37 Engaging Instagram Feed Ideas for Small Businesses

Need some ideas for fantastic Instagram Feed posts that will generate interest and boost your small business? Weโ€™ve got your back. Below youโ€™ll find 37 concepts that can help you craft engaging content for your Instagram business account.

1. Showcase your product or service in action

If you want your Instagram followers to turn into satisfied customers, theyโ€™ll need to know what your product or service can do for them. Take some great shots of someone using your product or enjoying your service and choose your favorite to post on your feed.

This post from @PuraVidaBracelets, for example, not only shows off their pretty jewelry, but also shows someone having a great time while wearing them:

2. Go behind the scenes

Help your customers get to know you a little better by showing them what happens behind the scenes in your work environment. Show them your messy studio, your workspace, or even create a short video clip that shows you at work.

3. Customer Review

Have you received a review or DM that praises your product? Screenshot it and post it on your feed โ€” just make sure to get the reviewerโ€™s permission if youโ€™re going to include identifying details. This is a great way to boost word-of-mouth and show appreciation for people who take the time to write a positive review. Hereโ€™s some inspiration from @brambleprints, a local print studio:

4. Support a social cause you care about

Supporting a social cause shows your followers whatโ€™s important to you, and positions you as a business that cares about public good.

For example, you can make a quick video showing your support for small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. Itโ€™s super easy using a template like this from Boosted:

Boosted allows you to create professional-looking videos in just a few minutes with stock images and footage, royalty-free music, and text.

5. Contest or Giveaway

Contests and giveaways are an easy and fun way to generate buzz and gain new followers. To create an eye-catching post, you can create a fun video with text briefly explaining the rules, or post a photo of the prize youโ€™re planning to give away with the rules outlined in the caption.

Learn more in our post on How to Run a Successful Instagram Giveaway.

6. Instagram-exclusive promotion

Offer an exclusive discount or deal to your Instagram followers. You can provide them with a special coupon code, or tell them to mention the Instagram post when checking out or booking your service. For example, home decor service @decoristofficial offered a 50% discount to their Instagram followers and included a promo code they could add at checkout:

7. Seasonal Content

Tap into the festive mood of the moment by creating a special post for an upcoming holiday or other special occasion. For example, see our posts on content ideas for July 4th, Mother’s Day, St. Patrickโ€™s Day and Valentineโ€™s Day.

8. How-tos, tutorials & recipes

How-to posts position you as an expert in your field and provide valuable information for your customers. For a Feed post, you can create a quick one-minute tutorial video, or a still image of the final product with written instructions in the caption. You could also do a before/after or step-by-step carousel post (see below).

9. Before and after or step-by-step carousel posts

Carousel posts are fantastic for showing the steps of a process. For example, @TheContainerStore used this before and after post to show how their containers can help organize your fridge. They used 6 slides, starting with an intro slide that made it clear what the purpose of the post was:

They included a clearly-marked โ€œbeforeโ€ slide, as well as an โ€œafterโ€ slide in the same format. This is an extremely effective way to show customers what this companyโ€™s products can do for them.

You can use before/after or step-by-step posts for how-tos and tutorials, or to take your followers behind the scenes and show them your work process.

10. Explainer video

Explainer videos are also a great way to position yourself as an expert and share valuable information with your customers. You can make a 1-minute clip explaining how something works, giving advice and tips, or otherwise imparting information related to your area of expertise that your followers might find useful. All you need to do is film yourself talking and cut it down to 1 minute.

11. Inspiring or funny quote

Quotes are an extremely popular genre on Instagram. Simply find a relevant quote and make a clean graphic or video featuring it. In the caption, you can write about what the quote means to you and how you apply it to your business.

This one from media company Brit+Co (@britandco) really taps into the current mood in a humorous and relatable way:

View this post on Instagram

What day of quarantine is it?! ๐Ÿคฏ

A post shared by Brit + Co (@britandco) on

12. Fun fact

Offer your followers an interesting, little-known tidbit on something relating to your brand, a current trending topic, or ideally both! You can either post a relevant photo and include the fun fact in your caption, or post a graphic that incorporates the text of the fact. Just make sure itโ€™s not too wordy or visually cluttered โ€” you want it to be easy to read.

