If you have a business, (doesn’t matter if it’s online or a brick and mortar place) – you need to be utilizing social media in order to grow and attract your following. Instagram is quickly becoming the most popular social media channel for engagement and brand awareness. If you follow a brand on Instagram, you are more likely to purchase from that brand than if you follow them on any other platform. But having a social media account is one thing. Learning how to monetize it for your business, is a completely different thing all together. It’s not as easy as just posting any old picture to your account and hope your audience grows. Here are my 7 tips to explode your Instagram following.
Content is King
The only way your Instagram account will grow is if you actually post content. But your content must resonate with your audience and make them want to continue to follow you. If your content is not relevant to your brand, then followers get mixed messages about who or what your brand is. For example, if you are a high end women’s clothing boutique, you wouldn’t want to start posting content related to real estate.
Ensure your content is engaging, relevant to your brand and has a personal quality to it. No one wants to be sold to in every.single.post so mix up your content with posts that are educational, entertaining and engaging in order to keep your followers wanting more. Spend time understanding what your audience likes and wants to see and then tailor your content to them, not what YOU want to see. (Hint: You are not your audience!)
Engage Engage Engage!
Growing your Instagram following is done by engaging with your followers, and being sincere in doing so. Engaging means taking the time to really read what followers have to say and commenting accordingly.
The best ways to engage with your following are:
✅ Every comment you get, respond back with at least 4 words.
✅Engage with your target market within your hashtags.
✅Like and comment on your followers content.
✅Find your competition/influencer. Someone in your niche who you admire, who is maybe a step or two higher up the experience chain than you. Look at what they are doing.
✅Search through their followers and follow/comment/like on those in your target market.
Engagement doesn’t have to take up much of your time, but its time well spent in order to increase your following and your reach organically. .
Hashtags are important as you begin to build your brand on Instagram. Users can find you based on the hashtags you use and the higher your post ranks on each hashtag, the more visible your account becomes.
You can use up to 30 different tags on any given post. I like to experiment between 20-30 on each post. Your hashtags should reflect the content in your post, your brand and business offerings and tags relevant to your audience and where they tend to be. So if you sold t-shirts for brides, you would want your posts to show up in hashtags that brides may use or search for.
Spend some time researching your hashtags. If your posts tend to average 100 likes per post, then you don’t want to use hashtags where the average likes are 1000. Your post would get buried very quickly under that hashtag. I use a wonderful new social media tool called SocialInfo. (this is an affiliate link. If you purchase this product using my link, I receive a small compensation)
This is a monthly subscription based program which will allow you to do hashtag research in minutes, giving you a perfect idea of what hashtags will work best for your content. For more information on the program read this Blog Post.
Using hashtags correctly for your business can help scale and grow your account much faster than you think. However, be cautious when repeating your tags. Have a few different sets of hashtags to use so you can rotate them out depending on your content and not get your account tagged as a spam account.
Schedule out your Content
With any business, time is of the essence. If you spend too much time in a day trying to craft the perfect post, you’ll likely end up wasting so many hours on social media content
Spend your time ONCE crafting up your Instagram posts for the week, or even two weeks. This allows you to batch your content so you aren’t wasting time going back and forth between programs or figuring out what to post. Utilizing free photo sites like Unsplash, or Pixabay can help you find quality, royalty free images that can help you build your brand.
Utilize a content calender to map out your posts, and what each one will talk about. When you are first starting out, a great content calender is one where each day of the week has a theme, such as:
✅ Sunday – Family
✅ Monday – What’s happening in your week
✅ Tuesday – Share a blog post/live/value based content
✅ Wednesday – Inspirational/Motivational
✅ Thursday – Sell your business
✅ Friday – Weekend Vibes
✅ Saturday – Gratitude
This allows you to share quality content with your followers, and allows you to focus on more important tasks, like engagement, program creation and whatever other badass things your business does!
More than 300 million accounts use Instagram Stories to promote their brand, increase engagement and share with their community. It allows accounts to create specific posts, polls, chunks of video and as of late a repost of any of your actual IG posts. Stories are fast becoming the latest and greatest way to attract your market audience, especially if you can add new stories in on a regular basis in your day. This keeps your profile bubble at the front of your followers queue, keeping YOU in front of your audience.
Stories aren’t like your traditional posts though. They last for only 24 hours and then vanish. However, if you archive them, you have the ability to save them to your Highlights feed. Highlights give you the ability to keep certain stories on your profile indefinitely. This is a fantastic way to give your audience what they might need, like your list of services, or tips in your industry, or maybe videos for giveaways or products etc. It really is endless how you can use the highlights.
Link in Bio
One of the biggest shortfalls on Instagram is the inability to add links in posts. This makes it difficult to encourage your followers to take action off of the platform. The only place where a link can go is in your profile, making it hard to figure out what link it should be, and how to direct traffic to it. There are many link creators now available for Instagram which will allow you to add multiple links to one page, giving you an endless “page” for your links. Add a link to your blog, your website, your free opt-in or anything you like. The one I like to use is called Linktr.ee. It’s free.
One of the most important components of Instagram is its Live video. It’s no secret that live videos do very well for your engagement, especially ones that give tons of value to your followers. Video can be scary for anyone to tackle. But when done, video has the ability to put your face and voice on your brand. You become more visible to your followers and in turn they trust you and your brand more. Live videos don’t have to be long, or scripted either. You can just turn on the camera and just talk. Tell about a new podcast you found, or a tidbit that helped you in your business, or maybe its a live where you want to showcase a new product or business venture. Just share, be authentic and connect with your followers.
Instagram doesn’t have to be a tough social media channel to tackle. With a few simple techniques and a bit of experimenting, you can quickly grow your following with an engaged and authentic audience that can’t wait to see your content.