a week, and to make it easier, you can use Creator Studio to schedule Instagram posts, and you can post to both your Facebook page and Instagram account at the same time.
2. Don’t rely on hashtags
As mentioned above, using too many hashtags can be off-putting for potential customers. Some Instagram experts suggest only using 5-8 hashtags so that your content is more focused. Sometimes getting a full 30 hashtags is a task, and you start to get off topic.
It’s also important to write a description that goes along with your post to show viewers and Instagram what your post is about rather than relying solely on hashtags. Hootsuite has some great tips on how to write a great Instagram caption.
3. Don’t post irrelevant content
Your content should be relevant to your target audience and something that they’ll find interesting or useful. If it’s not, you’re likely to lose followers quickly. It helps to develop content pillars to keep your posting in line with your brand.
Content Pillars On Instagram
Content pillars are the foundation of your content strategy. They are the topics that you want to be known for, the areas in which you have expertise. Your content pillars should be closely aligned with your business goals.
By creating high-quality content around your pillars, you can help to build brand awareness and establish your company as an expert in your industry.
Additionally, focusing on specific topics will make it easier to create a cohesive content strategy and ensure that all of your content is working towards the same objectives. So, if you’re looking to take your Instagram marketing to the next level, start by identifying your brand’s key content pillars.
4. Don’t post too much self-promotional content
No one wants to be bombarded with constant sales pitches, so avoid posting too much self-promotional content. Instead, focus on sharing interesting and engaging content that will interest your target audience.
Here are a few ideas for posts that will help you to engage with your followers without being too salesy:
1. Share behind-the-scenes photos or videos.
This could be a sneak peek of a new product in development or a look at your team in action. This type of content helps to give your followers a glimpse into your process and makes them feel like they are part of your journey.
2. Share user-generated content.
This could be a photo or video that someone has tagged you in or an enthusiastic review from a satisfied customer. This type of content helps to show that you are engaged with your community and that you value their feedback.
3. Share helpful tips or resources.
If you have expertise in a particular area, share some tips with your followers. Or, if you know of a great resource that others might find useful, share it! This type of content helps to show that you’re not just out to sell products, but that you genuinely want to help your followers grow and succeed.
5. Don’t run competitions that break the rules
Be sure to read the rules set by Instagram carefully before running any competitions or giveaways. If you break the rules, you risk having your account suspended or even shut down.
You can find more information on Instagram contest rules here.
6. Don’t collaborate with businesses or influencers that are irrelevant to your brand
Collaborating with businesses or Instagram influencers that are completely unrelated to your brand is a waste of time and resources. Make sure the businesses or influencers you collaborate with are relevant to your target audience.
Once you get your business on Instagram, you may be contacted by lots of various businesses trying to collaborate. Be selective about who you want to work with to promote your brand.
7. Don’t Post and Run
Social media platforms are meant to be social, so if you want to grow your business on Instagram, you’ll want to network with other creators and businesses.
With over one billion monthly active users, Instagram is a powerful platform for networking and building relationships. However, with so many people using the platform, it can be difficult to know where to start.
Here are a few tips for networking on Instagram:
1. Use hashtags to connect with like-minded people.
Hashtags can be used to find people with similar interests or to connect with people who live in the same city or region. For example, if you’re a photographer in New York, you could use the hashtag #nycphotographers to find other photographers in the area.
2. Follow relevant accounts.
When you follow someone on Instagram, their posts will appear in your feed. By following relevant accounts, you’ll ensure that you see content that is related to your interests. For example, if you’re interested in cooking, you could follow food bloggers or brands.
3. Engage with others’ content.
When you comment on or like someone else’s post, they are likely to see your username and visit your profile. This is a great way to start a conversation and build a relationship. Just be sure to avoid spamming other users with meaningless comments or likes.
4. Use direct messages wisely.
Direct messages (DMs) can be a great way to start a conversation with someone without spamming their feed with comments or likes. However, DMs should only be used sparingly and for genuine reasons – sending too many DMs can come across as desperate or spammy.
By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to building meaningful relationships on Instagram.
And last but not least…
8. Don’t Give Up!
Don’t give up if you don’t see results immediately – it takes time and effort to build a successful presence on Instagram. Keep posting interesting and engaging content, and you’ll eventually see the results you’re after.
Instagram is a powerful social media platform with a lot of potential for businesses of all sizes. If you can follow the dos and don’ts I’ve outlined, you have a good chance of growing your business and thriving on Instagram.
Remember to experiment, analyze your results, and keep making adjustments to your Instagram strategy to find what works best for you and your target audience.
Are you ready to start using Instagram as part of your social media marketing strategy for your business? Want help launching your business online? Check out my digital marketing courses to get your business launched smart!
About Digital Marketing Expert Torie Mathis
Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs, like you, use digital marketing to grow your business without wasting time, money, or your sanity. She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your digital marketing coach. You don't need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. In fact, you don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be SMART.
Torie hosts SMART AF, a show for non-techy entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, with her husband Sean and is the creator of SMART AF Magazine. Learn from Torie at the Smart Arsenal and on her channel.
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Hi! I'm Torie!
I help entrepreneurs (like you) use digital marketing to get more clients + make more money. And I make it easy!
You don’t need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. You don’t even need a lot of time.
What you need is to be SMART.
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