HOW TO COLLABORATE ON INSTAGRAM
TO BUILD YOUR BUSINESS
Article by Cinthia Singleton
When promoting on Instagram (“IG” as it’s commonly known), try this on for size: no man is an island and when utilizing the tool to its fullest, it just might take a village. Learn how to work IG with other small businesses in your locale, niche or cybersphere!
Casting a net beyond yourself and your business and/or service is smart. It is what creates community and one - as you are strategic with consistent branding - becomes DESTINATION. With ‘destination,’ either in actuality or cyber-ville, there’s someWHERE for your desired consumer to land as they put out a 411. Share those pics. Give a little special something. Gaining trust and building a brand, you are more likely to grab them.
Destination: that wider landing place that reflects a community of individuals; niche interests; or geographical locale.
Remember that that average IG consumer is already more than halfway to you. They are researching. [wedding planning, hair styles, photography, ab exercises, baby shower gifts, etc.]. They are conducting search by way of the IG search bar. [ beach weddings, bangs, street documentary, core workout, baby clothes, etc. ] IG gives them possibilities from popular #hash-tags already in the IG stratosphere. That means your cute baby clothing boutique on Main Street just might get tossed their way, if #hashtagged #babyshowergifts or #babyclothes? Correctomundo! For branding purposes, always add #[Name of your Baby Boutique] to the #hash-tag list.
Now what if your neighbor and fellow small business owner tied into this too, you into their IG promotion? It bumps up the #hash-tag usage, for one, and, over time, makes ol’ Main Street in Anytown USA seem like a place to be. D-E-S-T-I-N-A-T-I-ON. Get the consumer there, they are sure to explore it. Try it as a group, over the course of a week.
You share pictures of new items for Spring + appropriate #hash-tags. Your record store neighbor shares cool pictures of their new releases + appropriate #hash-tags. The tony razor cut salon shares pics of the new stylist’s great fades + appropriate #hash-tags. The corner micro brew pub gets in on it by sharing photos of the quesadilla lunch platter + appropriate #hash-tags.
And on down the street. And around the corner. And maybe, in time, all of the Downtown, your city as well as your state till there’s a movement and an IG buzz that gets picked up by folks traveling to your locale. It takes a little creativity to come up with interesting, popular and searchable hashtags but the more doing it, the stronger the Front. IG search loves usage numbers and will show you, as you #hash-tag, just what’s popular and trending.
What if your services aren’t found in a brick n mortar or what if what you do is, say, strictly via Skype or is sold online? This basic formula can work for you too. Who do you follow on IG? Who on IG shares your interests? Are you part of a guild, club or society? These are just some places to find on online Main Street with whom to tag #hash-tag.
Say, you sell vintage Hummel figurines online. You share these pieces on IG in hopes of selling them directly in IG’s direct messaging system or bringing the customer to your, say, Etsy shop, HummelsrUs. How do you join forces with others to create this community and, therefore, cast a wider net?
As you start following your followers (and checking out their followers), you’ll learn that there’s a marketing direction to take that brings to you more like-minded followers... what a creative way to create community!
The formula is pretty basic: [ locale and/or niche interest ] + [ appropriate, simple and consistent #hash-tagging ] = Destination
Try it. Have fun with it. And make it easier for the consumer looking for your product/ service to find YOU as well as a sense of community. IG is the new word (#hash-tag) of mouth.
“From the west side to the east side, from the north side to the south, you’ll never get bad information if you believe in the word of mouth.” Mike & The Mechanics