Skip to main content

I get it. Instagram is a visual platform. It lends itself very easily to food porn (eg. The Avocado Show), fitness (eg. Gym Shark) and fashion / influencers (eg. Chelsee Healey).

But what if you’re a Small Business Owner. An accountant, IFA, solicitor, business coach, hypnotherapist etc. Maybe you’re a social media marketer like myself that spends his life connected to a laptop and zoom. Whilst our clients work can be extremely visual, our own work day to day doesn’t make for an exciting backdrop.

Those business owners often feel at home on LinkedIn where text only updates fly, but when it comes to Instagram they’re lost

In our latest blog I look at 7 Types Of Instagram Posts That Work For Small Business Owners

By the end of this blog you’ll have a much better understanding of how to use Instagram in a creative way

If you look at you’ll see us putting all these types of Instagram post into action on a regular basis

1. Your Face

People like to see a face. A real person behind the business

Yes – even an old 40 something year old face like mine

I actually looked at our stats just before writing this blog and 60% of our top 10 posts over the past year have featured my face in

We’ve talked before about Death By Canva and how VA’s and low level social media marketers are blanding out Instagram by “dull as ditchwater” Canva images. Well, a face is the polar opposite of that – it’s the most human aspect of your business you can show. Trust me when I say a face like mine with messy hair will out-perform the blandest of Canva images

The trick with Instagram images including your face is to make the captions as compelling as your smile

A smile makes people stop

An interesting lst line of your caption keeps them there

2. Books

I’ve always said Twitter is the best library in the world if you follow the right people

Well Instagram can work in much the same way

I’m not talking about #bookshelves posts here – because lets face it nobody with a serious business has time to spend colour co-ordinating their book shelves just so you can look good on the gram

What we’re talking about here is mini book reviews with key takeaways that others can learn from

I really love helping others by signposting people to great books

If you have any books you’d recommend email me on or of course mention me in your comments when you next share your #bookstagram posts

3.Experts Tips
1 in every 9 posts of ours is a social media tip

And each day on Instagram we give away social media tips in Instagram stories

We literally give away our very best content

People want to know that you know your subject inside out

Some of your followers will just be after every free tip / talk / webinar they can get. But the smart ones will invest in your expertise when they see enough nuggets. By sharing a lot they start to buy into brand you

4. Landmarks / Hidden Gems

I live life for myself and what ends up on the gram is a visual representation of that

It just happens that I love running 10k runs to Half Marathons. I always base my runs on what interesting stuff is happening around Greater Manchester

These photos end up on the gram whether it’s a Beach in Urmston that nobody knows about or an Ian Curtis Memorial that the whole of Manchester knows about

With each post I say a little about my life from my ethics and values through to the music I love or the football team I support

It helps to build a tribe of likeminded people around me that I love working with

It’s great when you work with people that are just like you

5. Group Shots

OK, these ones are a little harder to do in these socially distanced times

But normally I’d be out networking and having group selfies with fellow speakers at the event. Or friends and collaborators

Similarly, you can include clients, suppliers and those business around you that support everything you do

It’s really important to show off your support network

When you set up business those first few weeks / months are lonely until you get your support network around you and find a networking circle that works for you

Alex & His Sisters and the Big Altrincham Social alongside SUBS Altrincham are really good for this

6. Passions / Hobbies

Someone said on Twitter to me the other day

“Well I know you don’t eat meat or drink, but go to the pub for the craic. And you run and love music. But I don’t know much else about you”

I’d had it in my head I give quite a bit away about myself, but maybe not

The things you’ll know about me if you follow me on social media are that I’m vegan, love running and rock & roll

I know office supply companies that are big Manchester City fans, business coaches that are cyclists, networking organisers that play hockey, photographers that love obscure indie bands like The Fall

What do people know about you? Are you allowing some of your personality and interests to show?

7. Questions

You notice in this blog I’ve asked you a few questions

I tend to do it on a lot of our Instagram posts as well and it works

Statements often just get likes

Questions get responses

And Instagram is best when you treat it like an open conversation where your community are part of the experience

As a user it always pays to respond to a post with a question as it actually helps strengthen the relationship with the person posting (and also introduces you to people who then become your followers)

How often do you comment on other people’s posts?

Bonus Tip: Testimonials / Reviews
Ok, now you have 7 Types Of Instagram Posts That Work For Small Business Owners

Here’s a bonus tip

Now these posts won’t et the same amount of engagement as the posts above, but they help build trust with one type of audience member

The Lurkers on Instagram who literally sit and watch (maybe occasionally like) and will one day get in touch and say “I’ve been following you for a while”

These people can be following you for months or years before they buy. You’ll often find on social media that the people who buy from you have never interacted with your content before

Speak to them with Testimonials / Reviews because they make up the majority of your audience

Chat to us about Social Media Marketing for YOUR organisation , so we can better understand YOU and what will grow your organisation

We can only find out what is unique to your business by chatting with you

Look at our Social Media Training and Social Media Management services

We offer Social Media Training on
* LinkedIn
* Instagram
* Facebook
* Twitter
* Blogging

We can do this
* 121
* Corporate Workshops
* Group Workshops
* Face to Face or Via Zoom / Skype

Please call Alex on 07806774279 or email


Alex McCann

Author Alex McCann

More posts by Alex McCann