Instagram for small businesses is exploding. In 2017, over 25 million businesses used Instagram, therefore, one can only imagine the exponential growth since then.

Social media is more important than ever for small businesses in today’s digital world of fierce competition and short attention spans. As many options arise, Instagram stands out with a 2 billion-plus user base and unmatched engagement. This comprehensive guide aims to illuminate Instagram’s trajectory for small businesses, transcending industries and guiding them to maximize its potential. These pages contain strategic insights and actionable steps to help businesses of all sizes and types use Instagram’s transformative power. The result: improved marketing, brand visibility, and exponential growth.


Instagram for Small Businesses

Moreover, Instagram’s influence goes beyond photo-sharing. It represents the key to small business success. Beyond its beauty, this platform helps you connect with your audience, spark engagement, and evolve your brand. Whether you’re new to social media or a seasoned campaigner, evolution is constant. Thus, our guide invites you on a strategic journey, unveiling a variety of powerful tactics to boost your brand’s standing in Instagram’s intricate tapestry.

The Power of Instagram for Small Businesses

Social Media Examiner’s 2021 report says, “Seventy-eight percent of marketers are using Instagram.” Instagram is second in importance after Facebook, and 64% of marketers plan to increase their Instagram activity next year.

  • The Massive Reach and User Engagement on Instagram

Instagram has firmly established itself as a social media behemoth, with over 2 billion monthly active users accounting for a sizable portion of the global population. In that case, this massive user base translates into a massive marketing opportunity for small businesses.

What distinguishes Instagram is its user behavior: a whopping 90% of Instagram users follow at least one brand on the platform. Furthermore, studies show that 54% of people have purchased products or services after discovering them on Instagram. This demonstrates the platform’s potential as a direct channel for engaging customers and driving sales.

Success Story…

  • Southern Elegance Candle Company (SECC)

Southern Elegance Candle Company (SECC) is a shining example of Instagram success, using the platform to maintain a devoted fan base and generate substantial revenue, exceeding $100,000 per month.


The Versatility of Instagram for Small Businesses:

Instagram isn’t just for certain types of small businesses, hence, if your target audience is on Instagram, you can benefit your small business whether you own a local bookstore, an e-commerce store, a landscaping company, an auto repair shop, or a yoga studio.

Therefore, consider the following strategies to determine Instagram’s popularity among your prospective customers:

  • Inquire of Your Customers: A quick survey sent to your email list via tools like SurveyMonkey or Typeform can provide insights into your customers’ social media habits and preferences.
  • Compare Audiences: To identify alignment, compare your target audience’s demographics and psychographics to Instagram’s user base.
  • Analyse Competitors: If similar small businesses thrive on Instagram, your potential customers are most likely present. The absence of competitors on the platform may indicate that your target audience is not present.

Content Types on Instagram:

Instagram posts come in a variety of formats, including; 

  • regular posts
  • Stories
  • Live videos
  • Reels
  • IGTV

Each type serves a specific purpose and can be used to effectively engage your audience.


Starting Out, Instagram For Small Businesses

Marketing Tips for Instagram For Small Businesses

1. Create an Instagram Business Profile first.

Create Your Business Account

If you’re new to Instagram, download the app and sign up with your company email address. 

Convert your existing account to a business profile if you already have one.

Instagram accounts are classified into three types: personal, creator, and business. 

  • Business accounts provide access to valuable features such as insights, advertising, and product tagging. 
  • Create a business profile on Instagram to gain access to useful features such as analytics, advertising, and direct linking. 
  • Creating a complete profile with an engaging bio, profile picture, and strategic links establishes the presence of your brand.

Steps to Convert to a Business Account:

  • Open Instagram and tap your profile picture.
  • Tap Menu > Settings > Account.
  • Scroll down and tap Switch to Professional Account > Continue.
  • Select Your Business Category.
  • Review and Edit Contact Info.
  • Link to Your Facebook Business Page (optional).
  • Complete Your Profile Setup.


2. Maximize the Impact of Your Profile

Utilize various profile sections such as: 

  • Profile photo
  • Name
  • Username
  • Pronouns
  • Links
  • Bio
  • Category
  • Contact options
  • Action buttons
  • Instagram story highlights.

To maximize the potential of your profile, use all available sections, from your profile picture to contact options and action buttons. 

A well-designed profile provides visitors with a clear understanding of your brand and encourages further interaction.


