‘Younger generations are defining the culture with images of self-expression. They take more pictures in a day on average than their parents took in a year. Sixty-five percent of teens rely on social media to discover and select beauty products. By lowering the barrier to entry, we are encouraging an entrepreneurial fire.” He added that the average home has 1.2 detergent brands and 12 beauty brands.’
-Fabrizio Freda, the President & CEO of Estee Lauder
‘Authenticity has taken over from celebrities because consumers don’t believe celebrities. They want something from a friend, colleague or a family member and not from a billboard. And social media has taken over from traditional media.’
-Alan Ennis, President & CEO of Glansaol
Since its beginning in 2010, Instagram has been another platform for people to share their day to day activities. Though unlike Facebook or Twitter, users on Instagram were able to expand freely vs dealing with the dreaded character limit most social media platforms were enforcing. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and boy were people using that to their advantage. At first people simply used it to share anything and everything without a care in the world for amount of likes or followers. But as it grew, the game was on. More and more people were utilizing hashtags, filters, and created an experience for their followers so they would want to continue to see more. Then as the follower count increased, Instagram models were formed then with the help of YouTube and Twitter came the Influencers. Instagram had suddenly blew up into the massive marketing phenomenon that you all see today. Granted it is still full of selfies and pictures of sunday brunches but brands have found a way to take those mundane everyday photos and find a way to directly target the consumers in a way that has never been available before.
There are profiles dedicated to anything and everything you can think of. Pets, fitness, food, fashion, beauty, cars, art, engineering, architecture, travel, music, comedy, and so much more. In the past brands would have to take out ads in newspapers, magazines, radio, and television but there still would not be a guarantee of it reaching the correct audience. Now with all that Instagram is, brands have been paying Influencers to use the product and feature it in one of their posts; that one post can bring hundreds of thousands of dollars to their business, which doesn’t include foot traffic into their own social media and websites. But that doesn’t mean that in order to be successful on Instagram as a business you have to take that route.
As a small business it is a struggle in itself to start from the ground up without having to worry about the amount of followers you have. I promise you if you look at Instagram as a necessary but useful tool that will help your business grow it will be a lot easier for you to set the proper time aside to increase interest on your page. You have already taken the time to create the perfect client experience, so why not take that same idea and put it towards your business’ instagram.
There are a few basic things you can do to ge t started so you are not too overwhelmed.
- Making your pictures have the same style, font, and color scheme can help a lot to make your business page more cohesive. It will make users more inclined to follow you, they want to see an active effort on your page to see if it is worth following you or not.
- Finding a cohesive color scheme as well as placing your logo on your photos is important so when your followers look at a picture they automatically associate it with yours.
- If you don’t have content ready for the day you can go on sites like pixabay.com to find some copyright free photos that fit your aesthetic.
- Post regularly.
- With the algorithm Instagram currently has, it makes it harder for those with less followers to be seen on their newsfeed but you should still keep your presence known. Those followers who fall in love with your business will often check on your page to see what new content you may have posted, so you definitely want to keep them happy.
- Use hashtags with every post. They make it easier for people to find a business like yours. (#sandiegospraytans #spraytanhawaii)
- Utilize Instagram Stories.
- Think of stories as your clients backstage pass. The content you put on there is more behind the scenes and don;t have to fit the theme of your page. People love to see how personable you and your staff are.
- People check their stories daily if not multiple times a day, so making sure your update at minimum once a day will keep your business fresh in their minds.
- Do Client Shoutouts.
- People love looking at pictures of different products/people/places but they love themselves even more. By showing off your clients who tag you in photos it will encourage more to do the same because they also want that recognition.
- Put your Instagram Handle on all of your business materials.
- Business cards, service menus, post tan cards, referral cards all of it. You want to flood the consumer with the knowledge that you have an online presence and you are utilizing it to its fullest. They want to stay entertained and in the know of what’s going on in your space.
Just start off with the basics. After you get the hang of it you can easily branch out and become an Instagram expert. We will be going into further detail and diving deeper into the world of Instagram with our other installments of this blog. We will look into Story Highlights, Analytics, and the dreaded hashtags plus much much more. Leave a comment below with your questions, comments, and any concerns you have with Instagram so we can include it in our next piece!