As a small business, the first 1,000 followers on Instagram is always the hardest. Not only does it take the most persuasion to get your audience to hit “follow,” but the additional investment into your branding, insights, and even consistencies in content can be a lot to digest.
However, that’s why we’ve compiled a few helpful tips on how you can get started. Check them out below:
Give Yourself A Smart Digital Presence
Generating a solid following on Instagram requires a smart digital presence. According to SmartInsights, 70.7 percent of US businesses are on Instagram, meaning competition to build your brand on the platform is fierce. It can be an overwhelming process.
When looking at your digital presence, one of the first things you should assess is the strength of your brand, as well as how well it stands on its own in the real world. As the core of your identity, a strong brand is what’s going to guide the rest of your aesthetic, including in the design elements of your website as well as even in your Instagram filters. The goal is to start creating a bigger narrative that’s supported by visual elements, consistently presenting your brand in a light that’s memorable enough to be etched into someone’s memory. Although not every small business can afford the science that goes into this, the best call is to go with your gut, so take the time to build a strong online presence for your brand.
Utilize Instagram Tools
Another important feature to consider is what type of Instagram tools to utilize. It’s not easy to keep track of all the top Instagram tools and know how to use them. If you were to ask yourself what the top items you’re keeping track of on Instagram are, you might say “likes and comments,” which is fairly common. However, being able to analyze what you should do next is what separates the good Instagram accounts from the great ones.
A smart place to start with Instagram tools is what the standard metrics for your industry look like, as well as how competitive you stand. For example, as noted by Mention, 33.3 percent of Instagram posts contain at least one hashtag, but vary wildly in terms of the success per each hashtag (especially in not aiming to ‘overkill’ a post with tags), which is where investing in a tag tracking system might be ideal. In addition to the tools that help with your daily upkeep, there are also a wide variety of tools for things like finding the perfect influencer as well as how to coordinate with your other marketing campaigns. Although they have a little bit of a learning curve, having a solid lineup of Instagram tools can help you assess how you’re doing compared to other accounts, as well as how you can improve moving forward.
Staying Consistent With Your Content
A common mistake by a lot of small businesses is they suddenly get the motivation to start posting more on Instagram, only to quit after their efforts don’t make them go viral in a week. Despite how great the engagement can be on Instagram, having people engage day-in and day-out can be a challenge. In fact, Instagram stories are used by over 400 million users every day, which means you have quite the audience. And if you’re looking to gain the advantage, then it’d be wise to start producing content more consistently.
Create a calendar of your upcoming Instagram campaigns, including what the topics are, any necessities you might have to outsource, and other logistical items to help build your base. After you’ve got a good campaign schedule in place, map out the number of stories and posts you’re going to have for each. Generally, this includes feature items as posts, as well as supplementary/repost materials in your story. To engage with your audience, check out an engagement agency like MagicSocial.net to get the gears turning for new and original content.
Become An Authority Beyond The Platform
Finally, a smart place to acquire Instagram followers? Marketing for every place that’s not Instagram. Yes, this includes anything and everything, from email to street-level marketing, where following you on Instagram is a part of the call to action. However, the most successful method of drawing more authority to your brand is by far, content marketing.
If you’re not familiar, content marketing is not only just your blog but how this content is used to find you via search, as well as can be used in a full-circle campaign on social media and email. According to the Content Marketing Institute, small businesses with blogs get 126 percent more lead growth than businesses without, where a big reason for this is that people often times rely on those who can prove authority to do the job for them. For example, someone who can prove they know the best Instagram tools and how to use them has an advantage over someone who only talks about the features of the products themselves. Thinking in terms of content you can produce full-circle will provide you with a medium of gaining authority, as well as different mediums of execution to lead back towards your Instagram, which definitely should be thrown into your higher-level marketing mix.
What are some ways your small business has started to garner a following on Instagram? Comment with your insights below!