Marketing for Small Businesses

Instagram Marketing 101: The Do’s and Don’t’s

If you’re reading this, thanks for staying tuned for the next part in my Instagram marketing series! In this segment, I’ll be addressing the do’s and don’t’s of Instagram marketing. These aren’t rules you MUST follow, but think of them more as guidelines. Try to follow as many of these as possible, but some will take a little bit of work.

The Do’sInstagram app on an iPhone

Do Use Hashtags

Hashtags are a vital part of Instagram. You can search for them, and you’ll find every single post that was tagged with what you searched for. You can use hashtags to gain exposure, build a community, and increase engagement with your target market. By all means, I’m not telling you to go hashtag crazy. Studies have shown that posts with 11 hashtags get the highest engagement. That’s what we use for our clients, and we’ve seen good results. Make sure to be specific and relevant! Also, participating in trending hashtags such as #throwbackthurday will help you to get out in the Instagram community and get more exposure.

Do Create a Store Hashtag

This is simple and easy to do. Simply put your store’s name in a hashtag! No spaces or punctuation needed. This is very helpful yet super easy to do.

Do Respond to Comments Regularly

Your followers don’t want to comment on your picture to only be ignored. Respond to those comments! Be genuine and nice. Again, this is so simple to do yet it yields wonderful results. Followers (who are usually your customers) take this as you truly caring about what they have to say, and this shows that you’re more than a brand.

Do Post Consistently

Social media is a commitment. Post consistently to keep your business in front of your audience’s eye and keep growth going. If you need a starting point, try starting at three posts a week, and gradually work your way up to posting more often. It’s best to post in the off-work hours, such as in the morning before 9 AM, around lunch time, and in the evening. Take advantage of the weekends as well. Most of everyone is off of work, so they will be checking social media more often.

Do Plan

You’ve got to think of your business’s Instagram page as an extension of your brand. Take care of it as you would anything else. Plan your Instagram posts and images out carefully. This is where a content calendar would come in handy. Test out captions, see what works best with your followers. This is something that you will need to work on and find what works the best for your business.

The Don’t’s

Don’t Share Negative Images

This is a no brainer. Don’t share images that could possibly negatively affect your business in any way. This is why planning comes in handy, so you don’t accidentally share any questionable images.

Don’t Share Irrelevant Stuff

You are risking your followers jumping ship if you post irrelevant content. For example, if you’re running a pet food business and you post something about makeup, your followers will have no interest in that! You are posting bad content. Stay true to your brand and business and post relevant content. This is what your followers want to see.

Don’t Just Use Hashtags That Benefit Your Business

A few paragraphs ago, I talked about hashtags. Posting hashtags is a definitely Do, but only posting hashtags about your shop is a Don’t. Participate in trending hashtags, the daily hashtags, and anything else that is popular. This will help you to get your business out there to groups you aren’t actively trying to target.

Don’t Take Long Unannounced Breaks

This goes along with posting consistently. If you have to take a break from posting on Instagram, make sure you’ve either announced it or have someone temporarily take over for you.

Don’t Post Poor Quality Images

Don’t post poor quality pictures, poorly lit photos, blurry images, nothing. This gets easily annoying to Instagram users and they will stop following you. By doing this, you’re asking to lose followers.

What’s Next?

I’ve talked about the basics of Instagram, and now the do’s and don’t’s of Instagram marketing. In the next segment, I’ll be talking about Instagram Live and how it can benefit your business tremendously. Remember, if you don’t feel like you’ve got the time to put the effort that is needed for your social media pages, contact us at (971) 238-3759. We can help you!

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