5 Steps To Take Your Small Business Social Marketing Strategy to the Next Level

When it comes to social media marketing, Instagram is the platform to utilize. It is the second most accessed social network internationally—the popular visual platform sees over one billion active monthly users and 500 million daily Instagram Stories, according to HubSpot.

instagram marketing metrics 2021
Information from 2021 HubSpot Research

Everyone has an Instagram account. Even dogs and newborn babies (literally)!

Companies are no different. Coca Cola, Nike, Sephora, and even Starbucks utilize Instagram to spread the word about their products and elevate their brands. But where does this leave small businesses?

The good news is you don’t have to be a large company to reap the benefits of Instagram. The mobile app levels the playing field so both large and small businesses can thrive. If your small business isn’t using Instagram as a regular working part of your marketing plan, you’re missing out on a potential gold mine of opportunities.

You may be asking yourself: “Where do we even start?”

Lucky for you, Red Egg Marketing has rounded up five key Instagram marketing steps your team should consider when starting your small business’s Instagram!

Create a Business Profile

If you haven’t done so already, make sure to convert your company’s Instagram profile to a business profile. This not only makes practical sense when it comes to defining your online presence, but it also allows you to view analytics. These metrics are a great way to track which account details most resonate with your audience. You can track how people are finding your page, which hashtags are performing best, and how far your account is reaching beyond your following (among other things.)

Creating a business profile on Instagram also allows you to connect your account with your Facebook page, run paid ads, and it makes it simple for followers to contact you! Follow the instructions laid out here if you are wondering how to make the transition.

Define Your Goals & Brand

Having a specific goal for why you want to utilize business Instagram is vital in terms of planning what kind of content you will be sharing—from imagery, to messaging, and everything in between.

Your goals may include:

Building a community

Showcasing company culture, values, achievements

Selling products and services

Increasing brand awareness

Pro Tip

On a monthly or quarterly basis, it is a good practice to regroup with your social media team to see if the content being shared aligns with the goals you set. This is also a good time to decide if it’s time to shift your goals in a different direction. For example, say your initial goal was building a community. If you’ve met/exceeded your goal, maybe you move on to showcasing your company culture to introduce audiences to another side of your brand.

A key piece of ensuring the success of your business’s Instagram is making sure you have a solid understanding of your brand’s identity. An easy way many businesses do this is by creating a brand guide. A brand guide establishes your brand’s “personality”, so to speak. See this link for step-by-step instructions on developing a personalized one for your business!

Have a Plan for Your Content

“Prioritize mutual trust and respect to create genuine connections — and focus on the experience, not the transaction. Great brands take their customer relationships further, incorporating traditions, practices and rituals that strengthen affinity and make the brand an integral part of their customers’ lives.” – Rob Danna, Forbes Councils Member

Once you’re clear on your brand and its goals, it’s time to develop a plan for your content. Here, your brand color palette, copy standards, graphics, logos, and photos are paramount. It’s vital to have cohesive messaging and imagery across your Instagram feed.

As we all know, Instagram is a visual medium. People swipe through Instagram to see beautiful images and videos. So, a good rule of thumb when it comes to developing your content to remember that the whole point is to captivate your audience.

One easy way to ramp up excitement and traction on your Instagram page is to have an authentic voice to your posts. Becoming a storyteller and offering small snippets of stories through your captions, Instagram stories, photos, and profile is a great way to get people’s attention as well as cultivate and maintain connections with potential customers and longstanding customers.

Patagonia, the outdoor gear brand, has a unique take on their brand voice and storytelling techniques. Take a look at one of their recent posts:

Small Business Social Marketing Strategy
Content from @patagonia

Whatever your business goals may be, make sure your content is authentic to your brand, audience, and product. Emotional connections are one of the best ways to garner people’s interest and loyalty to brands!

Use Those Tags and Hashtags

Both tags and hashtags give your posts more exposure. When you use hashtags in a post, that post is grouped with posts that share that same hashtag. On Instagram (and all social media, for that matter), hashtags serve as an indication for users and algorithms that a piece of content relates to a specific topic or belongs to a category.

Oftentimes, people follow certain hashtags so they can be kept in the loop for things they care about. For example, if you use #travel on an Instagram post, someone who follows that hashtag will see your recent post in their feed, which could prompt them to like your post or even follow your account!

Tags are also a great way to stretch your business’ Instagram reach. Tagging refers to using a social handle or username of a person or business in your post or photo. When you tag people or things in a post or photo, you are essentially “linking” them in your post. If your business collaborated with another business on a recent project, an easy way to widen your reach is to tag them in a photo or video of your project!

Get On a Consistent Posting Schedule

For an audience to recognize your brand, consistency is a must. Being consistent in your brand allows you to grow in audience engagement and reach. From the tone of voice used in messages to the aesthetics of your profiles, you need to be recognizable to gain traction among your intended audience. A good way to solidify this is to make sure that you develop a posting schedule for your content.

Hootsuite and Sendible are two great social media management platforms that allows users to schedule posts for their businesses across Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more. Both platforms also have social media analyzing tools at your disposal. Want to know which hashtags perform the best? Which posts perform the best? That’s where these social media analyzing tools come in handy!

Pro Tip

When mapping out your content and developing a posting schedule, settle on the amount of time to devote to Instagram in the first place. If you’re a small business, you may not have anyone to manage your social media full-time. Be honest with yourself and your team about how much time can be reasonably dedicated to Instagram so you know how many posts you can logistically handle each month.

Your Denver Marketing Company

After taking these five steps with your small business’s Instagram marketing journey, you are on track to success!

However, as any business professional knows, it can be difficult to keep up with all the moving parts of a social media marketing strategy. Red Egg Marketing’s talented Denver marketing team has experience in assisting businesses of all shapes and sizes develop creative and effective social media strategies, so if your business needs any guidance or expertise, drop us a line!