Instagram Marketing for Small Business

how to use instagram for business

Out of all of the newer social networks, Instagram does a lot to set itself apart. With over 500 million monthly active users, Instagram is the fourth-most downloaded app in the US. Since Instagram marketing is still fairly new, some small businesses struggle to gain traction. You don’t have clickable links in your posts, it’s a mobile-first app, which relies a lot more on visuals than text. As a result, we’re seeing a lot of small businesses sign up, get confused about how to actually use it and then give up.

Visuals are the main currency of Instagram. If you are concerned that you do not have something visually compelling to share, think about opportunities to snap photos with your phone and upload directly to your Instagram for business page, such as office premises, community events, celebrations and customers using your product or service.
So how do you cross over from being just another company on the app to achieving the level of success companies like Bon Puf, Simple Green Smoothies?

Here are 12 strategies and tips on how to get the most out of Instagram for small business and build a loyal following:

1. Set Up the Right Way
It’s a good idea to connect your company’s social accounts. This is particularly true if you already have social media profiles with a strong following. You can push your followers on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and other sites to your new Instagram account.
Instagram lets you connect your other profiles so that your new posts can get published to those accounts automatically.
Don’t forget to add your website and write a bio for your profile that explains what your company is all about without being boring.
Another good way to use your bio is to add in additional contact information. By default you can only have one clickable URL in your profile. But what you can do to get around that is include URLs in your bio.

2. Start Using Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories have been a controversial feature to say the least. In case you haven’t heard, Instagram Stories lets you string together multiple pictures and videos into a “story” that disappears after 24 hours, similar to Snapchat stories.
Small businesses have been slow to use Instagram Stories while they try to figure out how to best weave the feature into their own strategies. But there’s a lot of potential you shouldn’t pass up. Like with any big change, the companies that adopt and figure it out first tend to reap the biggest benefits.

3. Monitor What’s Working
Are you paying attention to which Instagram posts get the most engagement? Do you know which hashtags perform the best? Using Instagram reporting tools can help you see all of this information from a single dashboard and track it over time.

By looking through data, you’ll get an idea of what type of content resonates with your audience the best. Whether it’s a certain style of photo, a particular filter or a popular hashtag. The more info you have about the content your audience resonates with, the more you can improve your future posts.

4. Dive Into Your Comments
Do you publish Instagram posts and never look at them again? You’re not alone. A lot of small businesses spend little to no time monitoring their comments, partially because it’s not the easiest thing to do within the Instagram app. It’s also difficult because most brands look for publishing and not Instagram engagement.

5. Use Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is one of the best ways to quickly build up your Instagram following, particularly when you’re starting from scratch. Through influencer marketing, you can connect with people with an established following and get exposed to their audience.
In the past (pre-social media) influencer marketing required huge budgets to get athletes and actors to endorse your products. But social media has changed the game. Now non-celebs can be influencers and have hundreds of thousands or even millions of engaged followers. Not only has this made it easier for brands to connect with influencers, but it also made influencer marketing a lot more affordable.
You may not be able to afford to have a Hollywood A-lister post about your products on Instagram. But you can probably link up with a popular Instagram influencer with a nice-sized following.

6. Become an expert with Hashtags
Instagram’s search feature looks for hashtags instead of keywords. On platforms like Twitter or Facebook, you can do a search for “hamburgers” and see all the Tweets and Facebook posts containing that keyword. But with Instagram, you have to search #hamburgers.
If you want your posts to show up in the app’s search, you need to start using hashtags for Instagram. It’s a quick way to increase your visibility and reach people who aren’t already aware of your brand.
The trick is to use the right hashtags. A common mistake some businesses make is using random hashtags they made up. Unfortunately, nobody is searching for those random hashtags so they’re not helping you grow your following.
The real value comes from finding ways to post pictures related to popular or trending hashtags. When you do this, your images have a chance to show up in the Trending Tags section of Instagram.

What’s trending at the moment might not always be relevant to your business or the images you post though. In those cases, you can use Websta to see a huge list of popular hashtags that might not be trending, but are still being used heavily. Websta will show you more generic and broad hashtags that are easier to fit into your non-themed Instagram posts.
Something unique to Instagram that you don’t see on many other social networks is using a lot of hashtags can actually get your images more likes. On Twitter, having 10 hashtags in a Tweet would be crazy. But on Instagram it’s pretty much the norm.

