For small business owners, the world of marketing is a confusing one. Marketing is often one of the hardest elements to DIY because it takes a unique way of planning and strategy to execute effectively. In many cases, it also feels like wasted time; when only one-tenth of your energy is focused on your Instagram profile, for example, it’s hard to drive value.
The good news is: if you can get the foundational elements in place, you’ll be much more successful, even if you can’t devote a lot of time to your efforts. Take a look at what Four Moons Spa, a small business in San Diego, California is doing on Instagram and what you can learn from their efforts. As a social media coach, I do this type of “audit” regularly, bringing clarity and confidence to my clients so they can make social media a valuable tool for their business and that is exactly my goal for you.
Dive into the details and see how you can improve your Instagram presence today.
- The Small Business Guide to Marketing on Instagram
- Five tools to help you nail small business marketing
First, A Few Quick Tips
If you can’t pay for a social media media or marketing employee, there are a few ways to get it all done and drive value:
- Work with a social media coach. With a one-time session, you can get up to speed, wrap your mind around the fundamentals, and walk away with a clear plan.
- Focus on just one platform. If you have minimal time, focus on doing really well just on Instagram. If Instagram isn’t the best platform for you, pick another one. How do you choose? Stick with whichever platform is already performing well for your business (i.e. is driving clicks to your site or has a large following).
- Schedule all of your posts in one batch so you can stay consistent and post at the right time. Do it once on Sunday, for example, and you can solely focus on engaging when you have a few minutes each day.
Pair these tips with the case study learnings below to start getting more from your Instagram account.
Instagram is all about branding and using that to stand out from your competitors. The first thing you notice with Four Moons Spa is their colors, which are an important part of branding. The soft pink from their profile photo continues into their highlights and then down into their posts. A spa wants to give their followers that same relaxed feeling you’d get if you were visiting their location, and this light pink does exactly that.
Room for improvement: They could improve by bringing more of their branding into their bio. They simply list their areas of focus, but they could bring more personality into this space. They may have better luck attracting more followers if they can relate to them outside of their business. Followers from out of town, for example, may never take advantage of their services, but they may connect with their brand because of their messaging and the bio is the best place to make this clear. Those people, while not customers, can become brand champions; with word of mouth being so impactful, you don’t want to overlook this is simple way to get more people talking about your brand.
In addition to the consistent light pink, they are doing what Instagram followers love: posting pretty pictures. While this may not feel authentic to your brand, consider your brand values. In this case, we can imagine one of their brand values is serenity, and that feeling you get when you’re spending time in a peaceful space. They do a great job of bringing this into their feed with gorgeous pictures of places that you want to transport to right then and there, many of which are actually photos of their space.
Here’s an example of a business that may not seem like a good fit on Instagram: a hardware store. While Instagram may not seem like an obvious choice for a social media platform, one of their brand values may be attention to detail. As such, it would make sense to post images of beautifully finished DIY projects, inspiring their followers to pick up a new project—and get supplies from their hardware store.
Room for improvement: Four Moons Spa could use a little more consistency in color within their feed. Because Instagram is such an aesthetic platform, this would bode well for their brand. They could find this consistency by creating their own filter in the Adobe Lightroom app, and then apply that to every image they post.
Instagram is a place for pretty pictures, but it’s also a great place to share branded promotional content. Four Moons Spa does a good job of sharing a mix of of these two types of posts, and all of their promotional posts feature the pink that’s signature to their look and feel on Instagram.
They also do a great job of branding the images with their logo, which depicts four moon phases. The logo choice itself is a good one because it doesn’t include text, so it looks natural as an element of their promotional images. Followers will come to recognize their logo, allowing them to stand out among competitors.
Room for improvement: It looks like they aren’t sticking to one “templated” style for their event posts. By developing a template, you not only save time when creating the graphic, but you give followers that much-needed consistency. As followers see your posts more often, they’ll come to recognize themes, and again, this helps you stand out and turn more followers into brand champions and customers.
Think of Instagram highlights as the About Page of your Instagram. This is a chance for you to show followers what you’re all about and share insights that speak to your knowledge of the business or industry. Highlights are used to aggregate your Instagram stories, which disappear after 24 hours.
Four Moons spa does a good job or offering variety here as it relates to their business. Their icons are also very on brand with the coloring, and the titles are simple so it looks aesthetically pleasing.
Within their highlights, they do a great job of showing the variety of events at the space, which gives followers a peek at their gorgeous location. They do this in their feed, but it could be aggregated very naturally in a story to help them book more appointments.
Room for improvement: They could benefit from a highlight focused on the business itself and the people who make it tick. For example, they host events and yoga classes, in addition to being a spa. Followers who are considering visiting may be more likely to click their bio link and book an appointment if they saw the space they’d be in and the people who they’ll work with.
This space is often wasted, yet it’s the most important of your entire profile. Instagram only allows for one clickable link and it’s in your bio. This link needs to do a few things: bring followers to your website or direct them to other important web properties, like where you host tickets for events or free digital downloads.
You can likely see how having just one link can be challenging—how do you point to all those places with just one link? That’s why I recommend using LinkTree. It’s free, with an upgrade available for just $6. With this platform, you can create a single link that houses buttons for all the other links you want to include. When you want followers to click one of those links, you just say, “Link in Bio” in your caption to direct them there.
Room for Improvement: It’s always recommended to point out your link with a simple emoji and some intro text. For example, you may say, “Free Downloads 👇” or “Events and Tickets ⬇” to entice followers to click through. This ensures that the link doesn’t get lost in area that’s already crowded with text.
Overall Grade: A-
Four Moons Spa is doing a lot of things right, and they have a following of 8.5K to prove it. However, there are many ways this small business can optimize their efforts for greater consistency and to drive more customers and event attendees. Use these insights to turn your Instagram account into a valuable business tool, driving customers and brand awareness at the same time.
The information and tips shared on this blog are meant to be used as learning and personal development tools as you launch, run and grow your business. While a good place to start, these articles should not take the place of personalized advice from professionals. As our lawyers would say: “All content on Wave’s blog is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal or financial advice.” Additionally, Wave is the legal copyright holder of all materials on the blog, and others cannot re-use or publish it without our written consent.