Want to grow your business and connect with your target audience? Want to build a more extensive following on Instagram to spur that growth? With a few essential tricks and tools, you can start building a solid following for your business on Instagram in no time.

Why is Instagram the social media platform to focus on building your business’ following? 

With over a billion active monthly users, and 90% of those users following a business, a small business can successfully:

  1. Build and strengthen current customer relationships
  2. Connect with potential customers 
  3. Increase chances of making sales within the app

Building an Instagram following can be done if you follow these steps to boost your engagement. 

Everyone talks about engagement with social media marketing. But what does engagement mean?

Engagement is measured by more than just likes and follower count. On Instagram engagement is measured by a list of metrics: 

 

  • Comments
  • Shares
  • Likes
  • Saves
  • Followers and growth
  • Mentions 
  • Click-throughs
  • DMs

The higher your engagement, the more likely your content will be boosted on Instagram’s Explore page. This expands your potential reach. The increased attention you get on your posts, the more your posts get exposed to other people. Get familiar with Instagram’s algorithm.  

Research & Use Hashtags and Geotags

When posting, use the right hashtags. In other words, use hashtags that are relevant to your post, your brand, and the product or message you are marketing. You can research hashtags on, Webstagram, a web service where you can find popular tags most used or liked.

You can also use popular hashtags. There are “trending” or popular hashtags that attract a lot of attention. It is essential to stay informed of these trending hashtags and include them when posting on your business’s Instagram account. 

If you use a popular hashtag, then it makes your content more discoverable. Try to find a happy medium of hashtags that are both popular and are relevant to your brand, and include them with every post.

Whether you’ve already had your account for a while, you can always go back to your old posts and add relevant hashtags in the comments. You’ll begin to see that this will bump your engagement. Since searching on Instagram isn’t as easy as searching on Twitter or Facebook, hashtags are crucial. 

Hashtags help people discover you more easily by following relevant threads and seeing which new content pops up that day. The same thing happens with geotags, a.k.a. location tagging.

Geotagging can help tell you when your audience is online, and it can also help you determine potential influencers that could represent your brand.

After you determine your target audience and research the hashtags that are most popular and relevant to your business, it’s time to start posting!

Post at the Right Times

With your target audience in mind, create visually appealing content. It is essential to focus on developing and posting new content consistently. You also want to try and broadcast around the same time of day. 

How do you know what time is best to post? 

Well, you can discover when your target audience is online by experimenting with posting at different times. Based on the level of engagement posts receive at other times, it will be pretty easy to determine what times get the highest traffic after a few trial runs. 

Consistency in the message, time, and frequency is vital to posting engaging content if you want to build a more extensive follower base on Instagram. 

But don’t wait for other people to start engaging with your content. Be proactive.

Share User-Generated Content 

Find customers or bloggers who are willing to review your product or take photos of your products or services in action. Then re-promote their content to your followers. This can be a free or low-cost way to advertise. 

Most people are “banner blind” today. That means that anything that looks like an ad, especially professional Instagram banner ads, will be ignored. So, it’s no surprise that posts that look like ads, or are perfectly polished shots on Instagram, get low engagement rates. Posting content that is “real” or authentic generates more engagement.

 People don’t learn about new products from ads anymore. They know about them from other people!

 Engaging your customer base by getting them to review products or reposting their interactions with your business is great for gaining exposure to new customer bases. 

 Collaborating with other businesses in your industry or trying out influencer marketing are also things to consider if you’re looking to grow your business’ Instagram following.

Influencer Marketing

Can influencer marketing help you grow your following on Instagram? As was mentioned before, many people don’t even look at ads that come across their timeline. But they will be more likely to view an ad or product review that their favorite influencer posted.  

 How do you find the right influencer for your brand or business? Find a list of influencers by searching popular hashtags relevant to your business on Webstagram. The same hashtags that you’ve been using in your posts will reveal top Instagram users that also use these hashtags. 

These users are potential influencers you could use to promote your products or services. 

 You don’t need a huge budget to use influencer marketing. You can reach out to influencers with large followings (20k-500k) and request that they promote your product, and can pay upwards of $20 per sponsored post, depending on their follower count.

Reposting and Tagging

Giveaways & Contests

Running a giveaway or a contest is another great way to get your followers and customer base to promote you for free. Offer an incentive in the form of a product giveaway or a discount coupon if the follower reposts your message and tags your brand. 

This is a fantastic way to increase your engagement and expand your reach. This is viral marketing at its best. You’re using the ‘network effects’ on Instagram so that the followers of your followers are finding you for the first time. 

Wrapping Up

Growing your Instagram following doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. If you establish an impactful brand message, create appealing and brand-specific content, post consistently, and at the correct times, you’re already laid a solid foundation for building a larger following. 

 Make sure to engage with your followers, be smart about using hashtags and geotags, share user-generated content, and consider influencer marketing or collaborations with businesses in your industry. 

 If you need help getting started, check out:

https://livehive.com/social-media-branding-the-ultimate-playbook-2/