In May, Ad Age warned small businesses that “if you’re not on Instagram, you’re already behind.” Over 600 million were using the service monthly at that time. Today, more than 800 million log in monthly and 500 million log in daily. Of those, 80% follow a business—some of which are small and run by local entrepreneurs. Maybe even yours.
How you engage not only your followers but also Instagram’s growing audience can significantly impact your business. Here are three useful examples you may want to adopt for your own small business Instagram feed.
Riding on Insulin (ROI) provides action sports camps for those who suffer from Type 1 diabetes, many of whom are kids. So it follows that the organization frequently posts photos of young shredders to its 1,852 Instagram followers.
Takeaway: Usually you have to click the photo to see what’s being offered. In this case, it’s a neat action shot of young Stella hitting the slopes. But it’s also a savvy reminder to visitors that ROI was still taking applicants for new adventures: “We still have 4 camps left! Link in bio to register!”
Sometimes selling is as simple as giving your audience a chance to buy.
Independent joint Humble Pie cooks healthy pizzas in small batches with organic ingredients. But it’s photos like the one below that show its mastery of Instagram.
Notice three things at work here. First, who doesn’t love pictures of adorable kids? Second, the funky sign in the background reveals a bit of Humble Pie’s unique brand while putting the name in plain sight. And finally, there’s product in the photo—a “pie pop” and fruit punch, showing the restaurant’s 1,386 followers there’s more to the menu than fancifully decorated pizza pies.
Humble Pie’s #1 fan
Takeaway: Highlighting visually how your customers use your products increases the odds of your photos being organically shared with those who might become buyers. It’s a virtuous cycle and free, except for the time you’ll put in to write, edit, and post.
Pete Pagano works with reclaimed wood to build furniture and performs restoration projects in and around St. Louis, Missouri. For him, selling is also teaching—it’s often that over 100 people will like or comment on one of his teaching videos, and that’s despite having just 444 followers overall.
Takeaway: Take the time teach your customers and they’ll become fans who turn into the sorts of regulars who drive your growth as a small business.
Instagram has grown into a flexible, global platform for reaching customers you might otherwise miss. Live video not your thing? Try Boomerang to give visitors an extended look at your product or go deep with a multi-photo product story.
Or try something entirely different. The point here isn’t to pick the perfect tactic but to take advantage of Instagram’s growing influence. Your customers are already there. Isn’t it time for your small business to be there too?