A social media expert’s recommendations for 3 simple things that get results.

Guest Post by Amana Ahmad – The Social Factor

Whether you’ve been on Instagram a while, or are just starting out and are a bit stumped as to how to use it to grow your business here are three easy tips to follow to start seeing results.

How to use Instagram to Promote your Business

1. It all starts with the customer

One of the key things for any successful marketing is to understand your customer.  A lot of businesses tend to forget to really nail who their customers are.  

They have an idea of who they are, but they don’t really get to know them. 

Why is that important for Instagram success? 

For social media it is particularly important to create quality content that resonates with your target market. If you don’t fully understand your customers and what makes them tick, how can you appeal to them?  

One way to get a deeper understanding of your customers is to create customer avatars (have a look at our blog on avatars for more info and a free template).  These are detailed profiles of your ideal customer.  Creating avatars makes you think about what interests and motivates them, and helps you to understand why they would engage with your business. Once you understand your customer better you can generate new ideas for content that might appeal to them.

2. Create content that resonates with your target audience

You might love talking about dogs. Great. (Who doesn’t love a funny dog photo?) But if pampered pooches aren’t going to interest your target audience, that content isn’t the type of content you want to be sharing on your business Instagram profile. 

It’s great to share something about you, (includes your dog) but if you’re a tutor, say, or a phobia therapist, those pics of your playful rottweiler (she’s so gentle, and just loves kids!) might be best saved for your personal profile rather than your business page.  

If every post on your business profile is about your dog, you may gain followers who are dog lovers but they won’t necessarily be interested in your business offering. That’s why it’s so important to understand your audience, so that you can create content that they will value.  

The benefit of creating content that is of value to your potential customers is that it builds the know, like, trust principle. People do business with other people that they knowlike, and trust.

3. Build an engaged community

Instagram is about connecting people, not collecting people, so building an engaged community is really important. Once your followers are engaged with your content it’s a clear sign that they know, like and trust you!  

But how do you get engagement? 

It’s important to remember that to engage others, you also need to be both engaging and engaged. In practice, that means commenting on, and liking other people’s posts as well, and responding to comments on yours. 

People often wonder who they should be engaging with. Again, that comes back to your user personas/avatars, because once you understand your target customers, you’ll start to understand what else they might be interested in. That gives you a clue to the types of accounts they may be following besides yours. 

For example, if you are a wedding cake designer you want to engage with other accounts in the wedding industry (wedding dress boutiques, musicians, caterers, venues, jewellery designers…you get the idea), as your target customers might well be checking them out too. It’s also a good idea because building relationships with other businesses in the same industry can lead to great referrals and collaborations.

Beginning with these three things will really help with growing your business on Instagram. 

Get to understand your customer. Create content that they want. Start engaging. 

You will start to reap the benefits.  I manage multiple Instagram accounts, and I always start with these three principles in mind.

And here’s a bonus tip

If you want growth, you need to remember to show up consistently. You can only build an engaged community if you also engage regularly.  

If you’d like to find out more about how to use social media to build your business, get in touch. Please contact Tabitha Beasley at The Marketing Associates: tabitha@themarketingassociates.co.uk or call 01233 720379