Using Instagram for your pet business is a great way to reach more potential customers. It’s also an awesome way to personally connect with new and existing clients. Where a lot of businesses get stuck is on what on earth to post!

Certainly, you can use videos, stories and photos to tell a story and reflect your business or brand personality, but how do you use these concepts to grow your business.

Instagram 101 for your pet business

Assuming you already have an Instagram account set up for your pet business, let’s start with the basics of Instagram posting.

First, make sure you’ve completed your profile. It should be super clear to people who you are and what you do or what your business offers. Plus, where are you based and do you have a link to your website? It can be really frustrating when a company doesn’t include the URL to their main website.

What’s your vibe?

You want your Instagram feed to look amazing, right? To do this, you need to stop and consider what style and layout you want. Are you all about fun, do you want your feed to look really cute and casual, are your more groomed and professional or are you all about aesthetics?

It’s completely your choice, but it’s worth looking at similar businesses to see what style they are employing and whether it’s working for them. Do they have lots of followers? Are they getting frequent comments?

Of course, you also want your pet business to stand out from the crowd so try not to opt for a style that’s too same-same.

Don’t just stop at the feed

Instagram doesn’t just involve the feed. Mind blown? Instagram now has multiple elements, like Stories, IGTV (a separate video app that you can use alone or in conjunction with your Instagram account) and Instagram Live.

To be honest, if you’re starting out and have only just set up an Instagram account for your pet business it’s probably best to master the feed first. Just keep in mind that there is more to Instagram and these additional features could be brilliant for your business.

Add value

A great rule to remember is ‘don’t just post for the sake of posting’. Doing this is likely to see your followers unfollowing you quick sharp. Just like blogging, you want to give your audience something useful or relevant.

The best way to do this is to plan your posts. This way you can put some forethought into what your post is giving your audience. It might be that you offer a pet care tip, a useful training trick, a discount for your pet store, or information on an event that’s happening locally. These types of posts add value.

Of course, that’s not to say you can add spontaneous posts too — just make sure they are offering something to people who come across your feed. Offering something and engaging your audience will encourage them to follow you and, perhaps, share your posts.

Be seen

What’s the point in spending all that time planning an Instagram schedule, creating content and posting it if you have barely any followers and they don’t appear to be growing?

There is no point. The key is to get your content out there and to be seen. This is where hashtags come into play. Not really sure what a hashtag is? These are quite simply keywords that are relevant to your content. You include them at the bottom of your post and they’re searchable. In other words, hashtags help new followers find your feed.

Another way to get noticed on Instagram is to tag other people or pet businesses. NOTE: don’t just tag anyone and everyone—this is spamming and won’t make you any friends! Only tag people if you’ve mentioned them in your post if they’re in the image.

Also, don’t forget to comment on other Instagram accounts. Be real; don’t just comment for zero reason. This will help get you noticed.

These are the basics of using Instagram for your pet business. Once you’ve become more familiar, you can explore other features – such as stories and Instagram Live.

What’s your experience of using Instagram for your pet business? (I’d love to hear from you. Simply post in the Comments box below).

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Liz has a passion for all things cat and dog, and was one of the first in Australia to bring Pet Insurance to the market. She has headed up Petsecure for the past 12 years, and is committed to promoting and supporting the amazing work done by rescue groups around Australia, and those who work to promote a better life for all animals.

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