Instagram has more than one billion users. At least 80% of users follow a business account or brand. So, you can use Instagram for your business to build your following and ultimately your customer list and profits. Here are some steps to take to succeed with Instagram Marketing.
Growing Your Ideal Followers
Growing your ideal followers organically will take a little time but the following strategies can help you:
1. Posting content consistency
Posting content consistency is vital for Instagram’s algorithmic timeline. Posting on a regular basis, along with daily engagement, can ensure that your posts are seen on your followers’ timelines. It's better for you to post 1-2 times a week to your followers at the same time each week than erratically and infrequently. Get into a consistent pattern that you can easily manage.
2. Use hashtags
Hashtags help group together like-minded conversations. You should use them on Instagram as they can help you get found by your target audience. Even people who are not your followers can still find your content. Learn more about using hashtags on Instagram here.
3. Be authentic
Authenticity is key to unleashing your business's full potential. Share behind-the-scenes candid moments related to your brand, products, and company. Creating compelling content is key but it goes together with genuine brand messaging. Instagram Reels can be an amazing way for brands and businesses to flex their creative muscles and add an authentic visual experience well beyond a grid post.
In addition, users see Reels from all Instagram accounts on the Reels tab, not just the ones they follow.
Promoting Your Products & Offers
Getting your products seen initially on Instagram you can use contests. These can be a fun and friendly way to get your audience involved and engaged in your business and bring more attention to your brand.
When you run a contest on Instagram be sure to follow Instagram's terms and conditions. Typically contents ask followers to like and share certain post to win, and they can repost them for a chance at winning your contest. They can repost your content to their timelines directing more traffic to your own account. You could also use the contest criteria to "tag a friend in the comments" your current audience is focused on sharing your post with their peers. This creates a domino effect because their followers and friends will also feel compelled to enter the contest and do the same thing, and so on. This multiplies the effort of getting your business discovered.
This is what Growling Gibbon did to help grow their following on launch.
If you have physical products you sell and have an e-commerce website you can benefit hugely from integrating the Instagram Shoppable feature. Then you'll be able to directly tag your products in relevant posts.
See the example below used by Cyrils Soap Shed where they have tagged 2 of their dog shampoo bars in the reel.
Engage Your Followers with Your Brand
Social media is not just about presence, it is also about engaging and caring. Activity and engagement are crucial to build a positive brand experience and develop meaningful relationships with new and potential future customers.
You need to create content that is helpful to your audience, that addresses their needs and pain points. Think “conversation” not “broadcast.”
Instagram Stories can be great for engagement as they are easy to do the following:
- Ask questions
- Run Polls
- Encouraging your audience to ask you questions (try an “Ask Me Anything” session)
- Have fun and connect with animated gifs
- Spotlighting customers
Once your followers feel they are important to you, they will become more engaged with your brand.