How SMB’s Can Make it Big with Instagram

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Did you know that through Instagram you could drive your sales to a whopping 100,000 rupees in less than a month?

Here is a true success story of a local boy with a camera and a passion in his heart, turn his dream into reality with the use of Instagram. Jonathan Joshua, a Chennaiite, not only captured attention of some of the already established photographers in the city but offers for wedding photo shoots started pouring in when he posted some of his photos on Instagram.

You may not find Jonathan with a huge following yet or a million likes on his posts. The takeaway from here is the fact that a half a dozen offers for pre-wedding and wedding shoots a month has put him well and truly on the path to becoming a household name in Chennai.

Instagram has more than 700 million users, of which 400 million users log on daily. This is just one such success story but Instagram offers you the opportunity to get instant recognition if you believe you have the talent or the skills to reach the pinnacle of your field of expertise.

The explore page is a unique feature on Instagram that Facebook or any other social media platform lacks. This feature could instantly increase your reach to even a million users within a day. When an Instagram user likes or comments on your post, that post would feature on the explore page of all the followers or the user who liked your post.

The key to success on Instagram is to build a community that would come back time and again.

Get the Basics Right:

i) Your Profile Speaks for You and Your Brand

On Instagram, you rely on visuals more than content to reach your audience. The only place to where words could do the job for you is your bio. A good bio that tells your prospective customers what is great about your business and a clickable link go a long way in creating an impression and gaining followers.  Your bio could be used in other ways than just linking it to your website.

You could also edit your bio frequently when introducing new products as Adidas has done when they released their new sports gear for the New Year. 

ii) #hashtags

Unlike Facebook and Twitter that uses keywords, Instagram uses hashtags to identify posts. If you are searching for a post on Facebook or Twitter all you need to do is type in the keyword and you would find posts that have the keyword. On Instagram, you need to use # before the keyword to find posts.

The use of hashtags on your post would help you reach a large audience.  The key is to use the right hashtags that people are looking for.

Do not use random hashtags that you have created instead look for hashtags that Instagram users use to increase the reach of your post.  

iii) Location Tags

The use of location tags on Instagram is always undermined but statistics show that a few million users look for locations on Instagram. You could make the most of location tags on your posts as Ashmitha, a makeup artist from Chennai has done to reach a wider audience.

iv) Regular Posts

Posting on Instagram has to be done on a regular basis. Statistics have shown that the ideal time to post a video or picture on Instagram is between 3 pm to 4 pm on Mondays and Thursdays. Posts that were posted during those times have proven to get the maximum reach. Posting too many business posts may cause your audience to lose interest or even stop following you. The ideal way to post is to have a mix of business posts and fun posts.

Many businesses do all the hard work and publish great posts and then forget all about them. Spending time monitoring and replying to the comments on your posts is a great way to connect with your audience, build a community and establish a following.

By checking the comments of your posts of could learn the most about your products or business. Customers may commend or leave a complaint about your business, giving you valuable insights as to what you could do to improve your business.

v) A Unique Theme

 The reason why people follow on Instagram is that they want to see more of what attracted them the first time. So, it is essential to have the same style, colour palette on each of your posts. In the long run, you would have created a unique theme for yourself and your followers would be able to identify your theme.  

Have your audience in mind and post photos that would appeal to them. Monitor the performance of these posts and then adjust your strategy and post photos than receive the most engagement.

Hand Marketing To Your Customers

Share your follower’s post and if your customers use your products you could share those photos across all your social media platforms with their permission and also embed those photos on your website.

Instagram Stories: Shout Yourself Loud

 The easiest way to tell your story with images is by using the Instagram story feature. All you need to do is add pictures to your story and those pictures would be displayed as a video. You could create teaser videos when releasing new products, display your products, take your audience into your world and give them a taste of what you do as an entrepreneur and also create special stories to celebrate milestones.  The Slay Make up, in one of their Instagram stories have revealed the beauty products they use.

200 million Instagram users create Instagram stories every day. It is also a more personalized approach to engage with your customers. Since the story is live only for 24 hours followers tend to check for stories more often than scroll down their newsfeed.

On Instagram stories you can add hashtags and outbound links and when users search through a hashtag, your story might appear at the top of their feed.

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