Many marketers wonder how they can use Instagram for their small business marketing needs, and how Instagram differs from Facebook. The two social media (though under the same umbrella) present small businesses with very different ways to engage with their communities and build their following. Check out the 5 ways your small business should use Instagram differently than Facebook.
1. Post More Often – Facebook is the most popular social media highway. Almost every business uses the service, and users are flooded with ads or posts at almost every juncture. This means that users are far more likely to be annoyed by constant posts from one source, and many businesses find they must post less and less to avoid being seen as spammers. Instagram, however, still occupies a more intimate, deliberate space in the user’s mind. It’s a cleaner surface that hasn’t been totally exploited (yet). Posting one photo per day is still acceptable. Plus, an Instagram post doesn’t have to link to a new blog post or interesting story – meaning posts can be generated more easily.
2. Post Behind the Scenes Content – While a Facebook post might boast of a great user experience a customer had, or drum up interest for a new event or product, let your Instagram account celebrate the more subtle intricacies of your business. Try ‘behind the scenes’ shots from your office of warehouse or amateur photos of people using your product or service. Show that there are real people behind your business and real people interacting with you as well.
3. Get Artistic – Don’t be afraid to try out filters on Instagram. Users want to see creative, artsy shots, regardless of the source, and this is far more achievable and acceptable on Instagram than on Facebook. Take note of what posts garner the most attention and pursue similarly beautiful material for your Instagram account.
4. Organize hashtags and contests – Hashtags are great on Instagram, while facebook’s hashtag function has failed to really take off. Many businesses have found success establishing an Instagram hashtag relating to their services or products, and then running a contest where the photo with the most ‘likes’ with that hashtag receives a prize. Make it fun, monitor the hashtags, and ‘like’ the photos directly to thank your posters.
5. Ask for Content – Everyone and their mother has a smartphone with a decent camera. Don’t be afraid to solicit photos for your Instagram from your co-workers, third-party providers, and customers. You never know who took a great shot of your product recently, and posting their material (and giving them credit) is a great way to build brand loyalty and connect to your community.