4 February, 2015

How to Use Instagram to Market Your Local Business

instagramInstagram is a rapidly growing channel for local businesses for marketing.  It’s gone way past teens just posting selfies.  Today it is one of the top 5 social media platforms in Australia, outperforming well-known brands such as Twitter and Trip Advisor.

It can be a great platform to build brand awareness, create a fan base, share info about your products in a network, and connect to completely new communities.

Social media & marketing pro, Peg Fitzpatrick, shares 10 steps to achieve an Instagram strategy and, if done consistently, can help you be successful with Instagram.

  1. Make your profile impressive – Simply paint an image of whom you are and why people should follow. Don’t forget to include a link to you most important online asset and have it feature special events.
  2. Begin with a goal – know what you want to achieve by using Instagram; it can be to create a visual portfolio of your work or product, to give customers more insight on what you do or even to just show a more personal side to help customers relate to you.
  3. Be consistent – posting regularly and as often as 1-2 times per day in important. Recent studies have shown that Instagram accounts thrive and grow with frequent posts and interference with this schedule can have a negative impact.
  4. Be relevant – quality is important on Instagram and providing your followers with things they will find of value will keep them coming back.
  5. Keep it positive and influential – sharing helpful tips and encouragement will keep your followers engaged. This can even be in the form of a compelling video with a simple call to action.
  6. Know how and where to use hashtags – Knowing where to place hashtags is important. Because you can use up to 30 hashtags per post, use a few in the original post but all add more in the comments. Be sure to use industry specific hashtags and if your brand will support it, create a few of your own; just make sure to list them in your profile for visibility. Stay up to date on current hashtags. However, don’t go crazy with hashtags, make sure to stay focused and targeted in your industry or niche to help achieve your goals.
  7. Be prepared anywhere – you can save your hashtags to an app like Evernote so that they can be accessed on any device. Create groups for different topics.
  8. Keep it a soft sell – don’t constantly try to only sell your product. Instead, share great content from your fans or other Instagram users by reposting their photos as well. (Use a reposting app to share someone else’s photo)
  9. Engage with other Instagrammers – it’s important to also comment, like and repost others posts. Network with others that use the same hashtags with you.
  10. Think ahead – create a whole batch of graphics ahead of time to share consistently throughout a week or month. This will help you stay on brand and on target with your goals.

And rule 11 – Follow the guidelines.  In December, Instagram deleted millions (yes, millions) of accounts that did not comply with their guidelines.  Don’t get caught in one of their clean-ups!

Now before you jump in boots and all, have a look at some key stats about Instagram in Australia to help decide if it’s the right place for you to put some of your marketing efforts:

  • 37% of users are 16-24 years of age (source)
  • Over 70% of users are <35 years of age (source)
  • Media – largely photos, can also load 3-15 second videos
  • Typical user is east-coast (source)
  • Advertising is starting to roll out in Australia, at time of writing is only for the big brands.  But like facebook, Instagram allows targeting ads by demographics and interests.

Read more details here: 10 Steps to an Achievable Instagram Strategy

Age Range

geographic range