If you have a small business, you should be utilizing social media marketing to help grow your brand. Instagram is quickly becoming one of the most popular social media channels for brand awareness and growth. But there is more to growing your following than just posting an image and hoping for the best. Here are 6 ways to help increase your Instagram following for small businesses.
Content is Queen
As a small business, your content needs to resonate with your audience. Your Instagram account should be no different. This means not only sharing your products or services, but posting content that your audience would love to see. This can mean popular quotes, or posting questions that require an answer or even showing how much your customers mean to your business by reposting user generated content. One of the biggest takeaways for your content is to ensure it is relevant to your audience, interesting to them and makes them want to engage with your account.
Engage Engage Engage!
Growing your Instagram following can be done easily by engaging with your audience, but engagement doesn’t have to take a lot of your time either. Plan to spend about ten to fifteen minutes immediately after posting to engage with your audience and then once again later in the day.
The best ways to engage with your following are:
- Respond to all comments with at least four words
- Like and comment on your followers content
- Like and comment on content within your targeted hashtags
Engagement doesn’t have to take up a ton of time, but be genuine with your comments and really get to know your followers. It will pay off in the long run.
Hashtags are an important tool for building your brand on Instagram. New audiences can find you based on the hashtags you use, so it’s vital to use hashtags that are specific to them.
You can use up to 30 different tags on any given post which should reflect your brand and business offerings to attract your followers.
Spend time researching your hashtags. If your posts tend to average 50 likes per post, then you don’t want to use hashtags where the average likes are 10,000. Instagram does offer other suggestions for hashtags when you search. A proper hashtag strategy can really propel your small businesses visibility to your market.
Be cautious when repeating hashtags. Have a few different sets of hashtags to use so you can rotate them out depending on your content for each post. Too often businesses get flagged as a spam account when they use the same hashtags over and over again.
With any small business, time is of the essence. No one wants to be spending hours each day trying to come up with a post to send out. Scheduling your content in advance will ensure your social media profiles are posting content daily and attracting your audience each time.
There are many great schedulers out there for Instagram, but some free favorites are Later and Planoly. A scheduler will allow you to build out your calendar for a week or longer, letting you see your Instagram grid as you map it out. This helps you to see how your content will look in your grid and lets you plan out in advance everything that you would like to post. If you are unsure of what to post on any given day, start with this quick content calendar:
– Sunday – Family happenings
– Monday – Monday Goals
– Tuesday – Share your newest content/blog post/product/service
– Wednesday – Funny, Inspirational quote or motivation
– Thursday – Sell your small business
– Friday – Weekend Happenings
– Saturday – Gratitude
As you get better at creating your content and knowing your audience, you will be able to tailor your calendar specifically to your social media marketing needs.
More than 300 million accounts use Instagram Stories to promote their brand, increase engagement and share with their community. They are a way to share more than just a graphic or image of your brand to your audience, letting you share live video, posts, musings, thoughts and daily life. Because stories only last 24 hours, small businesses can utilize them as a way to share a more personal aspect of their business without having to make a billion posts daily. Instagram stories are listed at the top of everyone’s newsfeed, so by ensuring you are sharing content to your stories a few times a day will help keep your profile in front of your audience no matter when they check in.
Link in Bio
One of the fallbacks of Instagram’s platform is the inability to use links. Each account gets only one spot on their profile for a link, so it’s imperative to use it to your advantage. If you have a free opt in for your email list, a website or a specific page you want to highlight, be sure to use your link to drive traffic to it.
Another great alternatives for providing more than one link to your followers is using a platform like linktr.ee which allows you to create a link that will lead to many more links. Some small businesses are also creating a specific page on their website to create their own series of links to share as well. Whichever way you go, utilize the link Instagram gives you to drive traffic to whatever product or service you are offering.
By utilizing these six ways to help build your Instagram account, your small business will begin to flourish with your social media marketing efforts and attract the right following to your product or services.
About the author:
Kelly Sturtevant owns and operates Blue Page Social, a Social Media Management company specializing in Facebook and Instagram organic growth. She is driven by a passion to help businesses be visible online and help increase revenue with Facebook advertising and email marketing strategies. When she is not helping businesses achieve a consistent and cohesive online presence, she can be found in the kitchen drinking an obscene amount of coffee while decorating cakes and baking with her kids.