Know what the secret is to using Instagram effectively? It’s not generating followers.  Nor is it sharing tons of photos and videos daily.

The secret to using Instagram to promote your business is engagement. Plain and simple. You need to add content to your site that engages followers. That generates business for your storefront.

It’s also what drives conversions and sales. And it boosts profitability.

But adding content that engages is easier said than done—especially now that Instagram has broadened its horizons as a platform to make it a more “immersive shopping experience.”

Despite its changes, Instagram is still a site that can help you promote your dry cleaners if you engage your followers with the right content.

Not Just Another Social Website

Instagram isn’t just another social media website. It’s a powerful way to build your brand’s reputation and promote more business for your storefront.

Here are some eye-opening Instagram stats:

  • 1+ billion users
  • 500 million daily users
  • Instagram users “like” over 4.2 billion posts daily
  • Instagrammers share 95 posts per day
  • 25 billion business profiles on Instagram
  • 80% percent of users follow a business on Instagram
  • Top brands post 4.9 times per week

Clearly, Instagram users engage with the social media website. Plus, people are spending more and more time on Instagram—thanks in large part to Instagram stories.

Many of these users are young (59% in the U.S. are under 30) and many have deep pockets with a willingness to spend their money.

But what separates Instagram from other social media sites as a business tool are its emphasis on feeding our appetites for images and video, fits our mobile lifestyles, and posting is fast.

More importantly, Instagram keeps things simple and is fast and fun to explore, research, follow, and connect with people, topics, and businesses that peak your interest.

Participate, Participate, Participate

Instagram is a community. So posting images and videos is only the first step in taking advantage of the platform. To engage Instagram users you need to participate in the online community.

In other words, you need to follow influencers and other brands, actively join in conversations with other members, and respond to questions, praises, and concerns in the comment section of your posts.

In short, you need to show you’re a reputable member of the community. Put simply, you need to engage your community.

Create a Plan and Follow It

The other key to using Instagram to reach local customers is to have a plan and follow it. Once you put your strategy in place, it doesn’t take much to keep it going.

That’s great news for you. Instagram’s ease of use leaves you time to focus on other critical activities at your dry cleaners, like customer service.

Below are some ways you can use Instagram to generate more customers for your business:

  • Repost local content routinely to strengthen reputation. Key on local followers, local events, and other local followers
  • Maintain a consistent brand identity across Instagram and all your other social media platforms you may be using
  • Avoid blanket postings unless it’s a new service or local event. In other words, don’t post the same message across platforms.
  • Show your organization’s local lifestyle. In other words, show the lifestyle customers lead after using your services.
  • Follow the latest trends especially holidays, but also use other topics whose popularity you can leverage.
  • Key on local hashtags, which are like keywords in Instagram. This effort lets people in your area find your posts through area-specific content.
  • Include a link to your Instagram bio. In fact, your bio is the only space on the platform that lets you do that. Capitalize on it.
  • Offer professional, creative content. Invest in a high-quality camera and uses it. Or, if necessary, use a professional photographer
  • Geotag individual posts with a location but not your exact business location. It gives the sense that your business is an active community participant.
  • Track and measure your efforts constantly. That way you can stay on top of consumer trends and changes in behavior in an area.

Use the trends discussed above to help build engagement with your Instagram profile. Creating engagement is the secret to succeeding with this social media platform. That, in turn, will boost business at your dry cleaners.

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