With more social media platforms than you can count on both hands, it's easy to focus on just one or two—especially when you own a small home business. If Instagram isn't one of those, you may be missing out. With Facebook's complex algorithms that prevent all your followers from seeing your posts, Instagram has a higher level of engagement, meaning your posts will reach more viewers. But it shouldn't take up all your time—here are four quick ways to promote a home business on Instagram.
Share a Range of Photos that Capture Your Brand
Instagram photos don't have to be elaborately planned photo shoots—it's usually the quick cell phone snaps that get a lot of engagement. Focus on sharing images that capture your brand. They can be shots of your product or before and afters of your service, but don't forget about behind the scenes as well. The coffee that powers your work morning, a new shipment of supplies, a glimpse of your desk—these are all viable options as well. You can also share other posts and ideas that may not be directly related to your business, but still captures the same essence as your brand.
It's just as important to understand the don'ts, though. You'll be prompted to add your photo to the map—if you work from home, you're not going to want to advertise your home address. And since the images are public, it's a good idea not to include photos of your kids on your business page.
Make It a Conversation
Stop thinking about social media as marketing and start thinking about it as social. Keep your posts casual, using words and phrases you would find in everyday conversation. You can share sales and coupon codes too, but you should also be focused just on interacting with potential customers. These casual connections will help followers to earn your trust, and then you'll be marketing to them without that bash-me-over-the-head-with-it feeling.
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, likes and comments don't decrease if you post too many times in one day. But, when the number of posts drop off, so do the number of followers. Pick a number of posts that fits easily into your work-at-home schedule and stick to it. If you only have time to post once a week, that's fine -- just keep it consistent.
Find More Followers by Engaging and Using Hashtags
Of course, all that effort doesn't do much unless people are actually seeing your posts. An easy (and perhaps the best way) to increase your number of followers is simply to follow other people and engage with them by liking and commenting on their posts. Search for people through hashtags, or see who follows your competitors.
Make sure to use hashtags on your own posts as well, since these tags lead new followers to you when they're looking for posts on a certain subject. Use Webstagram for help choosing the right hashtag—type a word into the search bar and they'll list the most popular hashtags. The higher the number of related posts, the more people will see your post using that hashtag.
Instagram can offer potential followers a visual glimpse into your business. Used properly, it can be a great tool, even for small home-based businesses.