Launching a small business is an exciting time. You put in hours of hard work behind the scenes and then finally your brand is launched into the world.
And all you want to do is talk about it!
But when you publish that first post, hardly anyone likes it. You receive no comments. And nobody visits your website. How can that be?
Posting on Instagram isn’t as simple as creating a pretty post and hitting publish. There are lots of strategies you need to follow to engage your audience, build a following, and get people talking about your brand.
In this article, we will be sharing an introduction to launching your small business on Instagram. Check out our tips below to get started.
Create a Memorable Instagram Profile
Your Instagram profile should tell people what they need to know in as few words as possible. While there isn’t a ‘right’ way to create a memorable Instagram profile, below are a few strategies that will help yours stand out:
Photo: if you’re launching a business, it’s best to use your company logo as the profile photo. This helps people easily identify your brand.
Website: you should always include a clickable URL that takes users from your Instagram profile to your website. This is important for increasing potential sales and traffic to your site and raising brand awareness.
Account Name: your Instagram account name should be the name of your business and formatted appropriately to reflect your logo and website domain. This avoids confusion and ensures brand consistency across all channels.
Username: your Instagram username/handle should also be the same as your business name. Just remember that on Instagram, your username cannot have any spaces and should avoid long number sequences and confusing punctuation where possible.
Bio: this is where you write a few sentences to capture the attention of users. You can choose to plainly describe what you do, hype up your products or website, or write out your brand slogan. A lot of brands use emojis to summarise what they do in a way that’s more engaging and hashtags that are relevant to their brand and values. Take a look at Garden Gourmet UK for example:
There are so many options. Just make sure your bio is clear, concise, and makes people want to find out more.
Drive Traffic to Your Instagram Profile
Over one billion people use Instagram every single month. That’s 1 in every 8 people on the planet with the potential to visit your profile and engage with your brand.
If you want to drive traffic to your Instagram profile, you have to make it the place to visit! Fill it with important company updates, product discounts, launch announcements, and competitions. All these things can help increase engagement and encourage users to head over to your website.
You can drive traffic to your Instagram page from blog posts, marketing emails, other social media platforms, and your website (to name a few). The more you promote your Instagram account, the more people will hear about it.
Don’t forget, it takes time to build a strong (and engaged) following but if you start using every available opportunity to drive traffic to your social profiles, you will see more success sooner.
Create Anticipation Prior to Launch
Building a following prior to launching your brand on Instagram is one of the best ways to increase engagement and ensure your launch announcement has an impact.
Many businesses will announce their upcoming launch about a week or so before the actual launch. This helps drum up excitement from followers and increase engagement so that when launch day arrives, people are excited to see your announcement! So, start creating a buzz early because it will pay off later on.
Create Memorable Campaigns
51% of people unfollow brands that post something they disagree with. You’ll never please everyone but be creative and memorable when creating campaigns — engage your audience and speak into their interests.
Instagram is a great place to tell the story of your brand. Your posts should have a narrative or theme so that when a user clicks through to your profile and starts scrolling through, they can see clearly the growth of your brand and at a snapshot what your values, ethos, and overall brand message.
Utilize Hashtags in Your Posts
Hashtags are used on Instagram for a reason — they help widen your reach and attract new audiences. Use 3–5 hashtags per post for higher engagement potential. Doing your research and finding the best hashtags is a great way to ensure your content reaches the people you want to target.
Utilizing hashtags helps people find you. They essentially act as a search function that helps people find what they are looking for online. For example, #cutecats has hundreds and thousands of posts. So, if you sell products for cats, you might want to consider using the #cutecats hashtag to reach an audience already invested in all things cat-related. Similarly, you can use location-specific hashtags to promote your services to people in your local area.
If you’re not using hashtags, you should be. Hashtags are one of the best social tools to utilize for a successful launch on Instagram.
Engage with Instagram Influencers
One of the fastest ways to boost your Instagram following is to engage with influencers who have a significant online following. By engaging with influencers and taking the time to establish a relationship with them, you can win shout-outs that earn your Instagram profile instant credibility.
There are so many ways you can connect with influencers online. The best way to start is by liking, commenting, and sharing their social posts. Every time you do this, they will receive a notification. As they become familiar with seeing your comments, they are more likely to engage with you.
Engaging with influencers can take time but if you’re patient and you approach the process organically, you are likely to win connections that benefit your business for the long term.
If you have been struggling to launch your business on Instagram, if you have a profile but few followers, or if you are yet to get started, the strategies in this article will help you!
Instagram has proven itself again and again to be a powerful marketing tool. If you want your brand to be noticed, Instagram is the platform you need.