When it comes to business in the modern age, social media has become a go-to for building brand recognition and a loyal group of consumers. Below we will lay out why Instagram for business is one of the best social media sites to use for your business and how you can begin to grow your Instagram followers.
Why You Should Use Instagram for Business
Instagram is something completely different in the social media realm. It boasts a beautifully simplistic interface and the ability to showcase lives through personal photo galleries. But does Instagram work for those in the realm of business? The answer is a resounding yes.
Though it may not be the right fit for every company, it has slowly grown to become the number one place to connect with your consumers on a business level and on a more intimate level. Lacking the restrictions of Twitter and the glaring advertising that many have turned away from on Facebook, Instagram is now the place to find and interact with future clientele.
Amy Kilvington, Marketing Executive at Blinds Direct says:
Instagram is a great place to secure strong relationships with customers because it offers extra insight into your business. By using photographs and video, you can also spark more inspiration and interest in people.
With a picture based platform, such as Instagram, your company is allowed to express itself and gain a following all at once. It also makes the process of just starting to grow your business a fun and creative experience. So how do you start to grow your Instagram account? Below we have compiled a list of need-to-know tips.
8 Tips on How to Grow Instagram Followers
1. Post Consistently
One of the major things you should do to grow your Instagram account is to post consistently. Social media moves fast and if you aren’t producing posts on a regular basis, many people will walk away from your account.
Nick Leffler, owner of Exprance says:
“My best tip for growing my Instagram audience without a lot of work is to post regularly . . . Posting once a day is ideal but it really comes down to posting as much as you can. I post twice a week because it works well for how much time I want to invest.”
Setting a goal for how many posts you want to produce in a week is a good start. Consistency is what will hold your audience’s attention throughout the week. Having a post schedule gives your customers something to look forward. Also, by always having a presence on their Instagram feed, you will be on your consumer’s minds which aids in building brand loyalty.
2. Identify Your Audience
This tip is like the keys to the kingdom. Knowing your audience is a huge part of succeeding in the Instagram world. By understanding that you can tailor your posts, images, and overall aesthetic to appeal to the consumers you want to attract. Also, identifying your audience means you have someone to make direct connections with.
Fritz Colcol of ZeroDay Partners says:
Your target demographic is easily found through the data analytics provided by Instagram Business pages (age, gender, location, likes, and shares). Instagram also suggests to their users your business should they have similar interests.
Acting as a consumer yourself and taking the time to search influencers and companies in your niche is also a good way of finding your audience. Seek out our own ideal companies and consumers to begin to build brand recognition.
3. Engage with the Community
Once you know the audience and consumers you are wanting to connect with, then do just that! Instagram has many options including direct messaging, comment sections, regrams, and the pictures themselves. The whole point of social media is engaging with people. Making authentic connections with individuals makes you more than just a brand in your consumers’ eyes.
Not just that, but it also gets your name out there. Commenting on competitor’s posts is a good way of letting yourself be seen in your market and engaging with your customers is another sure-fire way of growing a following. By commenting on customer posts you are showing interest in their lives, making them more likely to want to learn more about you too.
Other Tips for Community Engagement:
- Engage with Influencers in your niche and partner with them
- Repost customer pictures
- Offer special offers and giveaways
- Respond to followers with enthusiasm and continue the conversation
- Like photos of ideal customers and companies
- Join Comment Pods/private groups in similar areas of interest
4. Use Hashtags
Hashtags are some of your strongest allies on Instagram (and incredibly important). By utilizing hashtags you will be able to extend your reach and attract new followers to your content. Remember to look beyond the popular hashtags to lesser used (but relevant) ones as you could be drowned out by millions of other posts. Also use different variations of each hashtag combo.
Another great tip is to take advantage of all 30 hashtags that Instagram offers by placing them in your comments section. By doing this you can reach a wider scope of people while also keeping your post from looking too cluttered or ad-like.
Related Article: When to Use Social Media Networks to Grow Your Business
5. Write Thoughtful Captions
Captions, like your hashtags, are incredibly important in extending your reach. While it is fun to be short and witty, remember that Instagram is very much a visual storytelling platform. People like stories and enjoy having conversations. Allowing your captions reflect this can help you bring in more traffic.
Jessica Lawlor, yoga teacher and full-time blogger writes:
I do think there’s a time and place for snappy captions, but lately I’ve been trending towards longer captions — almost like mini-blog posts or stories. My captions are written to garner a response — I try to ask a question or encourage engagement in the comments in some way.
Conversations build relationships which, in turn, builds brand loyalty. To grow your following it is best to talk to anyone and everyone you can. Writing a caption that asks your audience to interact with you is like a big welcome sign for your company.
Paul Bowles, travel blogger of Beyond Utah, has a great example of a caption that keeps it simple with a short snippet of a story and a question to engage his audience. That is all you need to immediately engage people on your posts!
6. Humanize your Company
This tip is an important one on our list. Instagram is like a huge, global scrapbook with visual glimpses into people’s lives and experiences. It is this aspect of the platform that you need to work hand-in-hand with to gain followers. What is it like to be a part of your company? Who works at your business? Instagram gives you the ability to show that.
Ashley Mason, Social Media Consultant for Dash of Social suggests:
Business owners should use Instagram to show behind the scenes content of their business. It’s great for getting to know the business owner outside of the business, which builds credibility and trust with the audience — and people do business with people that they know, like, and trust.
Showing consumers your employees and your office lifestyle allows them to see you not as as simply a brand name, but as a human being. It is hard to connect to a name but it is easy to connect with smiling faces and authentic moments. By humanizing your company you will gain followers in no time. So post those office party pictures, employee stories, and other exciting company moments!
7. Post Quality Pictures, Not Ads
The truth is that people simply dislike obvious advertising. This is one reason why many people have turned away from Facebook. Instagram is not filled with ads, but instead with aesthetic images. Posting ads will not gain you any favors, but posting high quality pictures will.
Jon Miksis, an avid traveler and social media influence of Global Viewpoint says:
The golden rule for a business’s success on Instagram is to sell yourself without the appearance of selling your product. This means that you should be creating unique and engaging content, without always advertising your next big product. . . By interacting in the Instagram space in a way that comes across more as a user than as an enterprise, it will be much easier to grow your business’s Instagram following and reach.
Samsung is a company that posts more like they are the owner of the phone capturing unique moments rather than the company trying to sell the phone. It can go a long way in persuading more people to follow and join your clientele.
8. Tell a Story/Share Experiences
Eric Johnson, Digital Content Creator for FeedbackWrench writes:
To grow a business account on Instagram, it’s important to share content that adds value to someone else. Don’t just think in terms of great looking photos – think about why someone would care to see the post in the first place. What’s its story? What’s your company’s story?
A picture is worth a thousand words. People are drawn to photos and the stories behind them. So, when it comes to growing your Instagram followers, remember to choose pictures that show consumers a glimpse into your company story. Showcase those incredible moments created by your product or by your company. People want to share in your experiences and posting images that reflect those stories aid both you and your consumers.
Other Quick Tips on How to Boost Instagram Followings
- Utilize Instagram Stories and Live Streams
- Use the same filter/style for photos to create a theme for your company
- Feature a link to your website
- Switch up your visuals (include quote pictures, videos, etc.)
- Go out and experiment with your posts!
The Smart Hack
That completes our list, but if you need more insight into how to grow your business through social media we have even more tips to help you out!
And remember, when it comes to growing your Instagram followers, keep it creative and inspiring. Engage with your customers, build relationships, capture company moments and share your stories. Instagram is built off storytelling so go out, have fun, and experiment with your Instagram page!