7. Create More Videos
I’m sure we don’t have to tell you about how important video has become for small businesses. Even though photos currently generate more engagement, video is on the rise. Instead of waiting for other brands to dominate while you play catchup, get started right now.
With Instagram Stories and live videos, the app is making a clear push toward video content. The great thing about using Instagram videos is they don’t require a ton of production. All you really need is your phone and some creativity. Plus the videos are served in bite-size pieces with a time limit of one minute.

8. Start Regramming
Sharing other people’s content is one of the best ways to start building connections. When you’re just getting started with using Instagram for small business, building up your initial audience should be your top priority. You need to start getting eyes on your profile to get some initial shares and engagement.
Regramming is a quick and easy way to start getting some momentum. Unlike other networks, Instagram doesn’t have a native way to share other people’s content. You can either Like or comment. But there are third party apps that give you the ability to regram.

9. Capitalize on Instagram Ads
One of the biggest obstacles that stops small businesses from trying social media advertising is costs. When you don’t have a big budget, it’s a little more difficult to justify spending money on advertising. But Instagram Ads present a great opportunity for small businesses because it’s extremely affordable.
Getting started is simple, particularly if you already have a Facebook Advertising account because it’s built into the same platform. However, we recommend creating custom image assets specifically for Instagram Ads instead of reusing the same ones you would for Facebook because of how it’s displayed in the feed.

10. Host An Instagram Contest
There’s no denying the fact that people absolutely love free stuff. Instagram contests give your company an interesting way to engage with current and potential fans.
There are certain elements that you’ll want to include in your contest to maximize your results:
• Make a theme for your contest instead of the generic “follow us to win a free product” approach.
• Create a custom hashtag for your contest.
• Make people tag a friend and comment to enter the contest. This will help your contest spread a lot quicker.
• Start promoting the contest at least a week before it starts to build anticipation.
• Consider collaborating with other companies or influencers to get even more reach.

To execute a law-abiding Instagram contest you should do the following:
• Set your goal(s) for the contest.
• Determine your key metrics.
• Choose the hashtag you’ll be using. This is required so you can track users. The Instagram promotion guidelines state, “You must not inaccurately tag content or encourage users to inaccurately tag content (ex: don’t encourage people to tag themselves in photos if they aren’t in the photo).”
• Choose a selection method for winners.
• Set up the rules, terms and conditions. And make sure your users follow them to the T.
• Launch and promote the contest. Figure out how you’ll support the contest (other social networks, a news release and/or advertising).
• Notify winners and follow up with everyone else.

Since the goal is to get loyal followers, whatever you’re giving away should be somewhat related to your industry. That way you’re not just attracting freebie seekers, but people that are legitimately interested in your brand.

11. Collaborate
One of the quickest ways to get a surge of new followers is to get a shout out or mention from someone that already has a large following. The great thing about Instagram is that a lot of popular accounts aren’t owned by huge corporations. They’re owned by regular people and lifestyle entrepreneurs who have done a lot of the leg work to build their own audience already.
When these people give a brand a shout out, their followers instantly go to check out the account and will more than likely give you a follow.

With this strategy, the first part is already taken care of. If a user is following one of your competitors, they’re more than likely already interested in your industry. That makes it easier to win them over and get them to follow you too. From that point, it’s all about keeping them engaged through the content you post.

Make a list of your top competitors who are active on Instagram. You may want to put them all into a spreadsheet to make it easier to track. Start with the first competitor and follow about 50-100 of their followers. This step alone will get you a few new followers. But we’re not just after followers, we want engaged followers who will help spread the word about our brand. In order to attract those users, you’ll need to communicate with them. On Instagram, there are three basic ways to engage with people:
1. Follow them
2. Like their photos
3. Comment on their photos
4. You’ve already followed them, so now you just have to like some of their photos, comment or both. This will increase the likelihood of people following you back, and also reciprocating your engagement. The more you engage with your audience, the bigger your return will be.

12.  Get Familiar With Instagram for Business
Check out Instagram’s own blog for businesses to get started. Here you will find valuable tips and tricks as well as announcements about updates or new features that you could be incorporating into your posts.

