Our social media guide below contains 9 ways to help grow your business’ Instagram presence Organically – Let’s dive in –
Instagram is probably one of the easiest platforms to create an account on. However, maintaining a successful business account is a whole different ball game. Before we jump into the 9 ways that I have used and applied to help grow a few different business Instagrams, let’s review some key stats about Instagram and why your business needs a strong Instagram presence.
It’s no secret that Instagram is considered the focal point for many businesses and digital marketers. According to Falcon, the engagement rate on Instagram is 10x higher than it is on Twitter. Think of it this way – Instagram is considered the sweet spot of the social media scene for marketers and business. And I don’t think I have to explain why I mean unless you’ve been living under a rock or something?
Falcon states that Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users, Of those users, 50% are following brands. That’s a pretty good number if you ask me, with high chances of business opportunities!
Businesses have the capability to market on platforms. Social media platforms allow them to reach their audience in real time, with the message they want to tell, and collect the data needed to further remarket to their potential clients. Despite all of this knowledge, statistics, videos, and content, online business are still struggling to maintaining their social media presence. Why, you ask? Simple.
In this article and I will point out a few ways that business can build and maintain their Instagram presence by providing examples from my own experience with helping business accounts grow their Instagrams.
There are a total of 25 million business accounts on Instagram, and this number is not slowing down. Because social media has such a positive impact, it continues to be one of the strongest ways to communicate with current and potential clients in real time. Statistically speaking, organic Instagram usage costs your business nothing and makes the most sense sense. If you don’t have an Instagram presence, you should probably STOP reading this blog and create one right now. Need help? Read this article provided by Instagram on how to create a business Instagram account. If you already have a business Instagram account – take notes!
As promised, here are 9 Ways to Grow Your Instagram Presence
Listen up Business Owners – When creating a business Instagram account you must first create an Instagram business strategy or action plan strategy. WHY? Let’s review a few more stats created by our friends over at Wordstream.
- This year, 70.7% of U.S. companies will use Instagram for marketing, edging out Twitter for the first time.
- 8. 50% of Instagram users follow at least one business.
- 9. 60% of users say that they have learned about a product or service on the platform.
With Instagrams immense community, how is your business going to stand out? How are you going to go after your audience? What brand message are you advertising? What call to actions are you going to use? What design aesthetic are you going to use? How often are you going to post? How can your brand be seen to new potential clients? These are only a few questions you should be asking yourself which is why strategy is step one.
Think about when you first created your business. You obviously had to create some sort of plan on how you would get from point a to point b, created goals and then steps on how you would accomplish those goals. Welp people, this isn’t rocket science. Your Instagram strategy is pretty much the exact same thing as your business strategy.
Your Instagram marketing plan should be clear to the point and discuss what you want to accomplish for example:
- Your goals
- Who your target audience is
- What story you want to tell.
- You’re brand design or aesthetic.
Research Is very important for any business creating an online social presence. You should be asking – What is your competition doing? What are the other businesses doing? What hashtags are popular in your industry? Who in your industry is having success via Instagram?
No one wants to reinvent the wheel, nor should they have to in today’s technological world. There are many ways to see what your competitors are doing such as…
- Have you performed a Social media audit? The purpose of the audits are to evaluate and optimize a business’s profiles and strategies. In ways, they have increased and can increase their original goals. This article contains a FREE template, provided by Hootsuite, on how to create a social media audit.
- Another key tip with research is knowing and understanding Instagram statistics and anayltics. All business accounts should utilize the Instagram anayltics and insights as this will tell you your audience, demographic, trending post and so forth. Check out this article provided by Hootsuite about the top 24 Instagram statistics you should be aware of in order to help grow your Instagram presence.
- It is key to understand Instagrams News Feed Algorithm and trends so that your business can stay at the top of your follower’s feeds.
- If you an e-commerce shop, apply for Instagram shopping. You can click here to apply for your Instagram shoppers account.
- Goal setting
No one wants to work harder. The goal is to always work smarter. Let’s discuss Smart Goals. In order to create a successful strategy, you must create goals with action plans. The key is to create SMART goals, which help you determine if the goal can be accomplished and the steps needed in accomplishing these goals.
Check out this blog provided by mind tools which explains what smart goals are and how to implement them in your strategy.
Yes, I said it. Instagram SEO! Creating an SEO strategy for your Instagram account is vital in today’s competitive business world.The two key areas that affect SEO are…
- Your account handle. This is the ‘@’ name that you register your account with. This should clearly reflect the sector in which your business operates.
- Your account name. This appears under your profile picture and should reflect your account handle and industry.
Looking for more tips on how to create and optimize SEO-friendly Instagram handles and names that will increase Instagram engagement? Check out this Linkedin blog all about creating the perfect Instagram name.
- Consistency is key, Always!
