19 Creative ways to use Instagram for small business

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Today, many businesses have a good grip on how the social media platform’s marketing features work. No matter your business’s size, you’ll make it more profitable by having an active presence on popular platforms like Instagram.

So,  Instagram marketing, and more specifically, using Instagram for small businesses, may not sound vague anymore.

Instagram is one of the ten downloaded apps with millions of active users. You should clear your mind of any doubts about any business activity on Instagram. So, don’t hesitate to use Instagram for small businesses if you have one. 

Most downloaded apps

In this article, we’ll introduce 19 practical tips for you to either get a good kick-start for your business on Instagram or boost your current efforts and take your business profile to the next level.

1. Set up an Instagram business profile

First and foremost, you should learn how to use Instagram for business. You must create an Instagram business account. The primary benefit of working with a business account for small businesses is getting to see your profile’s real-time metrics. You can also access insights about your followers’ gender, age, location, and the way they interact with your posts and Stories.

Follow these rules when creating your account to be successful in using Instagram for small businesses:

  • Choose a username that’s easy to search for, and showcase your brand’s identity.
  • Use a suitable image for your profile picture, such as your business logo or the same image that you used for your other social media accounts.

Instagram bio is the best spot to include a link to your website. It is even better to add a CTA (call to action) right beside the link. Make sure you use short link generator tools like Rebrandly to make links appear neat.

You can only include a single link in your bio. If you wish to add multiple links, you have to use a paid service, such as Link In Profile. The tool creates a single link that can direct users to a whole new list of links.

Website link on Instagram bio

3. Develop an Instagram strategy

As someone who’s using Instagram for small businesses, you need a well-developed strategy. If your objectives are clear, Instagram marketing will work for you. The strategy you devise should include multiple goals such as your business’s direction, defining the target audience, establishing an aesthetic feed, etc.

4. Collaborate with Instagram influencers for marketing

This is one of the best ways to use Instagram for small businesses. Instagram influencers have a large, loyal audience. Because of this, they’re the best option for promoting your products on their page.

 In 2019, Rakuten Marketing reported that among 3600 consumers, 87% of them were inspired to make a purchase because of an influencer. You’ll definitely have a higher chance of selling your products if an influencer recommends them. You can find nano influencers or micro influencers and collaborate with them if you use Instagram for small businesses.

But without using a good platform to find and get access to influencers, it can be a hard and time-consuming thing to do.

Ainfluencer

Here at Ainfluencer, we have built a platform dedicated to brands and businesses of all sizes to connect and collaborate with the right influencers.

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As no initial payment is required, it’s an excellent opportunity to take Instagram marketing for small businesses to the next level.

All you have to do is to sign up and create a marketplace ad that sets your expectations for influencers. This video will help you go through the steps of creating an ad and inviting influencers to your campaign.

5. Interact with other small businesses

One of the small business marketing tips is making a shortlist of some niche-relevant small businesses and looking for some ways to collaborate with them. 

Reach out to each and establish grounds for partnering up. Offer a shout-out and, in return, request one for your account. It’s also a great way to support other small businesses on Instagram.

Doing so will tempt some of their followers to check out your account and maybe follow you. You can also take a step forward and pay for a sponsored post.

6. Establish a visual identity

We’re living in the age of visual culture, and Instagram incorporates the same logic. When you are using Instagram for small businesses, you’d better focus on creating a visual identity that appropriately reflects the nature of your business. Followers are more likely to purchase your products or services if they find your account’s aesthetics appealing.

7. Create a content calendar

If you are looking for marketing tips for small businesses, consider that posting random stuff without prior planning will negatively affect your performance.

It would help if you had your account’s content organized. Outlining an Instagram content calendar will force you to plan all the steps ahead. It gives your profile’s content a clear direction, and you’ll never run out of posts to share.

As Instagram does not have a scheduler on its own, it’s better to use an Instagram scheduler to post consistently.

AiSchedul

AiSchedul is an Instagram scheduler that helps you make an Instagram content calendar and post-Instagram Feeds, Stories, or IGTVs, at the right time.

If you use Instagram for small businesses, you can take advantage of its free plan. However, to manage multiple Instagram accounts, you need to subscribe.

Sign up for free and get your mind off your Instagram account worries.

8. Create engaging content

Back in 1996, Microsoft founder Bill Gates said, “Content is king.” Today that statement holds true more than ever. Creating engaging and eye-catching content that adds value to your audience should be one of your small business marketing tips.

By adding value to your followers, you can earn their trust, and once you’ve formed a trusting relationship with each follower, they’ll be more likely to purchase your products or services.

So, while using Instagram for small businesses, focus on creating content that’s valuable and appealing.

9. Share Instagram Stories daily

Instagram Story is a feature that allows users to share photos and videos with their followers for up to twenty-four hours.

Instagram Stories have become a daily ritual for many people, but this feature is not just for bragging about your latest vacation or showing off your meals. Sharing Stories has become one of the great Instagram marketing strategies.

If you are using Instagram for small businesses, you need to share Stories daily to let your followers know what you’re doing at that time. In this way, you can easily connect with your followers, gain trust, and increase Instagram engagement.

10. Use Highlights

Although each Story you share only lasts for 24 hours, you can permanently save them to your profile.

The heart symbol in your profile allows you to save and categorize your Stories.

Don’t forget this small business marketing tip and use highlights to save important Stories such as introduction, how to buy, your location, Q & As, etc.

Highlights on Instagram

11. Share more videos

We can agree that watching a video is much easier than reading a post caption. With the introduction of Reels, Instagram is inviting its users to create more and more videos, and sharing them has become another top Instagram for business tips.

