How to Use Instagram to Expand Business Reach

Are you using Instagram to connect with potential customers? If not, now is the time.

With over 1 billion active monthly users, Instagram can no longer be overlooked.

Sure, Facebook is still the most popular social network, but let’s face it… fatigue has set in for many businesses.

Between the perceived decline of organic reach and frustration over a “pay to play” model, many are looking for an alternative.

So, why not put the power of Instagram – a mighty visual network – to work for your business?

Let me show you how!

Below you’ll find six ways to get your business started on Instagram!

  1. Get Active

While you might have thought it’s just the tween or even teen demographics using Instagram, you’d be mistaken.

Businesses are dipping their toes in the water every day only to find massive success.

But before you get started, understand that Instagram is a commitment just like any other. When you don’t show up, your audience takes notice. If you want to build awareness and a solid following, commit to being there consistently.

Create a schedule that easily integrates into your current social media strategy. Set a time each day to post your content and then additional times to come back and engage with your community.

Just as with any social network, it doesn’t do you any good to post and run.

Take a look at Jenn Herman to see someone that uses Instagram as a platform to educate, engage and inspire a thriving community.

View this post on Instagram

Have you seen the new feature to share Stories?! It’s a NEW Instagram feature that just started rolling a few days ago. When someone mentions you in their Story, you get a notification. Right above their Story in your notifications, it’ll say “Share to your Story”. Tap on that and you can immediately share their post to your Story! You can also add text, stickers, filters, etc. before you post it to your Story. Why is this relevant? Besides being fun, at least 😉 As a brand, this is a great way to encourage your audience to post about your product or service and you can reward them with a shout out in your Stories. If you have a physical location or host events where people post about you, you now have lots of ways to display your business! User generated content (UGC) for the win! Oh, and there have been a number of other IG features released in recent weeks. Join me LIVE on Wednesday at 7:30 pm ET where I’ll run down all the new features. #jennstrends #learnfromjenn #instagrammarketing #instagramexpert #instagramforbusiness #instagramstrategy #instagramnews #instagramtraining #instagramupdate #regram #socialmediamarketing #onlinemarketing #buildyourbrand #entrepreneur #smallbusiness #smallbusinessmarketing

A post shared by Jenn Herman📱Instagram Expert (@jenns_trends) on

  2. Share the Instagram Love

There’s no sense in getting active on a social network if no one knows about it.

Add your website to your Instagram profile and share the fact that you’re now on Instagram.

Your friends, fans and followers on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Google Plus need to know about your Instagram profile.

Don’t live in a social media silo. Cross-pollination between social media networks is a smart way to grow your following and improve brand loyalty.

What do I mean by this? Use your other social networks to share what’s happening on Instagram.

Here’s how you can do this:

  • Add social icons to your website and blog and create a call to action to follow and connect with you on Instagram.
  • Post your Instagram photo to Facebook. This creates a link back to your Instagram account, so anyone can click through.
  • Post your latest image to Twitter and let your followers know where they can connect with you on Instagram.

You can also use apps like IFTTT or Zapier to create recipes or zaps that automatically tweet your latest Instagram post. Easy way to stay top of mind and in the feed of your followers.

  3. Give a Sneak Peek into Your Company

Whether it’s a look at your office, the city you work in or a behind-the-scenes pic of your team, use Instagram to give a sneak peek in to your business.

Everyone loves to be a fly on the wall, especially when it comes to social media.

Give your followers an inside look at what and who makes your business tick.

It’s a perfect way to create a more intimate relationship between you, your followers and your business.

What to Share:

  • Local events
  • Neighborhood or community meetings
  • Charity work
  • Historical timeline of your business
  • Pictures of your staff
  • Your love of the city you work in
  • Products
  • Services
  • Speaking engagements
  • Book launch

And the list goes on and on.

Someone who gets how to market a local business on Instagram is Nair and Bjorn.

I found this local jeweler on Twitter several years ago and instantly connected because of our love of rescue pets.

  4. Give a Unique Perspective

Instagram is a great place to highlight what makes your business special.

It’s also an excellent way to humanize your company.

Whether you’re taking a picture of your latest creation or sharing an upcoming event, choose eye-catching images.

Stay away from typical shots or standard stock photos. Instead, capture a unique aspect or feature.

Consumers want a sneak peek into your world. Give them insight into the factors that set your business apart.

Debra Trappen with D11 Consulting shares her unique perspective in every Instagram post.

Whether it’s an inspirational quote or an upcoming episode of BreveTV, getting to know Debra is as easy as perusing her over 2300 photos. (yep – that’s an impressive amount of posts!)

  5. Get Found

As you share images, make sure to geotag them.

This feature allows you to tag your image location and share the specific site where the photo was taken.

This takes your followers beyond your latest pictures and show them the exact location of the photos you share.

This is an excellent way to create relevance within a community and build credibility as the go-to business within that area.

California Donuts (a local donut shop I wish I didn’t follow on certain days) offers tasty pics and an easy way to find them with geotagged photos.

  6. Create Vibrant Videos

Instagram video is a distinctive way to showcase your business. Your video can be anywhere from 3 to 60 seconds long and include anything from your latest listing to a local event.

Calgary Real Estate is using video to take followers on a journey inside their listings, allowing followers to see homes before they actually schedule a visit.

When done right, video can be extremely effective in helping move potential buyers through the marketing funnel and connecting consumers to your business.

Final Thoughts

When marketing your business with Instagram, you’re only limited by your imagination.

What’s one way you can start using Instagram in your business today?

Originally written by Rebekah Radice and posted on Maximize Social Business How to Get Your Business Started on Instagram.

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Full disclosure: Links on this page may be affiliate links which means that if you decide to buy, I will earn a commission. 3 things you need to know: I only recommend products I use within my own business, am extremely happy with, and can confidently promote.

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