13. Tip of the day (or week)

Share a useful tip with your followers. As with the fun fact, you can add the tip to your caption or create a graphic that features it. The popular #TipTuesday hashtag makes Tuesday a particularly good day to post a tip! Creator @lovelyleeellen recently shared some fitness tips for #TipTuesday:

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๐šƒ๐š’๐š™ ๐šƒ๐šž๐šŽ๐šœ๐š๐šŠ๐šข!!! My top tips for people who want to workout but always talk themselves out of it or for those trying to get back into it๐Ÿ˜‰ 1๏ธโƒฃ ๐ˆ๐๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐ญ๐จ๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ข๐ง ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎโ€™๐ซ๐ž ๐ก๐ž๐š๐ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐จ๐ฉ ๐ง๐ž๐ ๐จ๐ญ๐ข๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐›๐ซ๐š๐ข๐ง. Thereโ€™s only so many times you can tell yourself, โ€œIโ€™ll workout later,โ€ or โ€œIโ€™ll wake up earlier tomorrow and workout even harder.โ€ 2๏ธโƒฃ ๐…๐ข๐ง๐ ๐š ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฆ๐ฎ๐ง๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ. Find an accountability buddy. Tell someone your goals and let them remind you of them. 3๏ธโƒฃ๐๐ข๐œ๐ค ๐š ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐œ ๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž. If youโ€™re not a morning person donโ€™t wake up at 5am to get your workout in. 4๏ธโƒฃ ๐…๐จ๐œ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐ก๐ฒ๐ฌ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ฅ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฏ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ. You may be putting on weight in muscle mass so donโ€™t get discouraged if the scale goes up. Try measuring yourself instead if youโ€™re wanting to track your progress. 5๏ธโƒฃ ๐๐ฅ๐š๐ง ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐ž. Have your workout planned out, know what your going to to exercise, or what video youโ€™re going to follow. 6๏ธโƒฃ ๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ญ๐จ๐ ๐ž๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐š ๐ฆ๐จ๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐š๐ฒ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ. Pump up the jams. 7๏ธโƒฃ ๐„๐ฑ๐œ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ข๐ฌ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ๐ญ๐ž๐ง. Try to commit to moving your body 4-5 times a week. That way you can make a routine. If youโ€™re working out 2-3 times a week it can be tough to stick to it. It doesnโ€™t have to be an intense workout each time. Just move your body. 8๏ธโƒฃ ๐…๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ฒ. Why are you wanting to exercise? For your health? Your body? Know your why and share it with your accountability buddy. 9๏ธโƒฃ ๐’๐ž๐ญ ๐ฌ๐ก๐จ๐ซ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ฆ ๐ ๐จ๐š๐ฅ๐ฌ. That way you have more to celebrate! ๐Ÿ”Ÿ ๐Œ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐ข๐ญ ๐š ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ข๐จ๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ. Schedule it into your planner like you would a doctors appointment or even work. โ€ข Whoโ€™s ready to get moving?!! ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ

A post shared by LeeEllen Hutchinson (@lovelyleeellen) on

14. Snapshots from your life

Go ahead โ€” post a selfie! It could be a photo of you at work, at home, traveling, or just chilling. Photos with faces are 38% more likely to receive likes and 32% more likely to receive comments.

15. Review someone elseโ€™s product

Posting positive reviews of your own product is one thing, but reviewing someone elseโ€™s product is both good karma and an excellent content idea. This post from @BossProject combines this concept with #14: a snapshot from her life with a new baby, and a recommendation for a product that makes her life easier as a busy mom:

16. Promote an Event

Events, both online and offline, are a great way to connect with your customers and share your knowledge and expertise. You can hold a class or performance, or host a lecture or discussion. Post a graphic or video on Instagram with the basic details listed to spread the word.

17. Familiar landmarks

If you run a local business, itโ€™s a great idea to post photos of local, beloved landmarks that your customers are likely to recognize. It will catch their eye and help them instantly identify with your business.

If youโ€™re in the travel or tourism industry, post stunning photos of landmarks from various destinations and ask your followers to tell you if theyโ€™ve been there or if theyโ€™d like to see it.

Bonus points if you can show an unusual perspective. For example, this post from @IntrepidTravel shows the famous Bahaโ€™i Gardens in Haifa, not from the bottom of the hill as is usually shown, but from the top, overlooking the bay:

18. Preview of a longer IGTV video

Did you know you can post a 1-minute clip of your longer IGTV videos on your feed? If you have an IGTV channel, donโ€™t forget to use this feature to draw your Feed audience to your channel. For more on using IGTV, see our post Should You Use IGTV for Your Business?

According to Instagramโ€™s @creators, doing so has many benefits:

19. Food

Who doesnโ€™t love food? Even if your business isnโ€™t food-based, it canโ€™t hurt to post a shot of a particularly well-plated breakfast or the perfect heart your barista crafted in your coffee foam. But these posts are especially effective for businesses in the lifestyle, food, and nutrition industry. Just make sure you get good lighting for your shot, because bad lighting can make even super delicious food look unappealing.

20. Pets

On a similar note, who doesnโ€™t love cute animals? Leverage your petโ€™s adorable factor and let it star in a post or two โ€” or even make it your mascot! Hereโ€™s some inspiration from creator @sophmonks:

21. User-generated content

You donโ€™t have to reinvent the wheel! Found someone elseโ€™s content that you just love and think would look great on your feed? Ask their permission to repost it! You can also ask your customers to send you photos of themselves enjoying your product for you to post on your feed. Read more about using user-generated content in this post on What Is UGC (User-Generated Content) and How Can It Help Your Business on Instagram?

