Small business owners might not immediately think of Instagram as a way to increase traffic to their online shop, but with its 500 million monthly active users, Instagram is one of the most popular photo-sharing mobile networks worldwide. So it’s time you created an account and read our beginners guide to using Instagram for your small business to drive more traffic back to your PushCommerce online shop.

  1. Take quality photos

Don’t forget that Instagram is a photo-sharing application so pictures must be eye candy for your customers. It’s simple, the higher quality your image is, the more engagement  you’ll get. So you will absolutely need some high resolution photos of your products on your Instagram feed.

You can take several photos of one product, or even group several items together. Don’t hesitate to take several pictures with different backgrounds and various placements of your products to get the most of your items.

  1. Post pictures with hashtags

Once you’ve got some great pictures of your products, just go ahead and post them! Use hashtags that relate to your business, products or vision. An Instagram user can either search for users (via your handle for example, ours is @pushcommerce by the way if you want to say hi) or hashtags (#ecommerce). It might surprise you but users like to use hashtags on Instagram like a search engine (think of Google). To sum up: adding hashtags could be considered as referencing your products into the wonderful Instagram’s search engine system.

In addition, hashtags can also be campaign-specific. For example, if you have a seasonal campaign rolling on your Instagram feed, use that campaign’s hashtag consistently in your Insta promotion, it makes it easier for your customers to find your brand.

  1. Engage with your community

Getting traffic through Instagram is all about engaging with your customers whenever they comment or like you. One simple trick to stay on top of your Instagram community is to get alerts set up on your phone.

  1. Quality Over Quantity

 Want to raise engagement and rocket the number of your followers?

Here is the thing…Instagram is about quality, not quantity.

Last year, HubSpot released their annual Social Media Benchmarks Report that revealed a lot about businesses’ social practices and the effectiveness of those practices. And results clearly show that if you create qualitative and unique content on a regular basis that might make people think, laugh and give them inspiration, they will give you some love back. In short, educate and inspire your readership – in turn they will engage with your brand.

  1. Posting Time

Timing is key to insta-appreciation.

Sometimes, the greatest post doesn’t get the attention it should have…And that can be frustrating. In fact, your posts will get better engagement if you post when people are not busy working, or partying on Friday night (#friYAY). For example, you will get more noticed around 8 am to 9.30 am max at the latest because people are commuting to work.

After 9.30 am, your followers will get super busy at work for the next 2 hours so it might not be the best moment for you to post on Instagram. Don’t worry if you miss out on the morning target, you can still post at lunchtime and afterwork  when people are commuting home.

  1. Include Video Content

Get creative with your Instagram feed. There are tons of ways to create unique videos that relate to your brand or business life for absolutely nothing money-wise. For example, you can use Instagram’s Boomerang mobile app to create a short GIF or record short interviews. Don’t forget your video shouldn’t exceed more than 30 seconds.

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