Business opportunities continue to grow on Instagram. Approximately 90 percent of its one billion (and counting) active monthly users follow a business account. More than 200 million business accounts are a significant force on the platform.
The challenge: Unless you’re a Kardashian or viral wonder, it's difficult to attract a large Instagram following without hard work.
This guide explains some simple things businesses can do to increase their follower bases quickly and effectively.
Create and Maintain a Social Media Calendar
It’s critical to post regularly on Instagram. Regular posting gives followers something to look forward to and consistently engage with. Beyond that, it signals to the platform’s algorithm that you’re active and engaged, which puts you in front of more people. Use a social media calendar to ensure you post on time and never fall out of the habit. The calendar should include the date and time of your posts, links to images or videos, captions, and any other information that will keep you organized.
Leverage a Social Media Management Tool
Social media management technology like the popular Hubspot allows you to post consistently without logging in to Instagram every time you do. A relatively small investment in social media automation will help you expand your Instagram following while minimizing the effort.
Stick to a Regular Posting Schedule
Set a consistent schedule for posting to build trust with your followers. Optimizing your schedule for your audience might take time and some experimenting. Find a cadence that works, then stick with it.
Tip: Consider your target personas as you plan your posting schedule. Ask yourself: When will these people have time to check out Instagram? What kinds of messages will they be most receptive to?
Use a Business Profile
While you could technically grow a business follower base with a personal account, it’s better to turn your account into an Instagram Business Profile or create one. It will provide you with access to Instagram Insights, which will allow you to understand how quickly your following is growing and how effective your strategies are.
Customize Your Instagram for Business Profile
Use your Instagram profile to explain what your business does, what makes it unique, and why people should follow you.
Start by ensuring your username is recognizable and easily searchable. If your business name isn’t currently available on Instagram, the username should relate to your business name as closely as possible. Choose a profile picture that reflects your brand, such as your company logo. Fill your bio with valuable information about your business. Add a bit of personality. Include a link to your website so people can learn more about your business with a click.
Enable Notifications and Engage
Turn on notifications to find out when people share or comment on your content. This allows you to engage with your audience more quickly. Replying to and liking comments in a timely manner is a great look for your brand (the algorithm loves it, too). To set up notifications, go to Settings and Privacy and then Notifications. Next, select your preferences.
Find an Experienced Instagram Content Creator
Identify one or two people to manage your Instagram account. If possible, find someone with experience on the platform. A small investment in a talented Instagram content developer could pay off in a considerable increase in followers and sales generated through the social media platform.
Follow Best Practices for Images and Videos
On Instagram, post quality matters. It’s a platform built around the best images and videos presented in compelling ways. Here are some ways to optimize yours:
Invest in professional photography or a smartphone with a good camera
Keep things simple
Leverage negative space
Use unique perspectives
Seek out symmetry
Capture small details
Edit content to optimize it
Create an Instagram Theme
Develop a consistent look and feel across your Instagram feed. Anyone engaging with any post should immediately know it comes from your brand. Consistency encourages higher engagement with posts over time.
Write Engaging Captions
Even though Instagram is a visual medium, captions are an essential part of your posts. Consistently great captions will humanize your brand, win over followers, and make your content more shareable, extending its exposure.
Tag Relevant Instagram Users
Another way to gain followers on Instagram is to tag relevant users in your posts. The tagged posts will then show up in that person's tagged post feed. Anyone who looks at them will find your content and, hopefully, follow you.
A hashtag on Instagram ties conversations from different users who wouldn't already be connected into a unified stream. If you use the right hashtags, your posts will gain exposure to a broader audience and earn you more followers. Don’t overdo it, though. Piling on the hashtags can look spammy, detract from your captions, and potentially hurt your standings in the algorithm.
Leverage Instagram Promotions and Ads
To move outside your Instagram follower base, you must use Instagram promotions and ads. It will help you reach people you might never otherwise reach. After all, Meta, the parent company of Instagram, wants to make money. One of the key ways it does that is to withhold distribution unless you pay to play. It could be worth spending a few dollars to expand your reach and gain new followers via ads, boosting, and other paid features.
Grow Your Instagram Following
Instagram can be a tough nut to crack. Its user base is massive, which means the competition is steep. Of course, it also means there are plenty of opportunities to find and speak to your audience on this popular platform. Consistently leverage the proven tactics in this article to grow your Instagram follower base over time.
Do you need help managing and curating content for your Instagram and other social media channels? We can help.