5 Tips for Small Businesses Using Instagram

Instagram is one of the top platforms businesses use for an online tool. I use it on a daily basis to promote my business, engage with my following and educate my primary audience.

Here are some tips to be mindful when using Instagram.

1. Use the Right Size

As a visual being, it sounds like a no-brainer to use the appropriate size when uploading a new image or graphic to my feed, however I see the incorrect size being used all the time. Not only are images cropped oddly on the profile page, but they are usually pixelated.

Tip: Instagram feed graphics should be 1080 pixels square, and 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels for Instagram stories. 

2. Use Targeted Hashtags

Hashtags should always align with the post content for relevant engagement. You will see little return on trendy hashtags for more likes, followers and/or comments. Limit yourself to 5-8 key hashtags that correspond with your content and include them with your posts. When you feel the need to incorporate hashtags within the caption, it's important to not get carried away.

Tip: Develop targeted hashtags that attract a genuine following and cultivate positive engagements.

3. Use Original Content 

Posting images pulled from Google or screenshots from stock imagery sites is not a professional way to communicate with your following. The primary concern is making sure that the creator of the graphic/image is credited or compensated. It's important to value the rights of an artist by not taking advantage of the easy accessibility of their work. We recommend accessing one of the many platforms out there to create professional graphics for promos or holidays, such as Canva. 

Tip: Create original graphics and credit artists when repurposing their content. If stock imagery is needed, be sure to pay for what you are using.  

4. Use High Quality Memes

This goes hand-in-hand with ensuring images are the correct size for the platform, as well as crediting the image creator. We recommend keeping memes in your Instagram story since they have their own distinct look that may negatively impact your brand tone on the profile page. If you feel the need to post a meme in your story, make sure it's relatable to your industry and speaks to your audience.

Tip: Maintain a cohesive look with your posts and keep low quality graphics hidden from your profile feed.

5. Use Categorized Highlights

Avoid dumping all highlights into a general reel. For example, if you are a photographer, it may be appropriate to create categories for different photoshoots you offer – weddings, engagement sessions, newborns, etc. We recommend creating a branded cover graphic for an added professional touch.

Tip: Keep highlights up-to-date and organized.

If you're on Instagram ensure your graphics are the correct size, hashtags are targeted, content is original, memes don't hinder the brand tone and highlights are tidy.

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