Instagram Strategies That Build Followers & Engagement
Instagram Strategies That Build Followers & Engagement
Social Media has completely redefined the way businesses attract new clients. As more customers spend a considerable part of their day browsing online, it is imperative for businesses to establish a presence on their favorite online platforms, especially Instagram.
Instagram has shown tremendous growth in its uptake since its launch in late 2010. It is mostly visual – and requires communication through images and videos. It is the most popular social media platform among Gen Z and millennials. Today, about 500 million subscribers access the app daily making it the third most popular social media platform after Facebook and YouTube. And for these reasons, it is important for businesses to expand their marketing programs to Instagram in order to reach their potential customers.
If you are interested to know how Instagram can help you to grow your business, here are some tips to help you get started. While many think that marketing on Instagram is primarily relevant for B2C, it is also helpful for reaching B2B prospects.
Building Your Instagram Follower Community
You can start by setting up your profile and connecting your Facebook business page. Ensure that your bio description includes a brief description about your business and the areas you serve. Use your business logo, name, and website address in the profile so that it is easier for customers to find you.
Once your page is listed, it is important for you to build a follower community called which is a group of people who have shown interest in receiving your account’s updates as they are posted.
One quick way to grow this base is by inviting your Facebook community to follow your Instagram account. You may also invite friends/followers from other social networks.
Another strategy is to follow your potential customer base yourself and engage with them by either liking or commenting on their posts. Not all, but some of them will follow you back. Ensure that you do not end up spamming or commenting unnecessarily on personal posts.
You may also ask your employees to follow you and you should post a link to your Instagram profile on your company’s website.
But where should I look for Instagram users to follow?
Consider the following:
- the followers of your competitors in the local area or
- the followers of trending, but relevant hashtags
- If you are a B2B organization, look at local business directories for your potential customers and if they have an Instagram profile, you can follow them.
A rule of thumb while employing this strategy is to ensure that your ratio of “following” versus “followers” doesn’t exceed 2:1. While some people will negatively view accounts with a high following to follower ratio, Therefore, focus on following people who are highly likely to engage with your posts.
While all the above options allow for organic reach, paid advertisement is an additional option. Since Instagram revenues contribute about 25% of Facebook revenues, many advertisers trust Instagram to reach their customers.
Create Compelling Content for Instagram
After the profile setup is complete, you need to turn your attention to creating compelling content that your subscribers find interesting and useful; and draws new subscribers. While creating visual content can seem daunting, remember that it also happens to attract the most attention from your subscribers. Thanks to smartphones, you may already be generating a lot of videos and images. You just need to understand the persona of your customer and what they might be interested to know about your business and related news.
If you are still worried, don’t panic! You can always learn from successful profiles that have a highly engaged “followers” community.
Types of Instagram Content
There are four types of content that can be posted on Instagram:
- Posts – These are images and videos are part of your feed permanently. Creating an image is fairly easy, but you typically can generate a greater response with a video. If you can, try to generate a video once in a while. It does not need to look professional as realistic videos help people connect better.
- Stories – Images and Videos that stay on your feed for 24 hours after posting and then disappear. Through Highlight Stories, you can pin these posts to a prominent area of your profile to showcase your best content.
- Instagram Live – Record yourself or any event live & broadcast it to the subscribers.
- IGTV– IGTV allows you to record videos up to 1 hour in length that do not disappear from the feed.
What to Post on Instagram
The following list gives an outline of types of content you can post to spark engagement from your Instagram followers. Start by preparing a content calendar to organize your posts to be aligned with customer and business objectives (awareness/engagement/conversions).
- Sales, Promotions and new product launch info
- Your finished products/projects
- Stories from work-in-progress products/projects/implementations
- Contests, quizzes, winner announcements
- Information/invitation to events/forums/gatherings that you host/participate in
- Employee events
- Awards or major milestone achievements
- Celebrity endorsements and user reviews
- Product demos
- Blog promotions
- Motivational quotes/facts/news with some connection to your business
You grow this list considerably with some creative thinking. Keep your messaging consistent with your brand identity. Remind customers often how your business adds value to their lives.
Also, keep updating your “bio” section to include information and links that you want to highlight. It is the part of the page that almost all your visitors see.
Leverage Instagram Stories to showcase your products. It’s a great tool as about a third of most-viewed Instagram stories are created by businesses and they influence significant conversions. A feature called Instagram Stories Highlights allows your stories to live for longer than 24 hours in a prominent area of your profile.
Utilize the Instagram Insights tool to know what content is generating maximum engagement. Revise your content plan frequently based on these insights.
When to Post on Instagram
- Decide on a regular frequency for posting the content.
- You might want to try with different types of content, at different times of the day/week to see which content and what time drives maximum engagement. You can look at your competitors’ accounts as well to get some ideas on this.
- Thankfully, Instagram Insights can provide analytics on the user engagement. Check it regularly and update your content schedule as per the analysis.
Sometimes posting interesting content on a regular frequency can become a daunting task especially if you are a small business and have your hands full all the time. One way to overcome this problem is to utilize Social Media Management Tools like Sharpspring, Hootsuite, and SproutSocial. These tools allow you to create and schedule content in advance. Therefore, while you are busy serving your customers during the most critical times of the day, your social media accounts will not miss your attention.
Engaging with your Instagram audience
Once your follower base starts to build up on Instagram, start interacting with those who show interest in your posts. If someone likes or comments on your posts, thank them. If they are relevant to your business, you can also respond by following them and liking their posts. In this way, you can encourage them to engage with your account more often.
In the B2B space, you can message them privately – thank them for following and invite them to do business with you.
Always respond to positive feedback and comments – but NEVER ignore negative comments. Respond constructively to all criticism with facts and composure. Remember, social media is a very open space and you are there to establish your business as trustworthy and highly sensitive to customers’ needs.
Use hashtags frequently. Follow ones that are relevant to your business. Ask customers to take selfies with your product and tag your business with hashtags.
Successfully managing can be very overwhelming if you are a conservative person but it can also be very rewarding. You get to know what makes customers engage and convert; you get to hear their side of the story, their needs directly. Thus, go all out!! Experiment!! Have fun while growing your followers, increasing your brand recognition, and driving sales within Instagram!
Do you need help with posting engaging content and effectively growing your followers on Instagram? Learn more about our social media marketing services and contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation!