Here at Approach we love admiring the latest #Instafood snaps or the most recent interiors trends on our feeds but it’s important small businesses, just like us, know how to use it right.

With over 75 million daily users and an average monthly follower growth of 16%, Instagram is an ideal tool for businesses to share quick, visual insights. As with all social media platforms, it’s constantly changing so here are our top five tips for using Instagram as a small enterprise.

  1. Update regularly

‘Capture and share the world’s moments.’

According to Hootsuite, Instagram has a higher engagement rate for consumer businesses than both Facebook and Twitter. Accounts which post regularly will be more visible, creating a more prolific presence.

Post at least three times a week and consider using images of your products, services, behind-the-scenes activity and people to keep your feed interesting.  Would a series work for your audience? A visual Monday tip to help keep followers motivated or a Friday snap of the team’s nutritious breakfast could be weekly posts – you can determine the best time of day to post using tools such as Iconosquare.

  1. #Hashtag

Including hashtags in your posts makes them more searchable, allowing them to reach a much wider audience.

Using hashtags can also help with branding. Creating a unique hashtag (such as the recent #ArchivebyAlexa success by Marks and Spencer) helps people follow your journey and join in by posting relevant images themselves.

Although, there’s nothing more off-putting than trying to read a photo’s caption and being distracted by a ream of hashtags – keep it to three to five and ensure they’re relevant to the image you’re posting. Think, what would your audience search for and make sure you regularly explore your most-used hashtags to interact them, you never know where you’ll find your next customer!

  1. Be interactive

Get social – like or comment on other users’ posts to help build connections and relationships.

Ask questions to your followers, make posts personal and inspirational so customers feel connected to you.

Interacting is now more important than ever as Instagram is planning to change the way it displays feeds, showing posts in order of your interests and previous likes, rather than chronologically. Keep your posts interesting and engaging to ensure you’re top of the list.

  1. Connect Instagram to other social media platforms

Maximise your posts by connecting your Instagram account to your Facebook page and Twitter account. Images posted will be simultaneously shared across these platforms, allowing you to reach a wider audience and remind followers of your Instagram presence.

  1. Competitions

Instagram competitions can be a great way to gain engagement and build a relevant, interactive following.

Consider relevant competitions for your business – do you want to give a product away, do you want entrants to get creative and share their own snaps? Having a thorough plan in place will ensure the competition will coincide with your entire social media strategy.

Click here for full steps on how to create a successful Instagram competition.

*Extra Tip:

It is a proven fact that when a post’s dominant colour is blue it gets 24% more likes than others!