Are You on Instagram Yet?
Growing a dedicated following on Instagram won’t happen overnight. But the bright side is that Instagram users are very active and love to engage. So once you get the ball rolling, you’ll notice that your brand will start to build organically. Start putting these techniques into action and you’ll see how powerful Instagram can be for your business.

Have you set up a Creative Facebook Cover Video

Since May 2017, Users have had the option to turn their cover photo into a cover video. Facebook is focussing on video content, since this is the way that people today prefer to consume content. Videos immediately get attention and your cover photo can help represent your brand and portray your story in just a few seconds.

Users can upload a cover video in the same way they upload a cover photo now. Facebook requires that cover videos dimensions are at least 820 x 312 pixels, while the recommended size is 820 x 462 pixels. Cover videos can be anywhere from 20-90 seconds long and can loop in any way you want. Cover videos preset to have the sound muted, so if a user wishes to hear the video they must manually turn the sound on.

Uploading a video as your Facebook cover image is as simple as uploading a new photo. Hover your mouse over the cover image on your Facebook page and you’ll see a camera icon pop up. Click the Change Cover icon and upload your video.

Do not have resources to shoot a video?

No problem. Just put together a series of images of size 820 x 312 pixels that tell your story. Import into Windows movie maker. Add any animations you desire, edit the duration of each image, and then save as video. It is as easy as that.

Check out our cover view at



The Secret Power of Facebook Audience Targeting for Ads

Reaching users has not been free for businesses on Facebook since couple of years.
Users began to complain that their News Feeds were becoming clogged up with promotional content and Facebook listened. Over the past few years Facebook has reduced the number of people who actually see a post, even if they are fans of your page.

Facebook was not quite altruistic in changing the Feeds. It saw a way to make money for itself. Since recently, because of updates to Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm, ordinary users will see less promotional content on their news feeds. In fact, only 8 percent of people who “like” your page will see a post. To reach your marketing objectives with Facebook, you need to spend on advertizing.

There are multiple ways to advertise on Facebook, including the simplest way, boosting posts. What makes advertising on Facebook are the targeting options. Two powerful features are ‘Lookalike Audience’ and `audience categories’.

Lookalike Audience

A Lookalike Audience is a way to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business because they’re similar to your best existing customers. You can create a Lookalike Audience based on a data partner, your pixel data, your mobile app data or fans of your Page.
Using power of targeting in Facebook and Google Ads, a media agency helped anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) win 12.6% of the votes in recent German elections. The agency created Lookalike Audiences based on fans of AfD Facebook page. Then it paid for specific ads based on multiple groups from the lookalike audience, such as mothers. All this is quite legitimate and was done after meeting Facebook executives.

Audience categories
`Audience categories’ are based on user provided data such as the names of their employers, schools, job titles and fields of study. Facebook algorithm crawls users’ profiles, identified patterns in the data and created new audience segments based on that information.
Since it is an algorithm, it cannot make meaning out of the data or patterns. In a study, ProPublica reported that Facebook had approved ads targeted using audience categories that included “Jew hater,” “Hitler did nothing wrong” and “how to burn jews.” Sufficient number of people had typed “NaziParty” as their employer or “Jew hater” as their educational field of study on their Facebook profiles that the computer decided that these people warranted their own grouping.
Unfortunately, Facebook was not even aware that ads targeted using audience categories that included “Jew hater,” “Hitler did nothing wrong” and “how to burn jews” were approved.

After this report, Facebook has removed the ability for advertisers to target based on users’ input for four free-form text fields that were identified to be problematic: education, employment, field of study and job title.

In a related development, Facebook is facing its greatest crisis over revelations that Facebook ads were used to meddle in US elections. The Ads were bought by people with false identities and links to Kremlin.

Facebook Marketing can be used to make history. It can also win you customers.

Is your SEO Agency Helping or Harming your Website

Is your SEO Agency Helping or Harming your Website?

You may be surprised to hear this : your SEO agency can actually be hurting your website.  We have been contacted by many businesses who have invested lot of time and money, and then realize that something is going wrong. They notice that their website rankings have dropped steadily or are fluctuating wildly, or their organic traffic has been on a decline, or even worse, they do not know what their organic traffic is. SEO can be quite technical and many business owners get short changed by an SEO agency which initially had promised the moon.


