Instagram Marketing Guide for Home Based Businesses

Instagram is a popular social media platform where users come together to share images, videos, and memes that they curated to represent their artistic style. According to Statistic Brain’s “Instagram Company Statistics“,  there were over 500 million Instagram users in September 2016.

With numbers increasing to 600 million (active monthly users) in December 2016 according to Expanded Ramblings research article “ 180 Interesting Instagram Statistics.

They are a free social media platform that also connects to a Facebook profile for businesses. As an owner of a home based business, Instagram is a great platform to use to get your brand out there and market to you audience that uses the app.

Before we get started, ask yourself this:

Before you think to use Instagram as a marketing avenue, you need to determine if your target audience is using this app. For example, If you serve an older market who may not have smartphones, or find that your audience is mostly on Twitter, than Instagram may not be a great choice for your business.

Use these questions to research if  Instagram is a great option for your home based business:

  • What is the age range of my target market? (see next paragraph)
  • Does my target audience use social media?
  • Does my target audience use Instagram?
  • Are there companies similar to mine on Instagram?
  • Will images + videos help explain my products/services?

If you answered yes to questions 2-4, then we need to get started creating an Instagram account Asap!

(Find out how a Virtual Assistant Can Help Manage Your Social Media Marketing)

What are the Age Ranges using Social Media?

Use this information to determine if you should use Instagram, and how to cater your content to engage your targeted audience. Statistics gathered from Statistic Brain’s Instagram user content information.

isntagram-users-age-statistic-brain-virtual-task-corner

 

First Step To Using Instagram

Make sure you create an account with your business name and email. Please do not use your personal Instagram for your business, especially if you’re going for a professional look. That way when people search for your products, or something you offer, they get led to a professional page.

A Professional page = serious business. Personal pages don’t give off the same vibe, unless you are a blogger or influencer.

Key Elements that a Successful Instagram Profile should Have:

virtual-task-corner-instagram

Using my Instagram as an example (gathered 1/13/2017). These are the following things you should have for a professional Instagram profile.

  • Professional picture of yourself or logo
  • short description of what your company provides, or a slogan
  • website link in the bio (profile description)
  • Images that represent your brand, products you offer, and that engage your audience

You also need to make sure you link your Instagram to a Business Facebook page. By doing this you’l be able to view analytic information that gives you the best time to post, or see when your audience is mostly online.

What Should I Post to Increase Brand Awareness + Engagement??

First before posting, you need to research what your audience engages with on Instagram. You can do this be doing a keyword research in the form of hashtags (#hashtags).

For example if you are in the health industry, you would use the search bar and look up terms related to your business (like, #yoga  #fitness #healthyeating #loseweight) and see what comes up. Look at popular content or related hashtags that also come up to determine what you can provide.

Then you can begin to curate or design content for your profile!

As mentioned in the Social Media Today article “The 80/20 Ruleyou should focus 80% of your content to engaging your audience and 20% of your content to promoting your products/services. This should be kept in mind when choosing the images and videos to put in your profile.

But before you post, you need to:

  • Develop a Brand Theme
  • Decide on Curated or Created Content

Develop Your Branding Theme

Before you start posting any content, you need to identify how you want your page to represent your business. For example, a bakery specializing in catering weddings may want to have a clean theme (mostly white backgrounds), displaying wedding themes, cake designs, and catering options.

Pick a color scheme that represents your branding goal and stick to it! You want your profile to look organized and intentional. Having random colors, fonts, images, and videos that don’t represent the message you want to send to your audience will be confusing.

If you’re unsure of a color scheme, go on Instagram and look at similar pages in your industry and see how they set up their pages. Get inspired by their content to find a color scheme + theme that you believe represents your home based business and use that as inspiration. However, please do not copy any content and try to pass it as your own!

Curated Content or Created Content?

Curated content are items that you did not design but you are share them on your profile. A great example of this is the popular hair vitamins Fulfillity Hair’s Instagram profile:

fulfility-hair-instagram-virtual-task-corner

They use images from other users on the platform that represent what they promote, healthy natural hair, skin, and beauty!

Created content are items that you did design to represent your brand and the products you provide.

So which one is better?

To be honest, you should have a mixture of both! Curated content allows you to engage with other users on the platform. By tagging the source of the photo/video you engage with new people and their following. Using created content in the mix is also part of building your identity (brand) on the platform.

You Need To Post Regularly

After setting up your account, researching hashtags to use, and curating and/or designing content to be used on your profile, the next step is posting. You should try to post as often as you can without being spammy. Posting every hour, or all day all the time is a no-go, people will find your content crowding their feed and will unfollow you.

Instead try working on a schedule to post 2-3 times a day at different times.

For example, posting at 8am and 3pm. Or posting at 7am, 1pm, and 10pm.

You will be able to use the data from the analytics to determine the best time to post once you start posting regularly. This is a really great tool that Instagram provides, as it shows when your followers engage with your posts each day of the week.

Lastly, Stay Engaged and Be Consistent!

Don’t just post and never return. Engage with people that view your content, or comment on your posts. Visit other pages and comment or engage in conversation with some of the users. The more you engage, the better your results will be!

And stay consistent with posting and your branding theme. Use the data from your page analytics to update your marketing efforts. Maybe switch timing of posts or use different hashtags that attract your audience more.

I’M INTERESTED IN USING INSTAGRAM FOR MY BUSINESS, BUT I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS!

You surely came to the right place for finding help with your Social Media Marketing. Virtual Task Corner, managed by Bryanna Greene, is a Virtual Assistant company specializing in Social Media Management/Marketing, General Admin, and Blog + Website Maintenance.

If you have more questions about using Instagram for your business, contact Bryanna Greene by using this contact form or by emailing at info@virtualtaskcorner.com.

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