The 1 BIG Mistake Small Business Owners Make on Instagram (And How To Avoid It!)

Discover the 1 massive mistake far too many Small Business Owners make when it comes to marketing on Instagram – and how to avoid it!

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Katie Brinkley 0:02

Hey there, this is Katie Brinkley and you’re listening to Rocky Mountain marketing. This podcast is all about helping Colorado based small business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals discover the strategies and systems that take their marketing to all new heights. Let’s dive into today’s episode.

Now, as a social media strategist, I see a lot of tips and tricks out there from different experts. Today, I’m going to talk about the single biggest mistake small business owners are making with Instagram and how to avoid it. In the last podcast, I talked about what the experts and gurus aren’t telling you about using social media effectively, we discussed Instagram for small businesses briefly. And in this episode, we’re going to be doing a full rundown on making Instagram work for your small business. Let’s dive into Instagram and how it’s going to make your small business be successful on social media. First of all, you want to make sure that you’re set up the right way, make sure that you have your Instagram account set up as a business Instagram. This is different from a personal account. If you’re set up as a business account, you’re going to be gaining valuable insights on your audience, you’re going to learn who your audience is, where they’re located, their age group, and the posts that perform the best for your audience, you’re also going to be given more tools for your audience to get in touch with you. These tools can include contact website, directions, there’s so many ways you’re going to be more successful on Instagram, if you set your Instagram page up as a business account. Now, how do you set that up, I’m going to walk through it quickly. Because there’s a lot of other points I want to make. In today’s episode, make sure that you have your Facebook page set up as a business, you’re going to go into your Facebook business settings page. From there, you’ll see the Instagram icon and you’re going to connect it directly to your Instagram page. Once you’re set up an Instagram as a business, you’re going to want to make sure that your headline and the brief about area touches on all the aspects of your business quickly. You don’t have a ton of space to talk about your business here. So make sure you just highlight best features of your business, the location, what you do, and how to get in touch with you. You want to make sure that your bio is strategically filled out so that your audience knows exactly who they’re engaging with on Instagram and how it’s going to be beneficial for them. Now let’s talk about the content for your business page, you’re gonna want to post high quality photos. When you go to someone’s Instagram page, you’re going to be given the first nine photos, which is called the grid. These photos are the most important part of your Instagram page, have these nine photos act like a gallery, a photo gallery for your business, and showcase what your business is all about. You’re gonna want to see these photos strategically placed in the gallery. Now, if you go to a lot of different Instagram pages, you’ll notice some of them have a specific layout for their gallery. It could be in different brand colors, it could include quotes, you need to figure out what makes the most sense for your business’s gallery. But make sure that you are consistent with it, you’re going to want to post high quality photos in the gallery. Again, this is going to be the best of the best that showcases your audience what your business is all about. You’re going to want to create videos, videos for the Instagram feed are up to 60 seconds. There’s also IG TV and other ways that you can go live on Instagram. But for today’s purpose, we’re going to specifically be talking about just the grid. These videos should be of high quality and give something of value to your audience, you’re gonna want to make sure that you have a cover photo that flows with your feed, so that when they go to your feed, they’ll see your feed as a whole. And it’ll still look consistent and not at a place by having that video in there. Okay, I feel like we have a good understanding of how your visual should look on your Instagram. Up next is the copy. And you want to make sure that your copy is killer. Make sure that your copy is not just copy and paste. Make sure that you grab someone’s attention, tell them why they want to keep reading and then give out your call to action. Make sure that your copy is consistent with your brand. Are you fun and uplifting. Make sure that your captions reflect that are you more of a straightforward business, make sure that your copy reflects that your pictures, your video and your captions need to be cohesive. Now, I could talk about hashtags for an entire podcast. And maybe that’ll be another one coming up here. But with hashtags, you have to make sure that you’re using them in your Instagram. That is how you’re going to find new clients, your new customers and how you’re going to engage with your entire audience. Make sure that you have hashtags that are relevant to your brand, make sure that you have a branded hashtag that you use on all of your posts. 