Small Business Guide to Instagram Success

Kira Vessiari, Aug. 14, 2019Social Media
Small Business Guide to Instagram Success

There are unexplainable things in this world: some people see ghosts, others prefer fairies or zombies… and some people have a stubborn belief that a business can’t succeed on Instagram. “Whaaat?” say Asos, Amazon, John Frieda and many others who are getting a large part of their target audience from Instagram.

Well, my friends, let’s be patient, and explain to these lost souls, how Instagram, a comparatively new and dynamically developing social network, can actually perform.

Today, we have an exciting mission; we will discover how Instagram can work for majority of businesses. Yes, you’ve heard that right, any industry, any company can create a popular account and benefit from it.

Who is on Instagram?

Instagram was launched in 2010, and almost instantly bewitched the visual storytellers, offering them a unique platform to share the view of the world.

So who is majorly using Instagram?

Men, women, and folks beyond the binary find Instagram to be an excellent way to share photos and videos with friends. However, women like it just a little bit more. The 2015 Pew Research study of U.S. residents found that more women use Instagram than men. The study showed that 31 percent of women and 24 percent of men regularly use Instagram to like, share, and post. (Source)

Even though the audience of this social network might look diverse, the majority of its ‘Population’ are millennials. According to the Pew Research, we have the following stats to share:

  • 55% are 18-29 year old;
  • 28% are 30-49 year old;
  • 11% are 50-64 year old.

This data might scare away (and it actually does!) the businesses from so-called ‘Serious & Boring’ industries like finance, insurance and various other more traditional companies.

Management often considers Instagram a waste of time mainly because its target audience isn’t there. But can we really say so?

Before answering this crucial question, I suggest you dive into Instagram and check out what industries are already there, and how they are doing.

Types of industries: Will we see only eCommerce?

Let’s admit, lots of marketers still believe in a common cliché suggesting that Instagram is a Wonderland for eCommerce and an uninhabited island for others. Let’s take a quick look at industries presented on Instagram.

eCommerce – we are not stopping here for long because you can find a billion examples of successful Instagram accounts doing eCommerce.

Let’s take Amazon, as one of the best online shopping destinations worldwide. How do they handle their Instagram account? Well, it’s not the most adult approach, but surely the one loved by the audience. Kittens & Puppies in Amazon boxes. Have a look! And don’t forget to enjoy valuable tips under the photo.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Amazon (@amazon) on

Restaurants – sounds pretty easy as well, right? All you have to do is to publish nice pictures with the food. But look at what Pizza Hut does: pizza for all holidays and life situations. Pizza Halloween? No problem!

Boo. Pizza Hut ? (@pizzahut)

Hospitality – this is one of the most popular photo categories on Instagram, and companies don’t require much effort to find ideas for content. Take a camera and get great shots! Look how Four Seasons rocks the Instagram!

Finance – not an easy sphere, but you always can find a solution in case you have CSR activities going. And that’s precisely what KPMG did.

Healthcare – another area that doesn’t seem to be Instagram-friendly. But you have CSR projects…right?


Mothers are: Strong ✔️ Caring ✔️ Tough ✔️

Фото опубликовано Merck for Mothers (@merckformothers)

IT – In case you are producing something high-tech and you have a sense of humor, you are safe. Applause to HP!

As you can see, lot’s of big companies have an Instagram account, and this fact shouldn’t be surprising, knowing how easy you can set up and maintain an account on this social network.

Content Ideas – What should you post?

The nature of the content you can post is heavily depending on your industry. Let’s try to see what kind of pictures will suit your business best.

 eCommerce, Business, and Travel

  • Showcase your products
  • How they are being used
  • Holiday season, featuring your brand
  • Short videos or boomerang shots (Why not to try a #MannequinChallenge ???)
  • Behind-the-scenes (How do your work, your team, how the product is created, and, of course, selfies!)
  • Memes (Use popular trends to promote your services in a humorous way)
  • User-generated content (Share photos of your customers and employees)

Finance, Healthcare, IT and other services

  • Team gatherings;
  • Behind-the-scenes and office shots (Include daily casual shots to increase credibility)
  • CSR activities (You can, actually, go a long way with that)
  • Travel pictures (Have a lot of business trips? Use it!)
  • Marketing materials (Have a cool branded water bottle or a nice branded notepad? Take a picture!)

And yes, don’t forget to spice up whatever you do with a good sense of humour! :) After all, we are in Human to Human (H2H) marketing today. READ MORE: Your Guide To Credible Content Marketing  

Follower Growth & Engagement Step-by-Step

So how do you make your account popular?

  1. Follow other people. Instagram is incredibly friendly and positive social network, so go ahead and follow other interesting accounts, you would be surprised how many people would be interested and follow you back.
  2. Post regularly. Regularity is a key to maintaining the audience, so don’t let your followers get bored.
  3. Make your content diverse. Good content and friendly attitude make miracles!
  4. Use hashtags. It’s Instagram so it’s OK to use tons of hashtags. You can go even further and enhance your image with fun hashtags, such as #GrammarPolice.
  5. Answer to comments. This may sound complicated, but it shouldn’t. It’s Instagram so it’s OK to answer with a single emoji J.
  6. Use filters. Unless your pictures are done by a professional photographer, you can use filters to add some extra to your shots.

Instagram is easy in every aspect, and any type of content if done well, can work just fine. Have you tried any of these tips? Share your Instagram handle with us in comments below! :)

NEXT: How to work with opinion leaders on social media  

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