Are you leveraging the right tools and marketing methods for your small business? On this episode of “The Heartbeat of Main Street,” Mari Smith shares her top tips to master Instagram marketing.
“The Heartbeat of Main Street” delivers timely insights tailored to the needs of small business owners and entrepreneurs. Featuring a rotating line-up of small business experts and industry leaders – and covering a range of topics – each episode explores the trends that have an impact on revenue creation for small business owners.
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Here’s your host, Gregg Stebben.
Gregg Stebben: Welcome to "The Heartbeat of Main Street" brought to you by ForbesBooks and Bank of America. Mari Smith joins us to talk about marketing your business on Instagram. Mari is often called the Queen of Facebook marketing. Facebook, of course, owns Instagram. IBM recently named Mari one of seven women who are shaping digital marketing, and she is a Forbes perennial top social media power influencer.
Mari, thanks for joining us.
Mari Smith: Oh, you bet. Happy to be here.
Gregg Stebben: Mari, you are the author of The New Relationship Marketing and also Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day, and you are a columnist for Bank of America. Could you take a guess at how many small businesses should be marketing themselves on Instagram, but aren't?
Mari Smith: Okay, so I happen to know that there are two million advertisers using Instagram stories ads, and if I were to guess how many are not using Instagram with their stories or not, I'm going to say probably like at least a million.
Gregg Stebben: So, if we're not using Instagram for marketing right now, what's the best way for us to get started, today?
Mari Smith: Sure. One of the quickest ways: of course, you've got to have an Instagram account. Go into your settings, link your Instagram account to your Facebook account, and then you'll be able to cross-purpose and cross-post. It makes it much easier to put your content in both places, especially for stories. I'm going to recommend that'll be the number one place to start — focus more on publishing stories, and that's the little circles at the top of your Instagram account that are getting some incredible attention. There’s actually 500 million daily active users right now on Instagram stories.
Gregg Stebben: So, we've talked about how many businesses aren't using Instagram, but probably should be. We've talked about companies who aren't using Instagram, but realize they should be, and how to get started today. What if I'm already using Instagram, but I know I could be, or I should be, doing a better job there. What's the most important thing for me to do today to make my business more attractive on Instagram and to reach more customers?
Mari Smith: The number one thing I'm going to say here is consistency. It's to make sure that you're publishing on-brand, good messaging, vibrant visuals and short videos, and for the story format, because it's just super easy to create short — it's ephemeral, meaning it disappears, and it appears top of mind. Top of mind, top of feed. Ideally, for consistency, I would say one story a day, if you can. Ideally even three. If you can get up to three stories a day, you're off and running.
Gregg Stebben: She is Mari Smith and I'm guessing that if we come find you on Instagram we're going to find a great example of how we should be using it for our businesses, too. Tell us how to find you on Instagram, Facebook, and of course your website as well.
Mari Smith: You bet. So, on Instagram, I'm @Mari_Smithand I do want to mention the Bank of America Small Business Community online, I have written numerous articles on Instagram marketing and stories as well, so they can find out more over there.
Gregg Stebben: And Mari Smith is M-A-R-I Smith, S-M-I-T-H. Mari, thanks so much for joining us, and for more great tips from Mari and other small business experts, check out Bank of America's online Small Business Community at bankofamerica.com/SBC.