With more than 700 millions users all over the world, Instagram is one of the most influential social media channel, that provides an amazing marketing platform to reach your target audience in every corner of the world. However, if you want to grow your business on Instagram, it’s essential to regularly get a steady stream of followers that engage with your business. This will increase your reach, every time you post an Instagram update.
Here are 7 actionable ways to grow your business on Instagram
1. Leverage free Instagram Tools
Instagram allows you to create detailed business profiles, similar to Facebook Business pages, with a huge call-to-action to contact the business via email, call or text. In addition to business profiles, Instagram also provides Insights, similar to Facebook Insights, that provides in-depth analytics about user engagement and impressions. However, if you use a personal profile on Instagram, you’ll need to convert it into a business profile, to be able to access these tools. The more you understand how your audience responds to your content, the easier it will be to optimize your Instagram strategy.
2. Promote Instagram profile on other social networks
One of the easiest ways to gain more Instagram followers is to simply cross-promote your Instagram business profile on other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Your followers on other social platforms are already interested in your business and content, so you can give them one more way to engage your brand.
People don’t use all their social media profiles all the time. Many leave certain social media platforms, or become inactive on some. So it’s essential to stay in touch with your followers via multiple social media platforms, to be able to reach them one way or the other.
3. Don’t flood your audience with updates
It’s good to post regular updates to ensure that your brand is relevant but you should not post so frequently that your people unfollow your account, simply because they’re tired of your updates.
To begin with, you can start with posting a couple of times every day, to see how your followers respond. You can also try out different times during the day, to find when you’re able to drive most engagement. You can then experiment with more, as well as less number of posts, to maximize your reach.
4. Respond to Follower Comments
One of the biggest mistakes businesses do on social media is that they don’t respond to people’s comments & messages. If one of your Instagram followers posts a comment on one of your posts, make sure you reply to it. Such a simple gesture will not only improve their brand loyalty but also encourage them to spread the word about your business.
Also, try out ways to get your audience to engage with your posts. For example, you can post something like “Tag couple of your friends who’ll like this” to increase your reach as well as get new followers. Since your followers are indirectly referring your brand to their friends, they’re more likely to start following you.
5. Use hashtags the right way
Hashtag is a great way to increase audience engagement on Instagram. For example, you can simply create a hashtag that your customers can use to tag photos of using your product, or a new product that they just purchased. This will let your followers know what hashtag to use when posting about your business. It will encourage more followers to use it, so that their posts are featured on your business page. Also, every time someone uses your hashtag, they are sharing about your business with their followers.
6. Repurpose Content from other accounts
If you’re unable to regularly come up with content ideas, you can even repurpose content from other Instagram accounts that are relevant to your business. There are many apps available that let you download Instagram photos to your camera roll, and repost them to your account. Just ensure that you provide credit to the original source by tagging them in your caption. You can repurpose content from those Instagram accounts whose audience is similar to your target audience. They may even reciprocate it by repurposing your content in return.
7. Like Photos of other accounts in your niche
If you’ve just created an Instagram account and don’t have many followers, then this is one of the best ways to get your name out there and let other users discover you. Every day, go through 5-10 photos from other accounts that are in your niche and simply like them. You can even post a genuine comment, and follow them.
You can can find other users in your niche using hashtags or by looking at the followers of your competitors’ accounts. You can even see the followers of those users whom you’ve following. In fact, I attended a conference by Susan Peterson, CEO of Freshly Picked, where she described how, in the early days, she would spend hours every night liking others’ photos. Now Freshly Picked as more than 400,000 followers.
Hopefully, the above tips will help you build a loyal brand and grow your business on Instagram. Here are a few key things to remember while growing your Instagram audience:
- Balance your posts with a healthy combination of product-based photos, lifestyle images, entertaining and educational content. Don’t post the same type of content all the time.
- Only post high quality, hi-resolution photos in your Instagram posts. Since Instagram is a photo-based social network with tons of photos being added every second, you need to make yours stand out.
- Keep experimenting with different post frequencies and times of posting, till you find what works for you.
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