As a business with humble Yorkshire roots, Plusnet has always supported small businesses by helping them get online and stay connected, and now by unlocking the value of the digital pound to help grow their business.
We found that 55% of people aged 23 – 38 only search for businesses through social media. So the power of a credible online profile has really never been more important!
With this guide, we’ll share some tips from experts on how to develop a social media strategy.
Read on and discover how to build your small business through social media for yourself - good luck!
Nick Silverwood, Plusnet Head of Business
How to set up a business Instagram
The first step to a successful Instagram strategy is getting your business set up on the platform. If you haven’t already got an account, here’s how you can get started in a matter of minutes.
1. Download the app
Instagram heavily favours mobile use, specifically on its iOS and Android app. You’ll probably do most of your posting using a smartphone or tablet, so head to the app store on your device and download the Instagram app.
2. Create an account
Launch the app and create an account. You can either sign up using your company email address or phone number, or you can log in with an existing Facebook account. This will transfer over relevant information and link the two accounts.
3. Switch to business profile
Once you’ve signed up, the account will default to a personal account. You’ll need to switch this to a business account by linking it to an existing Facebook business page (if you don’t have this you’ll need to create one). Head to the app setting and click “Switch to business profile” and follow the prompts.
4. Complete your profile
Now you can start filling out your business’ profile. Add a contact email, profile image, bio, and website link so you can start communicating with your customers on Instagram.
How to grow on Instagram
Martha Brook - founder of Martha Brook London, created a huge growth for her lust-worthy stationary brand on Instagram. In this guide she gives her top tips on getting the most out of the platform.
The fact that the human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than words rationalises why Instagram is just so popular. With two million active advertisers, twenty-five million businesses and three hundred million people using Instagram stories every day, you may ask how your own small brand can cut through the noise?
Martha is proof that a small brand can cultivate a large community as she has 31,100 followers [@MarthaBrookLDN] and her profile not only evokes empathy but also most importantly inspires action, i.e. sales!
If you want to improve your Instagram game, keep reading to discover Martha’s top tips to perfecting your feed and growing your audience!
1. Failing to plan is planning to fail
Having a plan is much easier than creating content on a whim, so it’s really important to set yourself a small amount of time within each week to focus on your social media efforts.
Check your Instagram analytics to discover the best time to post (when your followers are most active on Instagram) and only post when you feel it won’t compromise the quality of your content.
You can change your strategy based on the types of images that people are engaging with. So it’s fine to be flexible, but take note that the Instagram algorithm loves consistency.
The apps that Martha recommends that can help plan your posts are:
Although 75% of millennials search, share and shop after being inspired by an Instagram post, it’s important to not just post pictures of your products. It’s salesy and repetitive, so ensure you keep your business profile fresh with diverse content.
Take a look at Martha’s grid on Instagram to see how her account feels like an extension of her brand’s personality. Martha cleverly intersperses pictures of motivational quotes, her beautiful studio, behind the scenes with the team and of course - the product itself.
A third of most viewed Instagram Stories are from businesses and a fifth of stories on Instagram then result in a direct message.
The format presents a new surface for creativity, where you can take a photo or video, upload it to your profile, add stickers, hashtags, colourful drawings and it will be visible to your followers for just 24 hours.
Stories content is ephemeral which means it disappears and is the perfect medium to promote time sensitive content, such as a story to spotlight the Facebook Live interview with Martha, which you can watch in full here.
5. Don't be an island!
You can’t expect people to just find you on Instagram; you have to be proactive to get your profile visible in front of your ideal audience.
A very effective strategy to grow your following is to collaborate with other Instagrammers.
Make approaches to other businesses that synergise with your own brand values and explore cross promotional content ideas with them, such as competitions.
Even better if that brand that has a similar aesthetic to you and your business or has a product that complements yours, such as notebooks and pens or candles and chocolate!
Thanks for reading the Blueprint series of guides to social media. We hope you take some of the knowledge shared here and use it to help your own business reach new customers!