There are many successful Instagram accounts that are a beauty to watch blossom as they have been consistent since they created their accounts. Some key pointers would be:
- Limiting your range of filters to one or two and applying them to every photo
- Think of creating a photo grid to plan out how your posts will look digitally
- Create a niche for your account, this will help with brand recognition,
- Keeping your storyline and postings consistent with the filters and a clear goal.
- Creating a social media calendar will help you stay on track with your content and audience building. If you just do not have the time to invest in Instagram, then try a posting platform such as Hootsuite.
- Stay up to date with the news and latest trends in your industry. Provide value to your followers by posting this information on the stories, posting curated user-generated content you curate, from blogs, polls, videos, and images
- Utilize your Instagram anayltics and insights when creating content, as this will help you determine what your customers want to see and the best time to post this information.
- Hashtags, or tags however you would like to call them, are still crucial for business owners
According to our business partners over at Hubspot, Instagram posts with at least one hashtag averages 12.6% more engagement than a post with no hashtags. Hashtags are like categories, for example. Instagram is essentially an online photo album and hashtags are the categories for your photos. Hashtags help your post get discovered by viewers most interested in seeing it. When it comes to hashtags…
- You should always try to vary your hashtags according to your posts. Try not to copy and paste the same hashtag every time as tags should be relevant
- Stay active in your Instagram community. What are others doing? WHY NOT PARTICIPATE?
- Try running a contest using your keywords as hashtags.
- Business Biography
Your Social Media biography should clarify your Business’ purpose. Your profile’s bio is the first thing users see when they are on your Instagram. You should have a creative, well-crafted, clear message that you would like your audience to view in your biography. Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes – would you want to follow an account that is unclear of their own goals? Your Instagram bio can also include:
- Call to actions
- A link your website to your business bio
- A link your other social accounts
This will make it easier for your clients to visit your website and or social profiles.
- This saying will never get old – CONTENT is KING
Provide value. Why would you follow a company who provides no value? Always put yourself in the consumer’s shoes. Don’t have great content of your own to post? Try user-generated content on Instagram. This is a chance for followers to involve themselves more deeply with your brand while also reducing marketing costs because the content is being created and approved by your audience.
For example, you can ask a question and create a social poll around a trending topic that you know will attract buzz. You also want to aim to create viral industry content. How? Simple. What’s going on in your industry? Stay on top of the latest news and trends, and then relay this information with your audience.
When choosing and creating the content that will go on your Instagram page, keep in mind your business’ design and aesthetic. Try not to overwhelm your audience with design or to much content. Remember to keep your audience in mind while curate content. Specifically tailor your messages to them, keeping postings and descriptions clean and consistent. You can spice up your business’ content in a number of ways. Some of my favorites are:
- Adding videos and boomerangs to your stories
- Producing Instagram Video content that doesn’t require sound to be engaged. Roughly 85% of Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, users play videos without sound, and the numbers are similar on Instagram.
- Add some humor and personality to your descriptions
- Use clean images
- Add stickers and gifys to your stories.
- Basically, be a human behind a brand, not just a brand.
Which leads to tip number 8…
- Build relationships
You are a human, not a robot. No one wants to follow a robot. Show some personality in your brand’s content and postings. It’s much easier to build a relationship and get invested in a brand when you are interacting with an actual human. Would you agree?
Show emotions while posting and try to remember the audience you are targeting. Sometimes it’s okay to not ask a question but, instead give a command. For example, try telling your audience to Double Tap If they agree with X Y or Z issue. Building a trust with your users, engaging with them daily, staying active and consistent in the Instagram community, and cross-promoting will help your brand more than you may think.
- Make your brand credible.
How, you ask? Here’s the secret sauce: ENGAGE. You can engage in many different ways with your audience. However, some of the most popular ways are…
- Commenting. Do this, and this will benefit your Instagram account. Instagram cares the most about engagement. When a post receives a bunch of likes and comments, Instagram sees this as “quality”, remember to post engaging valuable content that more people will want to see and interact with. (Take away tip: Remember people buy when they trust)
- Don’t only comment but write useful comments. This provides value to the interaction. This can be done by offering tips or sending links that can help the users.
- Participate in social communities
- Join and create engagement Pods
- Reach out to Influencers and see if they would be interested in partnering with you. This will help you advertise your brand’s message and/or products
- Likes. More likes = more cred for your brand
- Interact with your followers. This is your community, your audience. Communicate with them by liking, commenting, following and messaging your. Ask them questions such as what could you do better, what type of content would you like to see more of?
- Try Instagram live. Get out of your comfort zone! I’ve said this several times and will say it once more, do not be afraid to show personality behind a brand. People want to interact and get to know YOU.
In the end, review the data and research you collected and utilize it by providing curated content, with a clear goal and high levels of engagement.
That’s all folks, I would love some feedback, have any of you tried any of the tips I’ve mentioned above? If so I would love to know your experience and thoughts. Comment below and I’ll be sure to reply 😉