Hereโ€™s a recent example from @Boosted_Social:

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๐•Ž๐•™๐•ช ๐•ช๐• ๐•ฆ ๐•ค๐•™๐• ๐•ฆ๐•๐•• ๐•”๐• ๐•Ÿ๐•ค๐•š๐••๐•–๐•ฃ ๐•ฆ๐•ฅ๐•š๐•๐•š๐•ซ๐•š๐•Ÿ๐•˜ ๐•Œ๐•ค๐•–๐•ฃ ๐”พ๐•–๐•Ÿ๐•–๐•ฃ๐•’๐•ฅ๐•–๐•• โ„‚๐• ๐•Ÿ๐•ฅ๐•–๐•Ÿ๐•ฅ (๐•Œ๐”พโ„‚) ๐Ÿ“ฑโ  โ  Acc. to @hubspot, UGC โ€œconsists of any form of content that's created by users and consumers about a brand or product.โ€ UGC is all about utilizing the content thatโ€™s already out there on Instagram to strengthen your #socialmediastrategy and increase #brandawareness ๐Ÿ‘Œโ  โ  Some fast facts about UGC ๐Ÿ”ปโ  โ  ๐Ÿ‘‰ UGC can either be directly related to your brand โ€“ content that mentions your product or service, tags you or includes your branded hashtag โ€“ or it can be a standout piece of content youโ€™d like to share to your feed or Stories, even if it isnโ€™t directly related to your biz. โ  โ  ๐Ÿ‘‰ For all UGC, donโ€™t #regram without permission โ€“ always reach out to the creator first, requesting to share their work. Remember to give credit by tagging them in the post and/or mentioning them in the copy. โ  โ  ๐Ÿ‘‰ As fun & creative as #contentcreation can be, we get that it can be time-consuming & overwhelming ๐Ÿ˜ฌUGC provides you with already-created content so that you donโ€™t always need to design or snap your own ๐Ÿ“ธโ  โ  ๐Ÿ‘‰ UGC is authentic and builds trust ๐Ÿ’ช Acc. to Squarelovin, 85% of individuals surveyed state UGC is more trusted than branded content. โ  โ  ๐Ÿ‘‰ UGC has proven to โฌ†๏ธengagement as well (68% found UGC more appealing & authentic than classic product images!) Thereโ€™s a good chance that the creator will interact with your post or Story & share it with their audience as well. โ  โ  For all these reasons & more, weโ€™re beginning to incorporate more UGC into our feed, and this image is first up ๐ŸŒŠโ  โ  ๐Ÿ“ธ: @mrmarissโ  โ€ขโ โ €โฃโฃโ  โ€ขโ โ €โฃโฃโ  โ€ขโ โ €โฃโฃโ  โ€ขโ โ €โฃโฃโ  #usergeneratedcontent #instagramtips #instagramstrategy #instagramtipsandtricks #instagramtips #instagrammarketingtips #smallbusinessadvice #smallbizmarketing #smallbusinessmarketing #MyOwnBoss #SmallBizLife #SmallBizOwners #solopreneur #findyourflock #contentcreator #contentmarketing101 #visualmarketing #socialmediastrategy #socialmediatips #instagramforbusiness #instagrammarketing #instagramsuccess #creativepreneur #socialmediasuccess #smm

A post shared by Boosted (@boosted_social) on

22. Repurpose other content

If you post a lot of content elsewhere โ€” on a blog, for example, or on YouTube โ€” you can use your Instagram feed to promote that content and draw people to it. For example, create a simple graphic with a quote from your blog post, or a 1-minute clip from your YouTube video. Provide a teaser for the rest of the content in the caption, and invite followers to click the link in your profile to view it. (Donโ€™t forget to change the link in your profile to lead to it!)

23. Ask a question

Thereโ€™s no better way to start a conversation than to ask a question. There are a few ways you can ask a question with a Feed post: one is to create a graphic that features a question and invite followers to answer in the comments. Another is to post a photo of something and ask a question about it. For example, if you make jewelry, you could post a photo of two sets of earrings and ask your followers which one they like better.

When asking an open question, be sure itโ€™s something related to your brand that is not too involved to answer. People donโ€™t want to tap out a whole personal essay in the comments!

24. AMA (Ask Me Anything) post

Invite your followers to ask you any question they like. If you have many followers, set a specific time period where you will be responding to comments โ€” say, on Tuesday between 6 and 8 p.m.

