Like Twitter, Instagram doesn’t have a star rating system. But that doesn’t mean you can’t look like a star. Customers judge your social presence even if they don’t interact with your business at all. Customers research the businesses they want to buy from.
How to use your Instagram page to look like a 5-Star Business
To be a star on Instagram is actually quite simple. Follow people and attract followers.
On a business’s Instagram page there are three things that customers see right away. First, they see how full your page is with pictures. Next, they see the number of posts you’ve made in your lifetime. Finally, consumers see a few stats. These stats include how many followers you have and how many people follow you. Of course, there is also a link to your website.
Phydeaux & Friends is a star! Their Instagram page provides the type of impression that stores should strive for.
Their page has posts that are relevant to their industry and their store image. They’ve posted 340 times and attracted 1,381 followers while following 1,790 people. Their page also includes a link to their company website. It is easy to tell that this business is active and engaged with their customer base. They look like a star.
A positive first impression happens when you fill out those metrics. That is all you need to do to lay the foundation to be a star.
Instagram Ads for Small Businesses?
Advertising on Instagram is mostly done through Facebook. Facebook owns Instagram. There is a shared advertising platform called Facebook Ads Manager. It allows people to create and post ads to Facebook, Instagram or both. You may also convert your page into a business page and create ads directly through Instagram.
You can place a sponsored post that will show up in users’ news feeds and target specific geographic areas and demographics.
Instagram advertising is great for raising awareness about your business. You can target users in your local market to see Instagram ads when they use Instagram in your town.
There are a few different types of ad formats to choose from. The most popular are photo ads and video ads. These ads appear in the Instagram news feed. The Instagram “stories” section is also popular. You could choose to run ads that appear during these stories.
You may be under the false impression that adults don’t use Instagram. Think again, 35% of online adults use Instagram. Furthermore, 71% of U.S. Businesses are using Instagram and 2 million of them are advertising on the platform. Why are so many businesses advertising on Instagram? Because 73% of users take action after seeing an Instagram ad.
Social platforms like Instagram are great for raising awareness about your business. Consider advertising on Instagram if more awareness fits with your business goals.
Using Instagram for Customer Service
Instagram is not usually the first stop for people seeking customer service from a business on social media. But, all social media can be customer service tools.
Here are some tips to handle the customer service side of Instagram.
First, set up your email address in your Instagram bio. Make it visible. This will invite people to contact you via email instead of posting on your Instagram page.
Next, connect your direct message from Instagram to Facebook. Keeping up with direct messaging on two different platforms can be a nightmare. Connect the two platforms so you don’t miss a notification that you received a direct message from a customer. With both social platforms connected you’ll ensure you don’t miss a message.
Finally, when you do receive a complaint on Instagram. Take ownership. Don’t make excuses. Invite the consumer to take the conversation offline or into a private channel.
On Instagram, you don’t want to create long threads of back and forth in the comments underneath your photos. The platform is different from Facebook and Twitter. It doesn’t invite that type of conversation. It’s best to move the conversation offline.
How Small Business Owners can engage with their customers on Instagram
Engagement is a different story. Engage with your customers by liking their photos and responding to their comments. Remember to post often.
Engaging posts on Instagram are those that reflect a level of authenticity. When you post on Instagram it’s best to leave the stock photos at home.
Instagram is a glimpse into your life as a business. It is an opportunity to see behind the scenes of your business. A chance to learn about your customers, your employees and your mantra. Don’t be afraid to edit the photos you post to make them look sharp. However, avoid things that make it look like you’re trying too hard to paint an image of your store that isn’t true.
Consumers want to follow the real you on Instagram. When users choose to follow you on Instagram it’s because they want to know you better. Show them who you are and the engagement will follow.