The Instagram Revolution for Small Business




  • by Sally Falkow May 16, 2016
    May 16, 2016

    The Instagram Revolution for Small Business


    The internet is everywhere – the mobile revolution has put the Internet into the hands of your customers anywhere, anytime. They browse day or night right on their smartphones. The fact that there are literally tens of millions of users active on places like Instagram means that as a small-to-medium business you can gain not only insights, but leads and customers. And it won’t break the bank. With intelligent use of small business online marketing you can expand your venture quickly.


    A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words


    The beauty of Instagram is the appeal of visual content. Of course photography-rich businesses have benefited – like the fashion world – but many other companies have found success in the space too. Sports companies, as well as gadgets and tech, have carved successful niches. Artists and interior design businesses do well. Anything that can be translated to images and short video can gain an audience and then sales.


    Restaurants and food establishments have excelled using Instagram. The same goes for craft beer or wine. Be inventive, it is not only for models, photographers and people who make clothes. If you’re not an accomplished graphic artist there are easy-to-use tools like PicMonkey and Canva that can help you to make original images.


    Test the Market


    Using Instagram to test the market is a good way to make sure you are on the right track, either by season or trend. You can even use it to see if people might be interested in what you are marketing or selling. Once you’ve got an audience or followers, sending out an image of the product and waiting to see a response is a good way to not only start a conversation around the item, but to begin lighting the fire that leads to sales.


    For example a small business that makes furniture based in Los Angeles had an idea to use reclaimed wood to make tables. They sent out some posts of the wood and the finished product of the table. A few hundred people liked the posts and some comments on the posts remarked they wanted the table. The carpenter immediately sourced more wood, made more tables and set the price higher than he had originally intended as the demand was so strong for the item.


    Use Hashtags


    #Hashtags are a way for folks to search within Social Media platforms like Twitter and Instagram. Even Facebook now has a # feature.


    A #Hashtag groups any posts that have the hashtag together under one banner. For example #table or #woodenfurniture or #handmade would show similar things. Some small businesses use a hashtag like #local #locallymade #honest #realpeople or even the name of the town they are in like #venicebeach or the state like #Oregon and #Arizona.


    Using hashtags that are already popular gets your content seen by people interested in that topic. Watch the trending hashtags and see if there is one you can use in your posts. If you find one that is relevant and already ha a high number of posts using it, your content will get seen by more people and, if your content is original and appealing, you’ll get more followers.


    Grow my Business


    If you are wondering to yourself, “how do I grow my business?” maybe Instagram is the answer. You do not even need a fancy camera, you can post the pictures taken on your iPhone or Smartphone. The filters and editing techniques available to you mean the amount you have to shell out to get maximum impact is minimal compared to the massive advantages of using social media to your advantage

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