In this post, makeup artist Akeema Crabbe (@theakeemacrabbe) invites her followers to ask questions, and says sheโ€™ll create an IGTV video answering them:

Make sure to use this only if youโ€™re sure youโ€™ll get some questions โ€” or if you can โ€œplantโ€ some questions (get your friends to ask some). It wonโ€™t look great if you invite people to ask you anything and get crickets in the comments.

25. Collaborate with another brand

Cross-promotion is a win/win situation: it gives you interesting content to post, exposes your content to a new and relevant audience, and provides the brand or influencer youโ€™re collaborating with an opportunity to expose their content to your audience.

So how do you collaborate? There are lots of options. You can simply post a photo of both of you working together, or combine your products on display. You could review a product of theirs and have them review yours, interview them, or post a quick video with tips and advice from them.

26. Social media takeover

This is another way to collaborate with another account: invite someone else to take over your account for a week and post their own content.

@NewYorkerPhoto, the Instagram account of the New Yorkerโ€™s photography department, gives the spotlight to a different photographer every week. This gives them fresh and interesting new content to post, and gives the photographer some excellent exposure:

27. Update your audience

Introducing a new product? Attending a conference or event? Snap a photo and post it to let your audience know what your business is up to. This helps them feel involved and shows them that youโ€™re active and moving forward with your business.

28. Sneak peek

Offering a sneak peek of something youโ€™re working on builds anticipation and helps your audience feel that theyโ€™re โ€œinโ€ on something! Show them part of a project youโ€™re not quite finished with, and donโ€™t forget to update your followers with another post when itโ€™s done.

29. Memes

Memes are always fun, and are relatively easy to put together. In this post, @Chipotle gave its audience a little tongue-in-cheek content thatโ€™s right on brand:

View this post on Instagram

Look, itโ€™s a good order.

A post shared by Chipotle (@chipotle) on

One tricky part about making your own memes is that you need to be sure theyโ€™re funny and tasteful. Itโ€™s always a good idea to get some feedback from other people before you post.

Another tricky part is that you need to be careful about copyright โ€” many people arenโ€™t aware that theyโ€™re using an image illegally. Frames from movies are generally fine because they fall under โ€œfair use,โ€ but photos and cartoons may be under copyright, and you should look into it before you post. Additionally, if youโ€™d like to take an existing meme someone already made, be sure to ask permission first.

30. Time-sensitive and trending topics

Is there a hot topic everyoneโ€™s talking about that has relevance to your brand? Jump on the bandwagon and weigh in with a post of your own. That way, youโ€™ll join a larger conversation thatโ€™s already engaging lots of Instagram users.

31. Tag-a-friend

Asking your followers to tag another Instagram user is an ingenious way to grow your following, and you can do it on lots of different types of posts. For example, in this post, jewelry brand Alex and Ani (@alexanddani) posted some special bracelets for sisters, and asked followers to tag their siblings in honor of National Siblings Day.

32. Share a milestone

5-year anniversary of opening your business? Reached 10K followers? Create a graphic or video that describes the milestone and share your news with your audience like @storiesforcoffee did here:

33. #ThrowbackThursday

ThrowbackThursday is a great opportunity to dig up old photos and get nostalgic! Show your followers one of your earlier works, or a photo of yourself as a kid doing something related to your brand.

34. Game post

Challenge your followers with a game post! A few ideas:

  • Spot the differences: Post two images that are almost identical, with a few small differences for your followers to find.
  • Guess the number: Fill a jar with beads, jelly beans, or any other small object, and count how many there are as youโ€™re putting them in. Ask the audience to guess how many there are. Offer a prize to the follower who makes the closest guess.
  • Word puzzles or visual puzzles.

In the post below from mattress company @Casper, a mattress company, followers were challenged to a word puzzle that had to do with sleep and counting sheep:

View this post on Instagram

Show us what youโ€™ve got, puzzzle people.

A post shared by Casper (@casper) on

35. Show your involvement in the community

Showing how your company helps out your community is great for your image and creates a sense of solidarity. If youโ€™re involved in volunteer work or charity, post a photo of you or your staff at work or of someone youโ€™ve helped.

36. Conduct an interview

Is there an expert in your field that you admire? Or a client of yours with a particularly interesting story? Create a quick 1-minute video interview you can post on your feed, or post a photo of the interviewee and include the text of the interview in the caption.

37. Share a mistake

Nothing humanizes your business and helps people relate to you more than being honest about goofing up. Instagram is sometimes criticized as being too curated and picture-perfect, and itโ€™s refreshing when a brand or influencer keeps it real. Show a project that turned out less than perfect and share what you learned from the experience.

Action Items:

  • Make a list of ideas from this post that spark your imagination.
  • Add some notes to each one on a specific idea for each.
  • Refer to the list when building your social media calendar. Remember, each idea can inspire countless posts โ€” you can always revisit your favorites!
37 Instagram Feed Ideas

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