How to get the most out of Instagram for your small business

21 Sep 2021 | Marketing

If you’re like most small business owners, then you’re always looking for a better way to attract new clients to your service. But it seems like no matter how many posts you share on social media, you’re just not getting the engagement you need to create leads for sales.

Instagram logo
Use Instagram for your small business

Good news: now you too can higher engagement on your Instagram posts by following my 3-step proven method below. These steps include:

  • Step 1: Understand your audience. It’s time to ditch your ‘out of the air’ ideas, and instead follow the data!  
  • Step 2: Test. Once you’ve analysed your data, you need to test.
  • Step 3: Be intentional. Stop wasting your time posting random quotes which mean nothing to your audience and nothing to your bottom line.

Let’s take a look at each of these steps in a little more detail…

Step 1: Understand your audience

This first step is pretty simple. What you need to do is start to really understand your audience. And no, I don’t mean create a customer avatar! I mean, start to understand your REAL, existing audience.

For example, on Instagram we have a fantastic resource given to us by the social media platform, which is Insights. By utilising your insights, you can view your posts, stories, reels, IGTV’s and lives to see what engagement you’re getting, what reach you’re achieving and ultimately clicks.

Now a lot of people tend to end up looking purely at the vanity metrics, which is the likes, this then leads them down the wrong path altogether. You can avoid that by looking at the correct engagement metrics. We want people talking in the comments and saving your posts.

For example, let’s put this in real life terms. If you were throwing a party and 100 people turned up but no one talked to each other, they all stood in silence, and no one enjoyed themselves you probably would find that the worst experience ever. BUT imagine, 15 people turning up to your party, you discover you have lots in common and everyone talks, laughs and enjoys themselves. Now that’s a party you want to be at!

By using your insights, you will be able to discover a trend of popular content.

Once you’ve completed this first step, then move onto the next step…   

Party image four girls smiling taking a selfie
Create a profile where people want to engage

Step 2: Testing

For this step you’ll need time, commitment and a graphic software like Canva. What you’ll do is take the popular trends you have discovered in step one, and create a bank of content around those themes. You will need to create a wide variety of content and then share over the course of a month. The purpose of this step is to see what stands out (if anything) to your audience.

Let me share with you three tips for making this step go more smoothly…

  • Tip 1: How do they like to be spoken to? Test your captions. Does your audience prefer shorter style content, or do they like mini blog form captions? Do they want you to be supportive or do they want firm guidance?
  • Tip 2: How do they like to be seen? People will only publicly react to something which shows them in a good light. Let’s say you’re a children’s behavioural therapist, consider that parents won’t want to publicly be seen supporting a post for this as they may feel other parents will judge them. You need create something which they want to support.
  • Tip 3: How do they want you to show up? All audiences are different. You need to consider age, gender, culture and values. Some audiences like more video, some will love quotes. You need to work out what your audience connects to the most.

Once you’ve completed this step, then move onto the next one…

Notepad on a table with sticky notes and a cup of tea
It’s time to plan

Step 3: Be intentional

For this step, you need to plan and then stick to the plan!

One word of warning: don’t over commit. It can be really easy to get excited about a content plan, map out a couple of months’ worth of posts and then you’re hit with the reality that you need to deliver all of this. Decide how much time you want to allocate to your Instagram marketing, and stick to it!

Here are some other dos and don’ts for completing this step:

  • Don’t keep your ideas in your head! I can guarantee you will have genius content ideas pop into your head when you’re not working on. Write it down! Create some notes on your phone or in a notepad and make sure you collect them all.
  • Do use a digital software to help you with your planning and scheduling. It’s so hard to keep on top of your content as a busy small business owner daily, when you have so much else to focus on. Plan ahead and schedule ahead.
  • Don’t feel like you’re alone. If you want support with this, I can assist you. You know you want to progress with your social media marketing, but you’re daunted by these tasks. My Go Getter plan might just be for you!

Now I know you’re a busy businesses owner so let’s wrap things up!  You now have my quick and easy 3-step process for getting the most out of your business using Instagram for your small business.

Let’s recap the steps:

  • Step 1: Understand your audience – follow the data when you feel stuck.
  • Step 2: Testing – try out different ways to engage with your audience.
  • Step 3: be intentional – You’ve done all the work, now stick to the plan.

Now there’s just one thing left for you to do – take action! So go ahead and dive into your Instagram Insights. And do it today, because the sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll get results from your marketing efforts on Instagram!