Instagram for Small Business: Tips for Success for Any Business

instagram Marketing

Building a legitimate Instagram following is very difficult. Unless you are a very pretty woman or a very rich man, you are going to have a hard time building a following on Instagram. This is because the system is rigged against businesses. Meta wants companies to buy their advertising, they are not in the business of giving audiences away for free. That is why, if you don’t have a massive budget, you need to be sneaky about your Instagram strategy.

For more content ideas, check out our guide on how to make reels.


Blanket Appeal or a Targeted Audience

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You need to decide this before you start your Instagram campaign. A targeted audience means you find the sort of people who buy your products, and you promote them while alienating other people. This includes showing off your products, directing your brand message toward them, and pandering to the trends and whims of your audience.

Having blanket appeal is a little different. In these cases, you post things that you know people on Instagram like. The most popular subjects are pretty/sexy women/models, and rich men doing rich men’s stuff and then the lesser categories are makeup, fashion, art, news, and humor. Unless your business is directly involved with news (as entertainment, or because you follow major league sports, etc.), then you shouldn’t try to gain appeal with the news because the bigger companies are far better at it. Otherwise, pick the sorts of things people like and try to build a following. Then, you promote to your following and hope to hook a few customers.

The pros and cons of each approach are obvious. You go targeted, and building a following is difficult, but marketing is more effective. Or, you go blanket appeal, and building an audience is easier, but your marketing is pretty useless.


Get an Audience Before You Grow Your Influence

Now that we have tussled with the whys and wants of targeted-vs-blanket appeal, your second consideration is influence. Contrary to what you are told online via articles and videos (financed almost exclusively by social media marketing companies), your account influence is not affected by your follower count.

This has been proven time and time again by super-sexy models who have millions of followers and cannot sell anything beyond fashion. Natasha Oakley (2.6m followers) is the owner and manager of three failed diet pills businesses, and a Pilates class, and her line of swimwear is struggling to even stay on Google’s first page. Maria Borges (2.1m followers) makes plenty of money modeling for companies like Mui Mui, but her star agency, charity, and tourism businesses are failing (and in massive debt) because she has no influence.

You can buy Instagram account followers by simply buying other people’s Instagram accounts. Use your marketing skills to promote your own Instagram channel and your products. The number of followers you have doesn’t matter if you do not influence them. It is all about how you market to them. Imagine that the Instagram accounts are the fishponds. You are buying the fish ponds (other people’s Instagram accounts), harvesting the fish you want (promoting/influencing), and bringing them over to your fish pond (your account). This gives you a targeted and primed crowd over whom you have influence.


Have Several Accounts And Become Very Experimental

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As per the mention of buying Instagram accounts, you should set up a bunch of Instagram accounts yourself (if you haven’t already). You will need mobile phone numbers and different email addresses and such, but those are easy to get. Create several accounts and post very different stuff on them (along with your promotional content). Experiment to see which of your accounts gets the most traction and the most conversions.

There is also another (cheap/sleazy) reason why you should do this. The fact is that Instagram’s “Luck” seems to play a part in Instagram’s success. For some reason, the Instagram algorithm simply doesn’t like some people. They can post awesome content and get no traction at all, despite the same content working wonders on other social media channels. When you have several accounts, you can play the luck/numbers game. One of them is going to get a lot of traction and perhaps even go viral. Though this is not a great long-term strategy, the fact is that a lot of small businesses do it because it is cheaper than pouring money into a single account and hoping that Instagram will pay attention.


Don’t Use Bots Unless You Need Social Validation For Your Products

When you buy somebody else’s account, you are buying an account with real followers. When you buy bots, you are only buying quick interactions from computerized drones. If you post without paying to promote, then when you publish a new post, Instagram runs it by many of your followers to see how they react (TikTok does this too). If you have real followers, then some will hit the like button, some will share, and some will even unsubscribe. Nevertheless, Instagram will see some interaction between the followers and your content. However, if your followers are bots, then there is no interaction with your content at all. This will signal to Instagram that either your content is awful and people hate it, or you are paying bots (both are bad signals to send to Instagram).

The only time you should use bots is when you need to prove a marketing point. For example, if your content says, “20,000 Followers can’t be wrong,” then you need plenty of followers. Also, if you are worried that your brand looks a little too new, fresh, and unknown, then there is an argument for buying a few bot followers just to get the ball rolling and to make you look like less of a new company (or less of a scammer since scammers have a poor social media presence).


Final Thoughts – The Ugly Side of Perseverance

The fact is that Instagram is a very tough nut to crack for businesses that are looking to market, promote or gain influence. If you take the advice in this article, then perhaps fluff up a few of your numbers by paying for marketing from Instagram. You don’t need to fork out money every week. Just enough to keep your traffic ticking over until your account gains some traction. Yet, sadly, the only unflappable unstoppable way to guarantee success is to never give up. You have to trek through the drab and ugly mission of posting great content. Then, only for people to not notice your posts. It’s a slog, but perseverance is the only method that cannot fail.

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