Honestly – I believe the Support Small Business sticker on Instagram is one of their best features on the platform
It reminds me of the early days of Twitter, where including someone in a Follow Friday really did make a difference. Those that remember those glory days, will remember that Friday was a day when your follower count went up
Being included by someone in a Support Small Business Sticker on an Instagram story can increase your follower account in hours
Being included by multiple business in a Support Small Business Sticker in Instagram stories can mean double figure increases in a day
Why did Instagram launch the Support Small Business Sticker?
Due to Covid-19, Instagram launched a series of lockdown features
The 1st two were a human reaction to the crisis such as Stay Home and Thank You
Supporting Charity, Retail and Restaurants / Bars Instagram launched Donation, Gift Cards and Food Orders stickers respectively
Realising they needed to do more for small businesses, aka their advertisers, in general they launched the Support Small Business stickers this week
I’ve never used stories and neither have any of the businesses I know – are they really that popular?
Well 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day
They’re the circles at the top of your profile that disappear after 24 hours if you don’t save them down to highlights
They’re being used more heavily than people use the main feed right now
And remember the rule of all social media platforms – the creators of content on social media are the ones that win
How to use the Support Small Business Sticker?
It’s very easy
– Open the app
– Swipe left to right to open the Instagram Stories feature
– Take or Select your photo or template (more of that later)
– Select the Support Small Business Sticker
– Type the name of the business account in the box
– Post story
What if I can’t find the business to tag when I start typing their name?
If you can’t find a business’s name come up in the selections when you’re typing their name it means one thing
The account is a personal account rather than a business account
To be tagged in this sticker they need to be classed as an Instagram business account
Don’t worry – it doesn’t cost anything to be a business account. You just need to go to settings, switch to business account and 2 clicks later it’s done. You can then be tagged
If it’s a friend you want to tag, drop them an email, Whatsapp or Instagram DM and let them know
How will I know if I’ve been tagged in a Support Small Business sticker?
If you’ve been tagged in the Support Small Business Sticker you get a notification that you’ve been tagged
You then get a chance to repost this in your stories to your followers
Where can I see the full list of businesses included in these Small Business stickers?
When you look at your Instagram stories at the top Instagram is including a compilation of all the Support Small Business stickers that the accounts you follow have posted
If you don’t see it up there, it simply means you have looked at all the stories in the roundup to date
What does the Support Small Business Sticker include?
Now this is really important, so please do read this carefully and check your account after reading this blog
The sticker includes
– Your name
– 3 recent photos
– The 1st line of your Instagram bio
So all of those areas of your profile are really important
Does your name explain what you do?
Are the quality of your photos representative of your business?
Does the 1st line of your bio sell it to people
All of these things will play a part in whether people choose to follow you or not
How many businesses should I include in an Instagram story?
Less Is More
These stickers aren’t a chance to stuff as many businesses into one story as possible
I’ve got normal size hands, but I’ve seen accounts stuffing in so many I feel I have fat fingers trying to click on the right name
Be honest – the businesses that are doing this are trying to get more and more reach for their own account than actually providing benefit to the actual businesses they’re including
We’re going to be in lockdown for a while now. It isn’t a race – focus on one business each day and really give them a showcase with these stickers
How can I truly help a business with the Support Small Business Sticker?
Spell out the benefits of following this account to your audience
We’ve been doing this once a day for one account with a simple Instagram Stories template we designed in Adobe Spark which lists 3 reasons to follow the account
Some of the reasons have included
– 20+ years graphic design experience for Altrincham Design Studio
– Vegan and Gluten Free options for Little Red Pizza Co
– The only dedicated dessert business in Altrincham for Little Dessert Shop
These are clear, concise reasons to follow and we’ve personalised it for everyone
Spelling out the benefits brings the followers to this account
Maybe you can do it for ourselves – what are the benefits for your audience of following @altrinchamhq
How often should you Support Small Businesses with this sticker?
I’d recommend you do this daily
As I said some businesses have been premature in thinking more is more and now they won’t touch it again after the initial rush
There are 500+ businesses in our home town and probably similar numbers in yours
You might not like all of them
You might not recommend all of them
But you can easily think of 30+ businesses off the top of your head to recommend
And don’t forget the professional services firms as well – they are just as much a part of the small business community
But honestly Alex, does this really help small businesses?
Yes Yes and Yes again
The key is treating others as you’d like to be treated
I’m gaining followers on a regular basis, but I genuinely do all of this
– Look at each recommendation
– Read their bio
– Follow if relevant to myself
Instagram only works if you do
Community only works if you do
So give a little back such as following the relevant recommendations and you’ll get the love coming back
Awareness is the 1st part of marketing
A small gesture such as this could really help a small business
And if you’re truly using Instagram well spent 15-20 minutes a day commenting on other people’s post. Meaningful comments.
If this has been helpful to you – please follow us @altrinchamhq on Instagram and shout us out for your daily Small Business Recommendation
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Alex McCann is owner of Altrincham HQ – a social media management and training company based in Altrincham, Cheshire that has worked with 100s of local business developing their social media strategy. Alex has 400+ LinkedIn testimonials and is ranked number 1 for Social Media Marketing in the UK via independent customer reviews on Freeindex.