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A video will work best for you if you try to educate, entertain, or add value to your followers with it. Even if the video is 30 seconds long, it can have an impact if it is produced right. So don’t think longer videos are necessarily better. Produce what contains value and captures attention.

Take a look at the following post, showing the differences between casual and dressy outfits within a short video.

12. Go live

The new trend of live broadcasting on Instagram is rising in popularity. If you are looking for small business marketing tips, consider having live sessions.

You can easily interact with your audience, answer their questions, share new events, or launch products.

You can also save your live sessions as a post in your profile.

13. Use top Instagram hashtags

Think of hashtags as content categories. When using Instagram for small businesses, it is better to use between 11 to 30 hashtags for each post.

Your posts’ caption and the first comment below each post are excellent to put all the hashtags. Keep in mind that any hashtag you pick must be relevant to your products and services.

The easiest way to find relevant hashtags is to type them into the search bar. Tap on each to see the number of posts using it and select the trend ones.

14. Engage with your Instagram followers

Although you’re using Instagram for small business jobs, you have to pay attention to the platform’s purposes. One of which is connecting people. Understand this function right, and you’ll have a greater chance of success.

Never try to react to comments with short, meaningless replies. Only using emojis is to be avoided as well. It should be one of your Instagram marketing strategies to reply to comments with valid, logical sentences and make each follower feel heard.

Check your direct messages at least once a week and try to answer them all. The more you answer your followers’ messages and comments, the more they will want to connect with you in the future.

Answering comments on Instagram

We mentioned so many marketing tips for small businesses to learn how to promote business on Instagram. There are still so many other useful ways to consider.

15. Tell engaging stories

One of the most effective ways to use Instagram for small business development is to master the art of storytelling. Avoid using technical words and expressions. Concentrate on telling Stories that your audience finds captivating.

If you use charming Stories exclusively about you and the nature of your business in your content, then be sure you’ll gain your followers’ trust. Once you have that, they’ll turn your loyal customers. Each of these customers may then go ahead and refer your products to other people.

16. Offer discounts and Instagram giveaways

While using Instagram marketing for small businesses, you need to try different ways to achieve success. Consider offering periodical discounts and notify your followers by either sharing a story or post.

Not only is a discount enticing for your current audience, but also they can share it with other friends and family members. Once this happens, you’ll notice more people giving you a follow.

Besides offering discounts, running contests, and offering giveaways can also help your small business posts to gain a high engagement rate. Encourage your audience to follow you, like your posts, or leave comments below them by doing so.

There are automated giveaway picker websites like Aigrow to use for running contests and choosing winners. Use them to save time and grow your Instagram followers faster.

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17. Sell with Instagram Shopping

Think of this feature as having your business’ storefront right there in everyone’s pocket. Based on Facebook data, Instagram attracts 70% of shopaholics who use this platform to discover products. 

So, it can be a great way to use Instagram for small business development and showcase anything you wish to sell.

It allows your followers to shop directly from your page without needing to click on so many links or visit your website. You can’t ignore utilizing it if you’re looking for small business marketing tips.

Instagram shopping feature

18. Use CTAs

CTA or call to action is a button that gives your audience access to different parts of your website, such as your product page.

One of the leading marketing tips for small businesses is to use CTAs, whether in your bio or your posts and Stories. Using CTAs for your feed can be in different ways, such as “Learn More” or “Buy now.”

Using CTA for posts

You can also add different CTAs to your profile and ask your audience to click the link in your Instagram bio.

CTAs in your bio can be used in different ways, such as “Reserve,” “Buy tickets,” or “Start an order.”

Call to action in bio

19. Monitor Instagram’s analytics

If you’re using a professional account (business or creator), once you hit 100 followers, you’ll have access to Instagram Insights. The feature allows you to gain an understanding of your content’s performance. It provides you with valuable metrics of how your Stories, posts, and IGTV videos perform.

You can also see your followers’ information, such as their age, gender, and location.

This feature is only accessible on the Instagram app. The Insights tell you a lot about what to do and what not to do, so be sure to check it out all the time if you want to learn how to grow your small business on Instagram.

Instagram Analytics tool

Conclusion

Creative Ways for Small Businesses

Here’s a summarized list of the 19 creative ways of using Instagram for small businesses. Feel free to save and use it for later review.

If you’re not using Instagram for your business, you’re missing out on an incredible opportunity to grow your small business and amass more profits.

Aside from switching to a business profile which is a must for all businesses, you can experiment with other ways we discussed and find out which ones work best for you.

How do I promote my small business on Instagram?

1. Set up an Instagram business profile
2. Put your website link in bio
3. Develop an Instagram strategy
4. Collaborate with Instagram influencers for marketing
5. Interact with other small businesses
6. Establish a visual identity
7. Create a content calendar
8. Create valuable content
9. Share Instagram Stories daily
10. Use Highlights
11. Share more videos
12. Go live
13. Use top Instagram hashtags
14. Engage with your Instagram followers
15. Tell engaging stories 
16. Offer discounts and Instagram giveaways
17. Sell with Instagram shopping
18. Use CTAs
19. Monitor Instagram’s analytics

What is a good bio for Instagram?

The bio section is very important. You can enter 150 characters and tell the first-time visitors who you are, what your brand is about, and how your business can benefit them.
Use your own brand style and show your brand personality. Depending on your brand voice, use a serious and professional, informal, or humorous tone.
Use hashtags in your bio. They are clickable and an excellent way to refer to user-generated content.
Use emojis to convey lots of information about your brand to Instagram users.

Maryam Shirvani

Maryam is a content writer at Ainfluencer. Through writing, she tries to provide you with the right solutions and the information you're looking for.