30 Hashtags are the max doesn’t mean that you need to use 30 hashtags. If it doesn’t make sense for that photo. No. Try and have between 10 and 20 hashtags that relate to your brand and what’s going on in the photo for each of your posts. If you have only 10 Great if they make perfect sense for it, and all you need is 10 then that’s all that you need is 10. If you can get up to 20 ad 20 Hashtags again, you can have up to 30 hashtags and an Instagram post. That’s the max but it’s not the requirement. Make sure that you have relevant hashtags. that makes sense for the post and your brand, make sure that you’re monitoring what’s working with your Instagram. Why did that post do so great? Why did it have so many likes was at the time of day was it the content that was in there was it the copy that was written was it the hashtags, you have to make sure that you’re monitoring your posts and making sure what’s doing great and what’s kind of fallen off, you need to make sure that you have the type of content that your audience wants, because otherwise, you’re just going to get lost in the feed. If you want to be successful on Instagram, and successful with your small business, you’re going to find out which posts do the best and you’re going to make more posts like that. Last, but certainly not least, you want to make sure that you’re on Instagram, you can’t just post and walk away, make sure that you’re on the platform, listening to what people are saying in the comments, you’re engaging with other businesses, you’re engaging with potential customers and clients, be out there searching the hashtags that you think are relevant to your business, and engage with those hashtags. You never know how you could potentially find a new client, it could be through a hashtag. Instagram is a social network, make sure that you’re on it being social, you can’t just be on Instagram and expect success, you have to actually be engaging on it, you have to engage with other people. And you have to make sure that your posts are engaging. Okay, we covered a lot of basics on Instagram today. So make sure that you’re creating content that appeals to your target audience, make sure you know who your target audience is. And you find the type of posts that they’re engaging with already, you find the hashtags that they’re engaging with, and then create posts that are going to matter to them. If you’re a local business, make sure that you’re tagging the location of where you’re at, you want to make sure that your feed is cohesive, and is showcasing the best of what your business has to offer. Many small businesses have a ton of hats to wear, make sure that this is a hat that you want to take on. It’s not just posting here and there, you have to make sure that you have a set strategy, and you have a set goal behind what you want to do on social media, small businesses can’t do it all. The best example that I can give is if your car engine breaks, you’re going to take it into the mechanic, you’re not going to try and fix it yourself is the same way with social media. And if you decide you want to outsource it and hire someone to take on your social media for you make sure that they know all of these things, make sure that they know about the grid, make sure that they have you set up as a business account on Instagram, so that they can monitor your insights and your audience. Make sure that they’re doing hashtag research and they’re engaging on the platform. They’re not just posting and walking away. You want to have someone local that knows your local business, and knows your local audience that knows the local gossip. They know the local news, they know when a big event is going to be coming up so that your business can be there posting as part of the event, being social on Instagram, you want your Instagram followers and your clients and your customers to have the feeling that they are there with you that they get to know more about your business because of your social media account. You want to make sure that your posts are relevant. And you can do that if you’re doing Instagram the right way. You can be successful on Instagram for your business. You can find new clients, you can be engaging, you just have to do it the right way. When you’re a part of social media and part of Instagram, the audience will appreciate the fact that you’re so involved in each of their lives. I hope all you small business owners out there have found these tips helpful and that you’re going to go out there and reorganize that Instagram feed and approach Instagram with a whole new perspective.

I hope you feel confident taking on the feed yourself. Or if you decide to do want to outsource it, you know exactly who to look for. And you know the questions to ask them to make sure that you hire the right person that’s going to do a successful job on your feed and not just take your money. Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Rocky Mountain marketing. As always, I’d love to hear from you. You can visit my website at or connect with me on LinkedIn. Just look for Katie Brinkley. Let’s keep taking your marketing to new heights