3. Create an Effective Instagram Marketing Strategy

  • Create a target audience based on customer personas and examine competitor and follower content.
  • For your Instagram marketing campaign, establish clear goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
  • Track performance and adjust your strategy based on built-in insights and analytics.
  • Make a content calendar and publishing schedule that is specific to your brand and audience.


4. Engaging Instagram Content

  • Keep up to date on new Instagram features and put them to the test to see what your followers like.
  • To create and edit visually appealing posts, use tools and apps such as Canva, Visme, Snapseed, and VSCO.
  • Create concise, engaging captions that pose questions, tell stories, and include relevant hashtags.
  • Diversify your content types, such as stories, photos, videos, reels, guides, and more, to keep your profile fresh and engaging.
  • Increase sales by using shoppable posts for ecommerce brands, which allow customers to purchase directly from the platform.


5. Develop a Growing Fan Base

  • Engage with potential followers by leaving comments on relevant posts and using relevant hashtags.
  • To attract a larger audience, maintain consistent posting and a variety of content types.
  • Collaborate with influencers to increase your brand’s exposure to their audiences.
  • Use your website and other social media channels to promote your Instagram account.
  • Analyse engagement metrics to identify and replicate successful content for future posts.
  • To increase visibility, consider running brand awareness ads on Instagram.


Creating a Strategy for Instagram for Small Business

Creating an Instagram Strategy for Your Small Business

  • Creating Instagram Success Goals

First, define your Instagram goals based on your company’s specific requirements, such as increasing sales, building brand loyalty, or driving website traffic. This clarity guides your content creation and allows you to effectively measure your progress.

  • Adopting Content Pillars for Consistent Branding

Content pillars or themes serve as a road map for creating content. Therefore, whether it’s behind-the-scenes peeks or educational tutorials, aligning your posts with your audience’s interests and your brand’s identity ensures consistent and engaging content.

  • Instagram Posting

Explore the different types of Instagram posts, including evergreen regular posts, ephemeral Stories, interactive Live videos, creative Reels, and longer-form IGTV content. Each format has its own set of strengths and applications, allowing you to cater to a wide range of audience tastes.


Bonus tips

Time-Saving Strategies

Use social media scheduling tools like Buffer to streamline your Instagram marketing efforts. With the ability to schedule posts in advance, you can ensure a consistent online presence without overwhelming your schedule.


Best Practices for Instagram on Small Businesses

Best Practices for Small Businesses on Instagram

  • Optimize Your Instagram Business Profile: Ensure your profile picture represents your brand, craft an engaging bio, and strategically place your link to maximize engagement.
  • Prioritize Relatable Content: Here, focus on content that resonates with your audience rather than solely promotional posts.
  • Engage with Followers: Interact with followers through comments, likes, and direct engagement to build relationships and encourage ongoing interaction.
  • Organic Growth: Avoid buying followers and instead attract genuine followers through high-quality content and organic means.
  • Utilize Hashtags: Incorporate relevant hashtags to expand your reach and increase your visibility.
  • Instagram Carousels for Repeated Exposure: Use Instagram Carousels to showcase multiple images or videos within one post, increasing your chances of being seen by your followers.
  • Consistent Posting: Regular posting maintains audience engagement and keeps your brand relevant.
  • Measure Success: Monitor metrics like follower count and engagement to gauge the effectiveness of your efforts.

Frequently Asked Questions, (Instagram for Small Businesses)


Question  Answer 
Are Instagram business accounts free? Yes, creating an Instagram business account is free, and you only pay for any ads you run.
What are the benefits of using Instagram for business? Instagram can drive brand awareness, boost sales, and provide valuable audience insights for your marketing strategies.
Can I have a business and personal Instagram account? Yes, you can have both, but business accounts offer exclusive features for marketing and sales.
What can I sell on Instagram? You can sell various physical products on Instagram, with categories like beauty, health, fashion, and more performing well.


Instagram is a marketing powerhouse, and its user-friendly interface helps businesses of all sizes compete. Therefore, following this comprehensive guide, you can maximize Instagram’s potential, authentically engage with your audience, and grow your small business.

As the best leading advertising agency in Nairobi, we encourage that you accept Instagram’s visual storytelling, tailor your content to your audience, and use data to improve your strategy. Keep in mind that Instagram success requires authenticity, creativity, and a commitment to meaningful connections in this ever-changing landscape.

Contact us today, and start using Instagram today to transform your small business’s growth.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *