In just over a decade, Instagram has grown from a simple photo-sharing app to a full-fledged business tool. Today, the platform sees more than one billion active monthly users, and nearly 90% of them follow at least one business account. So, Instagram is the place to be if you want your business to stay relevant, increase the chances for customer growth, and boost brand awareness.
The key to successfully leveraging the popular social media platform is to give your audience something that will attract them to your account and keep them coming back. Wondering where to start? We’ve put together seven top tips for you.
Define Your Goals
Before you start investing time and effort, you need to define goals for your Instagram growth. Ask yourself what are your primary objectives. Is it increased brand awareness? A loyal community? Or boosted sales? Whatever your answer is, your goals must be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This practice will provide the clarity, focus, and encouragement you need to formulate and implement the right plan to achieve your objectives.
Optimize Your Profile
Your Instagram account is your business homepage. You have 150 characters to write an outstanding bio. Make sure to include a short but sweet description of what your business does and what makes you different from the competition. Keep the tone on-brand and include relevant emojis if applicable.
Also, you can share a link to a relevant page where people can learn more about your business. Don’t forget to leverage the Action Buttons — add a clickable button for a specific call to action such as View Shop, Contact, and Book Now. Finally, choose your category/industry, add an address, and include contact information.
Find Your Visual Aesthetic
Instagram is all about visuals. And when a potential follower comes to your account, you have only a few seconds to grab their attention and persuade them to hit the “follow” button. Having a cohesive grid will surely leave a good first impression.
Think about the aesthetics that would represent your business best, and design branding guidelines to stay consistent. For example, choose the right color palette to create a different style. Additionally, if your Instagram content includes a significant portion of text, use a font that relates to the fonts you use on other marketing channels and your website.
Instagram’s algorithm shows each person the content they are most likely to enjoy. So posting regularly will help you pop up in people’s feeds, giving them more opportunities to engage with your content. Consequently, the more they like, share or save your content, the greater the possibility to continue seeing it in their feed. Of course, the best way to ensure you’re consistent is to schedule the posts in advance. Keep in mind that at first, you might need to test different posting times to find out your audience's preferred hours.
Use the Right Hashtags
Undoubtedly, hashtags are the best way to categorize the content and expose it to a larger, targeted audience. Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags, but recent research has revealed that posts with nine hashtags perform best. The key is to choose them wisely — instead of using too populated hashtags, use niche-focused trending hashtags that your target audience is likely to check.
Create High-Quality and Diverse Types of Content
There is more to Instagram than just photos. The platform continually expands its features, and now you can post a variety of interactive content. For better engagement, you should share a mix of photos, videos, Stories, Reels, and IGTV.
Create high-quality and unique posts that will engage people and entice them to hit the follow button. Also, Instagrammers tend to re-share relatable and valuable content so try creating funny memes, informative posts, inspirational quotes, or infographics. Finally, don’t forget to add catchy, on-brand captions to capture users’ attention and encourage feedback.
Follow Similar Users
Following and engaging with targeted users is often underestimated yet very useful tactic. After all, Instagram is social media, and social media channels are a two-way street. So, instead of passively waiting for your target audience to engage with your content, take a proactive approach. Search for specific users, follow them, and like their content. Whenever possible, participate in relevant conversations. This strategy might help users notice you and become interested enough in your business to follow you back.
The tips we’ve shared here will help you grow a bigger, relevant audience on Instagram. However, your work doesn’t stop at your first milestone. Growing your Instagram community is an ongoing job. To stay on top of it, you have to monitor how your content performs. Analyze the results consistently to ensure your strategy is aligned with your goals.