Instagram 101: A Beginner’s Guide For Small Businesses in 2020
Answering your burning questions about social media
1.What you need to know about Influencer marketing
Q: What are some examples of how to work with influencers on Instagram?
A: Start asking some loyal customers who know people in the community if they’d be okay with posting about the product or service on social media in exchange for a minor discount or a free visit. Maybe don’t offer any incentive at all, just ask.
- For businesses that have little budget or resources for marketing, use social media to engage with local users that have more than 1000 followers. Build a relationship which could potentially lead to a partner for promotion. Businesses can partner with influencers to drive sales or simply get their name out there.
- If you’re already seeing results from referrals, develop an affiliate model that incentivizes customers to refer more people they know.
Q: How do you find the right influencers to work with?
A: Businesses should look for someone who has a connection with the audience that they are looking to reach. This may include a demographic or psychographic match with an audience that business would like to get in front of. A healthy engagement rate should always be considered before working with an influencer. Be aware of their own brand image, what type of content or language they typically use, how they are perceived and if any of that could be harmful to the business.
Q: How can you track that influencer marketing is actually working for your business?
A: To track sales and your return on investment, use unique discount codes or ask how new customers found your business at point of purchase. If you’re confirming by asking, this might require a simple spreadsheet or note to keep tally. If businesses are just looking to develop more awareness, consideration or foot traffic, leverage influencers to help grow your social media followers and track the resulting overlap.
Q: How much can working with an influencer cost?
A: This all depends on the businesses objective from that influencer partnership or campaign. For businesses that do have a budget, consider how you can get more from that budget by using it to give discounts to the influencer and even the customers they refer to you. It doesn’t affect cash flow as much this way but if you can afford to pay influencers directly and offer a deal for first time customers they refer, this will allow for a more complete strategy. Businesses that are interested in the strategy but haven’t started should first develop a digital presence with a website and Instagram page.
2.How social media can boost sales
Q: How can the use of social media help generate sales?
A: Social media connects people with their interests and the people they trust. Followers typically trust the people or businesses and organizations they follow and in business, it’s all about building trust with new or existing customers. Plus social media channels help find new customers at the same time because people spend more time here regularly compared to anywhere else on earth. Instagram has had more than 1 billion monthly active users since June 2018.
Q: Do more followers on Instagram mean more sales?
A: Followers don’t mean sales. Many businesses will actually value what a follower means to them differently. In many cases a follower will mean awareness and potentially consideration – a sign that another prospective customer is in your funnel. But often times followers can be customers or they’ll turn into one and the more you have, the more you can market to without spending a dime.
3.How to increase engagement on social media in 2020
Q: What can I do to get more engagement?
A: Start communicating more with the followers you do have. Engage with them if you don’t know who they are – let them feel known and appreciated. That, in itself, will help you develop a stronger benchmark since more of your followers will regularly see and engage with your content.
To expand your audience and attract engagement from new social media users, make sure you understand what hashtags you should be using.
Also be sure to monitor similar businesses that are getting great engagement to learn from their captions or content. Always ask questions or prompt certain types of engagement from your audience with posts they’ll find interesting.
In person experiences, events or activations will always help boost engagement too.
Q: How do I gain more followers?
A: Anyone who wants more followers, needs to be committed to creating and posting consistently – or have someone who can do that for them. If you’ve got this down and you still aren’t getting the results you’re looking for, first ask yourself why you want to gain more followers. Then analyze accounts in your industry that have grown and research the type of content, captions and creative style they’ve used.
For those who have grown an audience of 1000 or more and want to continue growing, consider the following 3 tactics:
- Boost engagement: calls to action or creative prompts on your website or in store
- Influencer marketing: an ambassador program with customers on social
- Advertising: using online ads or paying an expert Facebook marketer
Q: Is social media right for every type of business?
A: No, it’s not right for all businesses. The social media platform businesses choose can also differ a lot depending on the ideal customer. Social media is not a need for every business owner but I will say this, if your customers are thinking about social media and they probably are, then so should you. Often times followers can be customers or they may turn into one eventually. The more followers you have, the more you can market to without spending a dime.
Learn more about how you can start with Trufan. Trufan is an easy-to-use tool for businesses that want to develop influencer marketing strategies, build their community, and foster direct relationships with social media audiences.