For many people, the internet can be a gift and a curse. One terrible review can destroy someone’s business while a tiny hole-in-the-wall, in the middle of town somewhere, can become a gold mine because of a simple search. Word of mouth still exists but these days it spreads faster than Black Friday sales on big screen TVs, missed Football field goals or an egg post on Instagram that gets almost 50 million “likes” in 24 hours.
For many, managing an Instagram account can be challenging and frustrating when you’re spending more time managing the day-to-day operations of your small business or your results from your posts have been underwhelming.
- Get Help
If you’re running a small business it can be almost impossible to manage social media accounts to gain awareness and grow your business, all at the same time. But Instagram is not something to be ignored. It’s not only a bunch of Millenials posting selfies, food pictures and sharing “memes” because in June 2018 Instagram hit 1 billion active monthly users.
That number is proof that It’s worth to add a Social Media Manager to your payroll. Even if the manager is a part-time student, with little experience, they can help you take a lot off the plate by posting quality photos and videos, attracting new followers and building on a brand identity.
- Geo-tagging and Hashtagging
Now that you’ve got your new manager, it doesn’t mean you’re totally off the hook. Lot’s of small business owners will say that the service or business they provide is irrelevant for Instagram because they’re local or it might not appeal to young consumers.
- Ages 13–17: 57 million (7%)
- Ages 18–24: 270 million (32%)
- Ages 25–34: 270 million (32%)
- Ages 35–44: 131 million (15%)
- Ages 45–54: 68 million (8%)
- Ages 55–64: 30 million (3%)
- Ages 65+: 18.3 million (2%)
Even if your target market is in the older range, those numbers are still in the millions. Now, that’s just a perspective. So how does this help your local business? Geo-tagging lets customers know where you’re located. It lets them know you’re near and brings your business awareness. If Im looking for a printing service or contractor, seeing your work online and an “identity” will help me compare, discover and make a more confident decision.
Hashtags also bring more awareness to your business. If im looking for a packaging service, I can search for a business on Instagram it can help me find your business, especially with the combination of geotags and hashtags.. Usually, hashtags should go after a good caption and while Instagram allows up to 30, I personally recommend putting 5 relevant tags about your post or business.
Just as if you would engage with your customers in person, face to face. It’s just as important to do so on your profile. Engage by being active in the comment section, collaborate with other relevant business where both can benefit off of each other. You can also create community events and drive awareness. Ask if you can follow your customers on Instagram and send a Happy Birthday card, or tell them to enjoy their new Cat. Whatever life event they share, make sure you’re there for the support. Word of mouth is still very much alive and well and in today’s world, it’s amplified on Instagram. The little things count and go a very long way. Don’t focus on how much “followers” your account has, it’s more important that whatever number it is, those followers are or can turn into real customers.
Written By: Avi Milman
Looking for funding? Apply here.