As a platform with more than one billion accounts, it is no surprise that Instagram is a really popular starting point when it comes to B2C (Business to Customer) marketing.
Although Instagram accounts with a big following can feel elusive, it is certainly possible to achieve these results for your account. It is important to remember that these following are cultivated, and rarely happen overnight. An increased follower count and engagement rate is a result of targeted content.
You can learn how to use Instagram strategically in order to grow an active following. By using our five easy tips, you can learn to use the platform skilfully, creating your posts specifically to drive more traffic to your page.
1. Focus on targeted and quality content
The first thing to ask yourself before creating your content is: ‘Who do I want to attract through my Instagram page?’
Keep the image of your ideal follower in your mind, to ensure that your posts are tailored to your specific audience.
Instagram is an image-centric platform, so it is important to make sure you use good quality pictures and graphics in your feed. Clearer and brighter photographs are more appealing to your users, and are likely to gain better engagement with your followers. If photography is not your strong suit, you can repost images from other platforms (but make sure to credit them properly).
If you want to give your followers important information about your business, why not turn this into an info-graphic using Canva or Adobe Illustrator. Not only is this more attention-grabbing than writing the information as an image caption, but it looks great too!
2. Consistent Posting
To keep an active following, it is important to post regularly. Consistency is key!
Aim to post at least once a day. A study by Tailwind found that Instagram accounts that do this, grow followers 4 times more quickly than accounts that post less than once a week.
Try to post at more popular times, such as lunchtimes, or the evenings, as this will increase your post engagement. You can check your Insights (if you have a business account – see below) to see what times your audience is most active.
When creating content, keep in mind that the first impression a potential follower will get of you will be from the overall aesthetic of your page. Your posts should, therefore, be interesting as both a stand-alone post and also look pleasing altogether.
To maintain the overarching look of your page, use an app such as Later, Plann or Planoly that will allow you to see how your next post will fit into the feed. Using these apps will allow you to schedule your posts, whilst curating the overall image of your feed.
3. Use Stories and Lives
Utilise the Instagram Story and Live features to interact with your followers. Not only do these features prompt direct conversations with your audience, but also they allow your following to learn more about you as a person. Make the most of the Questions, Polls and other features on Stories that lets you engage with your audience.
As a microbusiness owner, your business is you. It is really important to share your personality, behind the scenes and your story with your following, as this will help them form a connection to you and your business.
You can use the Live feature in collaboration with other users. A great idea would be to collaborate with a similar business, perhaps in a Q+A format. Going Live with another user is beneficial to both of you, as it promotes your account to a whole new audience. And Instagram algorithms love ‘Livestreams’ so Win-Win!
4. Pay Attention to your Analytics
If you haven’t done so already, ensure that your account is an Instagram business account. This is free to use and it gives you a lot of additional information which is really useful when trying to boost your Instagram following and engagement.
24 hours after posting, look at the analytics to assess how well the post did. You will get a breakdown of your impressions, where these came from, and how many new profile visits and followers you gained from this post.
These numbers are more useful than just number of likes alone, as you are able to clearly see the amount of people you reached, and that responded well to this post.
By using this overtime, you can see what content your audience interacts with the most and use this to tailor future posts accordingly.
5. Engage with other users
Engagement! One of the most important aspects of every Instagram account! An easy way to grow a more active and engaged following is to be a more active user yourself.
Follow accounts that are similar to yours, or that are representative of your target audience. Tag similar users in posts, or create a conversation with them to boost your engagement.
Engage with existing communities by liking and commenting on other user’s posts. Make this specific; commenting ‘great post’ endlessly will start to look like spam. It is worth it to take time to craft a more individual comment. Authentic and genuine interaction will reap huge benefits if you are consistent.
You can easily interact with your following by asking leading questions in your post captions and replying to their comments.
Ask followers to tag their friends in your posts. This is a tried and tested Instagram format; all of us have encountered posts captioned ‘Tag a friend who needs to see this’ or ‘Tag a friend you would share this with’.
This format creates a conversation on your post between users, and draws more traffic to your page.
So, it’s easy to see that by following just these 5 steps alone, growing an active following is not as hard as you may have initially thought. Use fresh content tailored specifically to your audience, and alongside consistency, you can easily curate a brilliant page with increased traffic.