What are the signs that your SEO agency is not doing its job?

1.    You do not get any monthly SEO reports
Sad, but it happens. Many clients do not get any detailed SEO reports which tells them what SEO activities were done. As a client, you should at the least get monthly SEO reports.

The agency should explain what exactly they are doing. If they refuse stating that its confidential or too technical for you, fire them fast! They well could be doing black hat (illegitimate) SEO.

You paid money and should get clear deliverables.  During the contract you should be getting:
•    An SEO audit of website
•    Analysis of your site’s link profile
•    Keywords that both parties agree to
•    Link building – what are the links to your site that have been published on other sites
•    Organic traffic comparison
•    Website optimization : titles, heading tags, etc
•    SEO optimized content


2.    They do not ask you for anything or involve you
They should ask you for the following :
•  Access to your website host server and CMS
•  Access to Google Analytics or set it up, if not done already
•  Access to Google Webmaster Tools or set it up
•  Access to social accounts or set it up
•  Both you and agency should research and agree to a list of target keywords
If they have not done this, they may be building only spammy links, which will hurt you over time.

3.    You notice drop in rankings or organic traffic
If you see a sudden drop in ranking it could be due to change in Google ranking algorithm penalizing your site or a manual penalty. The SEO activities of your agency may have led to this – ask them and investigate.

Are the keywords being targeted right for your business?

Take a hard look at the keywords ranking report. Were you involved in the initial selection of these keywords? Many SEO consultants promise top rankings on Google for keywords, but after you sign the contract, you will see that these are long tail keywords with low potential.

Ask for organic traffic reports to be sent regularly. You should be seeing steady increase in traffic compared to start of the SEO contract. The keywords reported in ranking report should be high potential keywords, the ones your customers are most likely to be using while searching online, and should indicate intent to buy.
4.    You see unnatural links to your site
If you see unnatural links to your site which were not there before then it’s a sure shot sign that black hat SEO is being done. What are unnatural links? These are :
•    High percentage of links with keywords as anchor text
•    Links from unrelated or spammy sites

You run a legitimate business and have invested valuable resources into it. You expect growth in revenues and profits; SEO done right will boost both.

Talk to Ananya SEO company in Bangalore. We will do an SEO audit and tell you how we can deliver best SEO results.

Ananya SEO Services announces a special offer for NGOs


Bangalore, India

Ananya SEO Services announced today the launch of a special program for not-for-profit organizations, and NGOs. The awareness of benefits of internet marketing, including SEO, social media and PPC, to drive relevant traffic to the website is low is social sector. This sector has needs which are different from those of business.

What makes someone make a donation, spread the word about a campaign, or volunteer? What would make your audience want to act for social change? It is an emotional connection, linking with passion for a cause. This can be distributed or promoted through stories in social media, videos, your blog, PPC ads. Adoption of a strategic digital marketing program – with clearly defined objectives, original content – makes even a small NGO compete with the biggest for attention.

Having a website and token social media presence is not enough to spread the word and help achieve objectives. What is needed a search engine friendly website which converts visitors to advocates, content marketing, engaging the community through social media and search ads.

Ananya’s digital marketing program targeted to this sector is priced at 50% discount to the standard fees. The digital marketing package for NGOs includes :

Search Engine Optimization
Social media marketing

Ananya SEO Services has worked on digital marketing with NGOs like Maya Organics in Bangalore and SERUDS in Kurnool. Maya Organic works with lacware cluster in Channapatna, Karnataka to produce high quality wooden lacware toys, handicrafts. SERUDS runs an old age home, crèche for daily workers and an orphanage.

Interested not-for-profit organizations, NGOs and MFIs may contact Ananya with a brief profile of their NGO to avail of this attractive offer.

About Ananya SEO Services
Ananya SEO Services is a leading Internet Marketing company based in Bangalore. We provide Digital Marketing Services : Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing, and Adwords PPC Ads services.

Ananya was founded in 2009 and has clients in India, US and UK.

Contact :
CEO : Anand Rao
Address : No. 49, 2nd Main, Arakere MICO Layout 1st stage
Bangalore 560076

Email :
Website :
Tel : +919845038936