Just how important is Instagram to your business? Accounts that post just twice a day consistently enjoy an engagement rate of almost 58% times more engagement per follower than they get on Facebook. Instagram has become so important to brands today that it has actually spawned a whole new industry: Instagram bots promising to help you grow your following fast. In fact, if you’ve been searching for a way to gain Instagram followers fast, you’ve probably already come across one or thirty of these services. Needless to say, Instagram is a far cry from the trendy app for kids so many dismissed it as for so long. Today, Instagram has become a powerhouse in the world of social media marketing. And while followers are not the most important metric for you to monitor, they are an indication of how successful your marketing strategy on Instagram is.
First, if you want to attract real, targeted followers to your business on Instagram, you have to start with a strategy. What is the purpose of your Instagram channel? Will you be using Instagram primarily to help grow your group? Or your blog? Or will you be selling products there? Define your core goal for Instagram. This will help you build the rest of your Instagram strategy.
Second, what type of content will you share there? You’ll need to put together a content strategy that is more than merely taking photos and sharing your products on Instagram. You need to include the context of that photo — what does it mean to you? What does it mean to your brand? Why do your followers care about that?
Next, build out your Instagram profile, and make it good.
- Your username — this is the same as your @handle. We recommend using your branded name or the name that matches your brand on other channels.
- Your name — what should people call you? We recommend using your real name in this field. It will help your followers establish a personal connection with you.
- Your profile photo — this photo should be the same photo you use on other channels, to help build recognition. We recommend using a photo of you smiling file as that can be more inviting and warm.
- Your link — this can be any link you want, but choose wisely because it’s the only clickable link you get. We recommend using a service like Tap Bio to build a miniature landing page to house multiple links. If you don’t want to use a landing page, though, be sure to choose the most important link in your funnel.
- Your bio — this should sound more like a handshake than a resume. Try to stay as engaging and warm as possible. Let people know who you are and what you can do for them.
With your purpose defined and your content strategy ready to roll, now it’s time to start producing content. Taking your own photos or creating your own graphics will help you stand out from others in your field. As you schedule your posts, be sure to keep one thing in mind: your audience experience. What type of experience do you want your audience to have when they view your profile? Do the pictures you’re sharing help convey that experience?
While we’re on content, make sure you’re writing captions. Your image and the first 150 characters or so are the most important elements of your content on your audience’s feed because those are the elements that will get someone to stop scrolling and take a closer look. But once you get them to stop, make sure your content is worth stopping for. In general, long captions — two to three paragraphs or more — perform better and receive more engagement than short captions. No matter what the length of your caption is, make sure your calls to action are clear and easy to understand.
Hashtag it!! Make sure you build a strong hashtag strategy for your brand and remember to use them. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags for a single photo (this is combined for all hashtags in the caption and in the comments). We recommend stating right around the 18-22 hashtag mark for maximum engagement.
Finally, create a posting schedule and stick with it. Just as with any other social media channel, consistency is the key to making Instagram work for you. Post, reply to comments, go out and engage on other posts, lather, rinse, repeat. Daily. We aren’t saying you have to spend hours a day on Instagram, but you should dedicate at least a few minutes every day to engaging with your audience if you want them to engage with you.