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Social media marketing is a foregone conclusion in today’s tech savvy world, and long gone are the days when placing a targeted ad or two online count as a marketing initiative. Various studies have outlined the migration from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram, with social engagement demonstrably higher on this platform, as users consider the visual platform more accessible and intimate. According to Fast Company, media consumption via mobile devices now surpasses that of their online counterparts. Millennials in particular prefer pictures and videos over text-driven social media platforms and want to access them on mobile friendly websites.


First, download the app. Like most social media apps, Instagram is fairly straightforward and easy to use. The set-up process, and most of the interaction with IG will occur via mobile device. Your IG handle will become your calling card and the way that customers find you. Ideally, it will match your other platform user names for seamless branding. However, it is possible to use a different screen name than the user ID if that is necessary due to an existing account in your name. Create a short and succinct bio for your profile and then start thinking about the best possible profile pic as well as your first post. Make sure that your bio includes a link to your website or ecommerce site, there is not much sense in creating an IG account if you don’t direct followers to the spot where they can buy your products.


Timing is important with social media but content is king. Instagram is visually driven, and the text block can add some content but if the pic isn’t great, it is doubtful that you will receive much attention. Post images that showcase what your brand is all about, and spotlight why your brand is the one that they want. Your social media brand identity needs to be well established, with Instagram serving as a logical extension of ongoing campaigns. Interspersed with your branding you can post pics that while not directly related to your product, reflect a similar ethos and therefore will help your followers to understand you better. Post such pics at intervals that maintain an interest in the departure from brand images but not too frequently as to be overwhelming or distracting.

Buffer and similar services will create a social media optimization plan for you and launch posts at the optimum time for your industry segment. While this is a paid service, it is definitely worth the cost for the small business owner that has a lot on their plate.


One of the best ways to communicate with followers on IG is through your company’s distinct and creative hashtag. This will enable you to better know who is talking about your business and what they are saying. Think of hashtags as a way to start a conversation with your users, and don’ t be afraid to use the platform to converse directly with your followers. Paid ads on the platform also work well to reach potential customers that may not yet know about you. These targeted posts will put you in the feeds of your ideal demographic.

Contests and giveaways provide fun and interactive advertising options, and will help to increase your amount of followers. Post a pic of a featured product and invite your followers to post pics within certain parameters, posted with a dedicated hashtag. It is an effective way to get some buzz going about your brand. This type of campaign is especially useful around a product launch or roll out of a new service.

Instagram provides an effective way to stay in contact with your customers while also reaching new ones. It is the perfect platform on which to get creative and let your followers experience a different side of your identity. Small businesses are very well positioned to make great strides in their social media marketing campaigns on this visual platform.


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