Social media for business: 5 tips for using social media to grow your creative business

Social media can be a great tool for helping you to reach your ideal client, grow your audience and progress your business. But, with what feels, at this point, like weekly updates to our go-to platforms, it’s becoming evermore confusing knowing how, exactly, to best use social media for business. 
This week, for instance, Instagram announced that it’s trialling a new paid subscription feature in Australia and New Zealand, called Meta Verified, which apparently allows subscribers to apply for verification (after providing government-issued ID) and gain access to increased visibility and reach on the app. It’s left many creators questioning how to move forward with the platform if Meta Verified is rolled out in the UK and reach is gatekept for those with paid subscriptions.
Although I can’t predict the future of socials, I can share some insight into how you can use your platforms right now to give your creative business a boost. Here are my top tips for using social media for business.

5 tips for using social media to grow your creative business

1. Make what you do very obvious

Put yourself in the shoes of someone who has never come across your business before and head to your Instagram profile. Take a quick look at the first nine squares on your grid – do they give a clear indication as to what your brand does or specialises in? If you sell products, are there photographs of them in the first few rows of your grid? If you provide services, are there text posts or titled-reels, for instance, which communicate the kinds of services you offer? My current top nine posts, as an example, promote my book, The Sensory Home, interiors shots I have styled at past shoots, and you learn instantly, through text-based posts, that I am a self-employed stylist and that I create content for creatives.
If you consider your own habits when scrolling through your Instagram timeline, you’ll realise that most people move through the app very quickly. We rarely scroll into the archives of a brand’s old posts to decide whether we want to engage with their account or not – we want to know, instantly, if their business is a good fit for us. Ensuring that your content is always reflective of who you are and what you do is an effective way to go about this. I recommend utilising the pin feature, as well, to pin three posts to the top of your grid. Pinned posts should give an overview of who you are and what you do (don’t just pin a random reel because it performed well if it’s not relevant to your business).
Similarly, pay attention to your bio. “Coffee-drinker, deep-thinker” sounds cute, but it gives zero information about who runs the account or what products or services they offer. Make your bio straight to the point; share exactly what you do, and link to your website or newsletter.

2. Focus less on creating content for performance and more on creating content your followers will find valuable

I know it can be very tempting to prioritise creating content to feed the algorithm, but while this may be helpful in growing your following, your goal (I’m going to assume) is to use social media to convert; to connect with your ideal audience and introduce them to your products and/or services. A big following doesn’t equal big sales. And, it’s creatively draining creating content for an algorithm that’s constantly evolving.

By all means, bear the algorithm in mind, but prioritise creating content that will engage your ideal client. If the people who buy from you tend to engage with photo posts, continue sharing photos. The goal is to build an engaged following that trusts you and believes in your brand, not to go viral.

3. That said, do utilise Instagram’s features

Although it’s not ideal to prioritise the algorithm when creating content, do consider how utilising Instagram’s features may help your value-led content to reach more people who fit your ideal client profile.

Share candid shots and videos on stories (and, for bonus points, use polls, question boxes, and so on), turn your popular posts into reels using stock videos, if you aren’t confident filming, post carousels, go live, and engage with others’ accounts, too.
If you aren’t sure where to start, consider how you already interact with others’ accounts, and the types of content you enjoy most. Do you binge Instagram stories but rarely scroll through the timeline to look at feed posts (if so, it might be time to tweak your strategy)? Do you devour carousel-style photo dumps but ignore reels? Another indication of how you like to use socials as a consumer, and how others may, too.

4. Utilise analytics

If you’ve never paid much attention to your social media analytics, now is the time to start. There is a wealth of information on the kinds of content that your audience responds to that you can use to inform future content.
Context is key when reading analytics, however. If a post performs poorly, for instance, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the content is bad. It may be that it was shared on a quiet socials day (during a big sporting event or holiday, say) or at a time much of your audience wasn’t online. Take everything into account.
Look at your best-performing posts (choose a metric which suits your strategy best, so best-performing could mean most engagement overall, most shares, most website clicks, and so on) and find the common threads. Do image-led posts tend to perform better than text? Are reels a winner for you? And, what about the actual content – are there certain angles your audience responds to more than others (such as top tips, things not to do, how tos, personal perspectives, etc)?
Use all of these insights to inform your content moving forward, bearing in mind that these will likely evolve over time.

5. Be consistent

Don’t commit to posting daily if you can’t upkeep that schedule. People like consistency and reliability, so adhoc posting won’t benefit you when trying to build trust with your audience. Instead, figure out a posting schedule that you can realistically manage right now (not when such and such happens) and stick to it. If it turns out you can actually post at a higher frequency, that’s great! Otherwise, your audience knows exactly when to expect content from you – you become a reliable source of information.


Meet Pippa

Pippa Jameson is an author, tv designer and interiors expert. The previous interior editor on several leading UK titles, Pippa has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Throughout her 25-year career, Pippa’s unique and creative approach has won her commissions for large retail brands and celebrities to deliver exciting and engaging projects. 

She’s written the curriculum for the British College of Interior Design, produced and styled shoots for well-known brands including John Lewis, H&M & Team GB/DFS, worked as an International Stylist for leading paint brands in Asia, consulted on the launch and creative direction of major retail names including George Home and Wren, and most recently, published her first book, The Sensory Home. Pippa possesses expertise unmatched in the interior industry.