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When you own a small business you wear a lot of hats, and ‘social media manager’ may be one of them. In the daily grind of managing your staff, interacting with clients and dominating your to-do list, it’s easy to let your social media strategy slip to the bottom of the priority pile.
Here’s why you shouldn’t let it: more than a third of Internet users say they go to social networks to find information about a brand or product; 71% of consumers who’ve had a positive social media experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others; and 90% of marketers say social media has increased their brand exposure.*
Instagram is an effective way to get the community engaged with your small business, and a great place to focus your time and energy if your marketing resources are limited. Whether you’re in the early phases of building your brand online or struggling through a creative rut that has your Instagram hustle feeling more like a slog, we have you covered with a handful of tips that will make updating your grid a workday ritual that’s as easy and enjoyable as your morning coffee.
Check out accounts from influencers and other businesses in your industry -- from big brands to local companies -- and take notes on what you like about their social media style. Do they have great photos with interesting composition and good lighting? A consistent aesthetic with a specific theme or color scheme? Witty and/or relatable captions that make you feel connected to the brand? Round up a mental list of what makes you feel inspired in others’ feeds and use it to spark your own creativity on the ‘gram.
Just make sure your inspiration doesn’t turn into imitation; stay authentic and keep your posts fresh and original.
Crowdsource Fresh Content
Generating photo content is half the battle; don’t go it alone. Give your team a rundown of your Instagram goals and show them examples of the photography styles you’d like to emulate. Then set up a shared album on the company cloud where everyone can post photos straight from their iPhones, and you’ll have a library of grid-worthy images in no time.
Streamline Your Editing
There’s something so satisfying about an Instagram account with a cohesive filter style or color scheme. A Color Story is a great photo editing app that lets you build and save custom “recipes” with your favorite photo tweaks, color adjustments, effects and filters. It takes some practice and patience to get familiar with all the app’s functionalities, but once your recipes are set, you can apply them to your photos with a quick tap (and bulk-edit multiple photos at once to save even more time).
Plan Your Grid
Now that you have a stockpile of edited photos that are Instagram-ready, try a visual planner like Planoly to lay out your grid. You can bulk-upload images, move them around to find your perfect arrangement, draft captions and tags, and schedule posts. With a little planning and organization, you can have a month’s worth of fresh posts queued up and ready to roll.
Let Your Customers Do The Work
If you sell a product or service, your customers may already be creating great content for you! Include your Instagram handle in all your marketing, along with a friendly request for folks to tag you in any photos they share about their experiences with your business. Then share those personalized images on your grid and/or stories (the Repost app makes this a breeze). Highlighting your tagged content is a great way to build meaningful engagement and make your customers feel valued and connected to your brand.
*Source: Fundera Social Media Stats