Hello, so you are a small business owner who needs help with Instagram? I believe that you should not outsource this to a local marketing company, and instead run it yourself. This guide will help you understand Instagram better. I ran this guide as a workshop event in the UK and decided to upload it to help more small businesses.
What is Instagram?
Instagram launched in 2010, and has been growing in audience numbers each year. It is good to know what type of people use Instagram so here is your first statistic.
Target Market...Who are they?
When I work with a new client, I always ask them to think about their target market. Who is your audience? You will hear the term target market a lot. All it really means is who is going to buy from you. There are FOUR key questions you can ask yourself about your business to define who your target market is:
What age is your average customer?
What sex are they?
What interests do they have?
Where do they live?
Once you have worked this out, you will have a simple understanding of who your target market is and how you can find them on Instagram. There is a number of other questions you can ask yourself but this will give you a simple starting point. This is going to come in usual later.
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. I get thousands of questions asking how small businesses can get more followers. I always return and say, "Why does it matter?"
There are a number of services you can use to buy Instagram followers. It is very simple. I would HIGHLY recommend NOT to do this. It is stupid and just a vanity project.
Instead of focusing on the number of followers, you should be focusing on the quality of followers. Who is following you? Can you help convert them to sales? That is the focus, not the number. Your profile will grow with time.
Hashtags are a great way of growing an audience on Instagram. You can use up to 30 per post, but the recommended amount is 11. This is a industry "Golden Number" of hashtags you should use with each post.
I have included a hashtag planning sheet in my workbook, which helps small businesses with social media including Instagram.
Engagement is a scary jargon-y word. It can be broken down in a really simple way: Engagement is when someone likes, shares or comments on your post. It is really simple.
Now that you know the key terms, check out this video on how I went from ZERO followers to 100 followers in only 2 days.
Please check back later for Part 2.
Running a small tourism business is tough. I have worked with a range of different tourism businesses across Europe, from hotels and bed and breakfasts to kayak providers and whale watching tours.
I have created some top tips for small tourism businesses on how they can do better on social media.
1. Instagram is your new friend. Instagram is create for tourism businesses to show off their unique service. A new number of visitors search by location on Instagram and if your business keeps popping up in a specific location, tourists might be more inclined to book with you.
2. Use hashtags for your location. If you are in the Cotswolds, search for different hashtags in the area which tourists might be searching for.
3. Focus on what makes your business unique. Let’s take a whale watching tour in Scotland. You will want to show off what is unique about your business. Is it the closeness you get to whales? Is it the story selling experience whilst on board? I would focus your social media on showing off what previous customers have seen. High quality images and videos of whales. Give the audience what they want.
4. A large part of the tourism industry is about being friendly. How can you show off your personality through social media?
5. Do not overlook Facebook. Every local tourism organisation has its own Facebook page for example, Visit Scotland, Visit Cotswolds, Visit Peak District etc etc. Why not reach out to them (via Facebook) and ask them to share your posts. This is a great way of building a Facebook audience for FREE. These tourism organisations usually have a large audience and so use this.
For more tips, check out my Social Media Workbook which is specifically for small business owners, including tourism businesses. It is only £20.
This is one of my favourite holidays. Pancakes all round. Here I am giving some tips for small businesses on social media around Pancake Day.
Now I know what you are thinking, if you do not sell pancakes, how can you benefit from Pancake Day?
1. Let me start with a simple one. You can use a hashtag like #NationalPancakeDay on Twitter. There are a range of hashtags you can on Instagram including:
#pancakeday #pancakes #nationalpancakeday #shrovetuesday
This will be a hashtag millions of people will be using which is potential exposure for your small business.
2. Regardless of which type of business you are, you can wish your audience a Happy Pancake Day. Create your post and pancakes or there are thousands of stock images online.
3. Do something different for Pancake Day. Yes on the day you are supposed to eat pancakes. Are you a small Bed and Breakfast? Perhaps you offer pancakes on Pancake Day as a breakfast option on the day.
4. Offer a Pancake Day discount code. Do you want to drive traffic to your online store? Why not offer a discount code (perhaps GIVEMEPANCAKES) to get customers to celebrate with you.
If you want more social media tips for small businesses, check out my workbook. No monthly fees or jargon. It just helps small businesses with social media.