Instagram is a very underutilized tool in the business world, but it’s a very powerful one if you know how to use it correctly. While many small business owners have found great success marketing their products or services with Facebook and Twitter, don’t forget that there are many other social media sites that can help to catapult your business to even more success. Instagram is one of those sites. Here’s why it could be beneficial for you:

It Helps to Show Your Personality

Instagram is unique because you’re sharing something instantaneously. Having a nice lunch? Share it. Spot some inspiration somewhere? Take a picture. It sounds like you could do the same thing with Facebook and Twitter, but those social sites can be very corporate and professional on a business page. However, since Instagram goes with you and your phone, it can help to show your personality and your day to day life better than having an assistant schedule each and every one of your Facebook posts.

It Helps to Show Behind the Scenes

Instagram is great for showing behind the scenes at your business. If you create products, show your customers how they are made. Ask their opinion about what you should create next. Interact with them on a more personal level. Follow your customers or your clients back to find out their likes or dislikes, and always reward the people who give you shoutouts along the way. Many business owners find that they build large followings simply because people love not only their jewelry designs or their photography but also their basic, everyday life. It helps the customers to connect better to the business owners, so business owners should take advantage of that positive connection.

It Helps to Connect With Other Business Owners

We’re always talking about the importance of building a strong business network, and Instagram is a great place to connect with other business owners. Much like Twitter, you can use hashtags to meet people who have the same interests as you. For example, I like to use the hashtag #momboss or #girlboss to find other female entrepreneurs who balance their business needs with the rest of their busy lives. I also use the hashtag #twinmom just to connect to others who have similar experiences to me. That way, Instagram doesn’t always have to be about business, but it can be about all aspects of your life too.

It Allows You to Work With Brands

Once you get to a certain number of Instagram followers, you can use your popularity on the social media site to work with large brands as an influencer. Sometimes, it’s helpful to reach out to the brands you love and believe in and offer to work with them or help support their endeavors. The larger your following, the more you get paid. There’s nothing better than getting to invite your clients or customers into your life while also getting paid to share some of the products or companies you use each and every day.

Ultimately, Instagram is a great tool for small business owners, and, much like Facebook and Twitter, it should be a necessary part of every business owner’s online presence.

Catherine Alford is the go to personal finance expert for educated, aspirational moms who want to recapture their life passions, earn more, reach their goals, and take on a more active financial role in their families. Named the Best Contributor/Freelancer for Personal Finance in 2014, her writing and expertise have been featured in dozens of notable publications and in national media.

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