Roughly one billion people use Instagram every month, making it one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. But in an age of fast-paced trends, ten-second videos, and virtual realities, it can be hard to see where tangible works of art can fit in.
Your art has the potential to disrupt the noise of social media and connect with people in unique ways. ACT Insurance has gathered their top 10 tips for small business creatives to reach new customers and grow their presence on Instagram.
1. Set Up A Business Account
Before you can start conquering the Instagram algorithm, you will need to make sure you are set up with a business account. This helps you have access to certain insights and analytics a normal account would not offer, as well as access to the paid ads feature.
Once your account is set up, you will want to make sure your name matches your business name. You can set your profile photo as your logo to make your page more recognizable. Be sure to have relevant information in your bio. Specify what you do, add some branded hashtags, put your location, and be sure to have a link to your website.
2. Build A Content Calendar
One of the trickiest parts of running a social media page for your business is figuring out what to post. Start by brainstorming a list of ideas, like tutorials, sneak peeks, product photos, quotes relevant to your brand, photos of you at events, customer reviews, and more. You will then want to organize your content ideas into a calendar.
Having a schedule helps you know what content you need to prepare for your upcoming posts. Try mixing up the types of posts you are doing. Do a video one day, a product photo the next, then a quote, and so on. This helps break up your content to keep your audience engaged. You can have fun with your feed by designing a personal brand—like making a pattern with colors or content type to give your page a unique feel.
3. Research Hashtags
Having relevant hashtags in your posts is key to getting recognized by new customers. You know your target audience best, so you know what other interests they may have that could lead them to see your posts. Capitalize on those categories through hashtags.
To help you tag your posts quicker, you can keep a list of relevant hashtags on hand. These tags can be for daily post types, like #StudioSunday or #FeatureFriday; community based tags, like #CreativesOfInstagram or #NationalArtistsSociety; and tags for specific events you are attending. You can make your hashtags a focal point in your caption, or hide them in the comments section.
4.Use A Scheduling Tool
Running your Instagram page can take a lot of work. You may not be able to set aside time every day to post—after all, your main focus is going to be on creating your products. This is where a scheduling tool, like Hootsuite or Planoly, can come in handy. We recommend using Later for all of the features offered and ease of use.
Take some time every few weeks to plan out an upcoming series of content, spanning as far in advance as you can manage. Once you have your images and captions ready, upload them into these platforms and schedule them to be automatically posted for you. Look at your page’s analytics to see what time your followers are most likely to be online. This will be the most ideal time to post so you can maximize your engagement.
5. Create Video Content With Reels
In a recent announcement, Instagram said the platform would be shifting to becoming a video platform. What does this mean for you? Now is the time to get into creating video content for your page. Reels, Stories, in-feed videos, IGTV, and Live videos should be a huge area of focus for you.
Reels is the newest, and arguably the most popular, video content on Instagram. You can create a Reel directly in the app, or shoot, edit, and upload in another platform and upload the finished product to Reels. You can turn an old Story you save into a Reel, demonstrate a tutorial, film a timelapse of you creating a piece, and more.
6. Add Alt Tags To Posts
Something often overlooked when uploading a post is the alt text. This is a small descriptive paragraph that explains what the photo is so reading devices can recite it to the visually imparied. Not only does this help your posts be more accessible, Instagram reads this information to make them more searchable.
You can also make your posts more discoverable by adding the location of the photo. If someone searches a specific location, your post can appear in the list of tagged images, broadening your reach.
7. Go Live With Other Creatives
Do you have any friends or acquaintances who are creatives? Plan to go Live together on Instagram. By going Live with other creatives, you can reach a broader audience and tap into their followers as potential customers. This is a great opportunity to host a virtual class or tutorial, and share some of your products.
You can promote your Live in the days leading up to it with a post on your page and daily posts on your Stories. You can even add a countdown sticker to your Stories where users can “subscribe” to it and be notified when the countdown ends. After the Live, you can save it to your page as an IGTV post so others can watch it later on. Plan to go Live based on when your analytics tell you most of your followers are active to reach the most users possible.
8. Make Interactive Stories
One of the best ways to connect with your followers daily is to post on Instagram Stories. It can be hard to come up with perfectly curated daily posts or feel like you are always trying to sell to your followers. Stories allow you to take a more personal and relatable approach to your content.
Give viewers a behind the scenes look into your everyday life as an artist. Try using some of the interactive stickers, like polls or submission boxes, to better interact with viewers. If you ever highlight a unique event or experience, or do a series of Q&A’s in your Stories, you can keep this content on your page with Highlights.
9. Start Conversations On Posts
Getting comments on a post is a good indicator that your followers like your content. It also helps to push your post out to more users. By engaging with the comments on your post, you are fostering valuable relationships with your followers and inviting new users to participate and follow your page.
To help increase your engagement with comments, you can try asking questions in your captions, or share a compelling story that invites readers to chime in. Do your best to reply to comments, even the negative ones. This shows you care about your followers and your business. If you don’t get many comments, you can try commenting on other artist’s posts or your follower’s posts.
10. Promote Your Work
It can sometimes be frustrating to grow your Instagram following organically. It is not always easy to get sales on social media. If you feel like you need some help getting your content seen, you can try boosting your posts or buying ad space on Instagram.
Advertising on Instagram allows you to pick your budget, timeline, placement, content, audience, and more. You can boost an existing post for a small fee you choose to get onto new users' newsfeeds. You might want to build an ad for your website that pops up in Stories. You can even utilize the shopping feature on posts so viewers can buy directly from a post. Don’t be afraid to give your content a little extra boost to get discovered.
Protect Yourself When Selling Online
Trying to manage a social media presence for your business is a lot of work—it can be easy to overlook the risks that come with online selling. Afterall, your main focus should be on running your business and not on insurance claims. With ACT Insurance, you can be confident in your coverage and continue doing what you love, worry-free.
We hope these 10 tips help you grow your business on Instagram. Do you have a tip or trick for running your social media? Share it with us in the comments below!