Insureon Blog

How to go viral on Instagram with your small business

15. April 2019 21:30

Boy holding donuts up to his eyes

By Hannah Fillmore-Patrick, Insureon Contributor

Everyone has seen a small business go viral, but few achieve it. Much depends on chance, but business owners can improve the odds of getting their content noticed. Capturing even a small percentage of the billion-plus people who use Instagram each month can have a tremendous impact.

However, you’ll need to be strategic to get Instagram followers for your small business. Take steps to learn best practices for how to use Instagram for business.

Post potentially viral content

Business owners around the world are trying to unlock how to go viral on Instagram. Whether your target market is large or small, global or local, going viral is the fastest way to make an impact with shareable content on social media.

However, not every Instagram post has the potential to go viral. You could sink thousands of dollars in paid promotions into a post and, if it isn’t relevant, it just won’t catch on. To figure out what kind of viral content your small business should focus on, answer these questions:

There are plenty of ways for small businesses to create relevant content, even in industries with a strong presence on Instagram. The painter Annette Labedzki, for example, has created numerous viral posts by giving her followers a behind-the-scenes look at her creative process. If you manufacture a product or offer a service, this same tactic could apply to your social media audience.

Use tags liberally

As a small Instagram account, you’ll probably need to depend on trending hashtags, geotags, and reposts to grow your audience and potentially go viral. To increase the number of people discovering your content, use trending hashtags, attach a geotag, and tag other relevant accounts in your post.

Repost user-generated content

Your customers can create some of the best content for your small business. Not only are customers great at showing others exactly what they like about your business, but they’re also good at convincing others to try your products or services. According to BrightLocal, 86 percent of people trust online recommendations as much as personal recommendations.

Small businesses can create viral posts by reposting user-generated content like product photos or videos taken by customers. To encourage your customers to share their Instagram content with you, create a brand hashtag or ask customers to tag your business in their posts.

Many small businesses have found success by sharing user-generated content. For example, Mr. Holmes Bakehouse in San Francisco launched a worldwide #cruffin craze by reposting photos of its unique baked goods taken by its customers. Today, fans from around the world flock to the insta-famous bakery to take a photo of their cruffin with the business’s iconic neon sign and, hopefully, make it onto the Mr. Holmes Instagram feed.

User-generated content creates risk

Take caution before you repost user-generated content. In general, the person who takes a photo or video and uploads it to Instagram owns the copyright, even if that person used your hashtag or tagged your business. While reposting user-generated content is an excellent way to go viral on Instagram, businesses should avoid infringing on the privacy of a customer or violating a customer’s copyright on social media.

To prevent copyright infringement on social media, make sure your business always get permission from the creator and from anyone featured in a photo or video before you repost content.

If a creator sues your business, the advertising injury protections in your general liability insurance policy can cover legal defense fees, settlements, judgments, and other expenses related to the lawsuit.

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