Growing your Instagram account for your business can be really daunting especially if it is a new brand that hasn’t gained awareness somewhere else like a physical store in a certain location or following on other social media platform, where you can easily just redirect some of your followers or customers to visit your new Instagram page.
Sometimes it gets emotionally stressful for the creators, more so if they have no previous experience with growing a successful social media page all the way from scratch, especially when it comes to a business.
Most would hire social media managers who already know the ins and outs, understand the algorithm of Instagram and how to reach your ideal audience, and are conversant with strategizing and using insight metrics to make decisions that improve the overall success of the page.
Like in real life physical situations, you don’t just up and say you want to live or relocate to a state or country. There has to be a reason for a move and things you consider before making a choice on the location you are moving to.
Same thing applies when taking your business to social media, there are a few things you need to consider before choosing a social media platform;
Your target audience refers to the kind of people who would be interested in the kind of product or service you are offering. They are the group of people you want to reach on social media. They are those who will benefit from your merchandize and turn into regular paying customers.
Before choosing a social media platform for your business, you need to identify who your audience is, be as specific as possible.
Think about what it is you want to achieve with your social media. Are you trying to drive sales, create brand awareness or use social media as a customer support platform? What your business needs a social media for helps define what platform to choose.
Using the demographics of each social media platform, locate the online home of your ideal audience. For example; if your brand is politics related, you are more likely to find your audience on twitter. If you run a B2B kind of business enterprise, LinkedIn might be the ideal platform for you. If you own a cosmetics store; Instagram and Facebook would be the best place for you to find your audience. Or say the products you sell are for the elder ones, say 50+, Facebook might be a better option for you.
Of course each social media platforms have their pros and cons. But dedicate your time and money on the one that best suits your business.
If after doing your research and you see that Instagram is the right place for you then surely you need to know how to go about it. Here are tips for you;
People generally wouldn’t want to buy your product, read your blog post or book a service unless you are solving a problem of theirs or adding value/improving the quality of their lives through what you are offering.
Whatever it is you are offering should appeal to the needs of your customers.
Thinking business? Solve a challenge.
The key part of business is to be clear about what problem you are solving. Even if you are convinced you have the next big idea, it would do you great good to validate that there is need for it in the market.
Growing your Instagram account is your home on the web. It has to look good and appealing. A visitor at a glance should know what your page is about.
Your brand account should consist of the following elements;
Most brands use their logo. This helps your audience identify you anywhere they see you. Although it is the best practice, it is not mandatory.
Your profile picture should be of high quality, something that represents you or what your business is about.
Filling in your website URL is a gateway to redirect your followers to your webpage. People will be able to learn more about you and what you do by visiting your web page.
People on the net have short attention span and would quickly loose interest in reading a long bio. Let your bio be short and easy to read.
Describe what your business is about in simple tense. Go straight to the point. Remember to keep it short and simple.
Content cannot be over emphasized, when it comes to growing your Instagram it’s all about great visuals. Post great content that are eye catching. Use the right colors, font sizes and cross check your contrast.
Use a theme your audience can get use to and will use to identify you.
Your content should come in different formats; videos and photos, Instagram stories, IGTV videos, Instagram reels.
Your visuals should be of high quality, clear to watch and easy to read.
If your content is great and connects with your audience on an emotional or intellectual level, they are going to like and comment on them.
Develop a content strategy that focuses on a specific segment of audience rather than the broad band already dominated by the bigger players.
Your contents shouldn’t always be about sales, that way you could bore your followers away, mix things up for better engagement. You could try entertaining content, educative content and other types of content. For example; “how to” contents tend to raise very high engagements.
You can study your competition to know what kinds of content your audience prefers.
Hashtags can do magic for growing your Instagram account when used rightly. There are 3 different types of Instagram hashtags;
The most popular hashtags between the ranges of 100 million – 1billion posts. They are not recommended to be used by small accounts. 80% of these hashtag audiences will not be interested in your post if it is not a viral content.
These hashtags are used for events that are happening at the moment. They trend for a short duration of time then are forgotten.
It is advisable to watch out for trends and catch them while they are still the talk of the Gram because they wouldn’t last for long.
With sub-niche, you can be more specific in targeting your audience. Sure it will be seen by small audience but it is seen to yield a higher percentage of engagements and conversions for growing an Instagram account.
These are relevant hashtags, they are relevant to the posts they are tagged to.
To find relevant hashtags, you need to do a hashtag research. There are free online hashtag tools like keywordtool.io. Use keywords that relate to the nature of posts. Try out different keywords that describe the product and brand, build your hashtag keyword list as you go.
You can also steal hashtag ideas from your competition or similar accounts to yours. Look at their top posts and see the hashtags they use.
This gives a chance for your stories to be seen by users who follow that specific hashtag. Use hashtags directly in your captions for a chance to be featured in hashtag stories.
With this, not just your followers can see you, but also people just checking out the hashtag.
The time in a day you post is important when trying to reach your audience. Use your insights to see when you get the most engagements daily. This will give you an idea of when most of your followers are active on Instagram.
You should target and post around those times, else your post could down below the feed section, making it difficult to find you.
Although this isn’t free, the outcome is usually great. Running ads is a great way to create brand awareness to people who haven’t heard of your brand but are interested in the kind of products and services you offer or tell already existing followers about something new you are doing.
Instagram ads allow you to target a specific audience and get your account to the right people. Your ad will depend on the goal you have for an ad campaign; is it to create brand awareness or improve sales?
Never ever neglect your Instagram insights. Of course, as a newbie, knowing what to do with the amount of insights can be overwhelming.
The first step would be to organize these insights in a spreadsheet. This gives you an organized platform to put all the data together, so you can organize and compare, make a sense of it all.
If you want to know how to use spreadsheets to organize your Instagram insights, read our article on USING SPREADSHEETS TO ORGANIZE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA INSIGHTS.
With the right data from your insights, you learn more about the kinds of contents your audience like, their demographics, time they are most active, gender of people who are more interested. This helps you make targeted decisions to improve the performance of your page.
Goetags are location specific hashtags. They allow you target audience in a specific region. You can tag your location or the location the content was created, example; where a picture was photographed.
Geotags are very useful to local businesses in growing an Instagram account, they help them engage with prospective customers who are within the physical vicinity.