Instagram is an excellent platform for small businesses, especially those looking to grow both online and offline. With millions of users logging onto Instagram daily, it is the perfect platform to get your business known. You, however, not only need an Instagram account for the business but also to optimize it to attract and engage the right followers. Here are a few tips on how to grow your business Instagram account to gain a following and increase returns on investments efficiently.
1. Create and Publish Exciting Content for Your Audience
You only have two options when running a business or an Instagram account: Make excuses or make progress. The key to attracting a huge following, especially on social media, is great and unique content. You thus need to ensure your content stands out from the over 400 million users on the platform. While you cannot please everyone on Instagram, you at least need to ensure the content published is perfect for your audience.
It is quite possible to grow your small business Instagram account from just a few dozen followers to tens of thousands in just a few weeks. Foundr Magazine is an excellent example. Foundr grew its Instagram following from nothing to over 10,000 followers in just two weeks. With hard work, creativity, and dedication, you can get enough numbers/followers to make an impact. Start by identifying accounts of businesses in your line of work to see what they post and how they do it to get an idea of how it is done.
2. Make Proper Use of The Hashtag Feature
Hashtags are a crucial part of Instagram’s ecosystem. Although they might seem annoying to many, hashtags make it possible and easier for users/followers/audiences to find your account or content fast. It also exposes your content to thousands of users, including non-followers. Instagram only allows up to thirty hashtags per post, a reason you want to be creative with them. Although 30 hashtags might seem too many for a beginner, most power users max them out. It would be best if you used hashtags relevant to your business and subject matter. Most people only use 11 hashtags per image.
3. ‘Borrow’ Followers
Promoting your Instagram account can be a little daunting, especially if you have little to no followers. While your content might be top-notch, only a few users may be able to see them. You can however boost visibility and following by ‘borrowing’ views from rival companies on Instagram. Start by following everyone that follows you, including other businesses as well. You might also want to ask your audience to comment, like, and follow you as well. When executed properly, this strategy can earn you more than 35% in follow-back. You can also buy Instagram comments at Social Plus to boost your account.
4. Create and Post Consistently
Consistency is the key to growing your Instagram account and any other social media handle. While creating and publishing unique content may earn new followers, you need to keep this audience engaged and yearning for more. One of the best ways to do this would be to create and post regularly, at least twice daily. Make an effort to upload at least one image once per day, especially on your busiest days. You also might want to pick an ideal time to make these posts to increase viewership.
5. Add A Strong Call to Action
Make a habit of adding a call to action on every post. Don’t wait for the viewers to make the decision, but rather instigate it. One of the best and easiest ways to make the audience act on your uploads is to ask them to ‘tag a friend’ or simply ‘double tap’ the image. You could also ask fans to leave their email for a follow-up after making an order or purchase. Be sure to use polite language when asking your audience to like your content or even leave their email address. The last thing you want is to scare them away.
6. Run Contests
Running contests can help attract more audiences and even earn followers easily. The idea is to ask anyone willing to participate to either follow, post, or tag a friend on your photos and other content. You’ll, of course, need to offer something the audience would be interested in. This can be anything from a cash reward, a shopping voucher, or a product/service from your stores/business. The more people you can get to enter and run the content; your audience base will be wider, hence improved engagement.
7. Consider Paid Instagram Shout-Outs
Instagram shout-outs are one of the most efficient and fastest ways to grow a following on the platform. It involves asking a user (or influencer) to mention your brand/account on their posts or even post an image of the same. Mentioning your product on just a single post means their followers (mostly thousands) get to see it and hopefully respond. Although you might have to part with a few coins, impressions from Instagram shout-outs will be worth every penny. Asking the influencer to mention your brand a few times in a day or a week can earn you more followers than you could imagine. This thus makes it a small price to pay for the exposure.
8. Schedule Your Posts
Running a small business, especially a startup, can be time-consuming. This robs you of time you’d otherwise spend promoting or improving the business. The same applies to running an Instagram account. As busy as you might be, posting juicy photos regularly is the only way to retain and even get more followers. You thus need to create time to manage the Instagram account to avoid losing out. If unable to, you can then use third-party apps to schedule posts. Tools such as Schedugram and Hootsuite come in handy in scheduling when posts should be uploaded to your Instagram account. These tools are especially useful if you have a busy schedule and can also be used to promote twitter and Facebook too. You only need to upload the posts on the platform, then choose when these should go live on Instagram.
9. Consider Automating Engagement
Unknown to many, most influencers and large entities use automated software/bots to handle likes, follows, and comments on their Instagram accounts. There are plenty of tools on the market capable of handling this, including Archie and Kicksta. You can thus use these tools to automate everything from liking, following back, or even responding to comments based on preferred parameters. While Instagram automation may help grow your following fast, it may be against the platform’s (Instagram) terms of service. You might thus want to use these tools sparingly to avoid having your account suspended.