By Brooke Preston, Manta Contributor — November 18, 2016

Is Instagram part of your small business’ social media marketing strategy? It’s easy to place ads and promote posts to reach more customers.

Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms, with 500 million monthly active users. But many business owners are missing out on the opportunity to reach new customers on the photo- and video-sharing app. According to a Manta poll, of the small business owners who use Instagram, only 20% pay to promote posts or advertise on the platform.

Getting started is easy. With an Instagram for Business account, you can advertise your small business, promote posts on the platform and get detailed metrics about which posts your followers like most. Here are three helpful tips to keep in mind as your small business begins advertising on Instagram:

  1. Instagram for Business gives small business owners access to special features. Take advantage of them! With an Instagram for Business account, you can add directions to your business, let followers contact you with one click, access Instagram’s analytics tools and promote your posts with ad campaigns. You’ll need an account with Facebook — which owns Instagram — to get started.
  2. Instagram is about sharing photos, but not just any snapshot will grow your business. Your posts should be consistent with your larger marketing strategy. Consider your goal, and make sure everything you post on Instagram supports that goal. Is your social marketing goal to show off your high-quality work, for instance? Post behind-the-scenes photos of your products being made, or before and after pictures of successful projects.

It’s easy to create promoted posts from within the Instagram app. Tap on a post that you’ve already shared on Instagram and tap “Promote” underneath the photo. You can select an advertising objective — such as getting website visits, or getting calls to your business — which will help you pick a call-to-action button to accompany your ad. Targeting and budget selections will help you reach just the right audience at the right cost.

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