Would you love to build a massive audience on Instagram? Would you like to create quality leads for your service, side-hustle, coaching, consulting, and be an overall influential person in your industry?
As a company that’s growing your business in the world of Inbound Marketing, you’ve already established an online social presence to attract leads, promote your content, and delight customers across platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
It’s time to move to the next frontier: Instagram. With 1 Billion active monthly users and over 95 million posts per day, Instagram for Business has become an essential element of social media marketing. It’s critical to navigate growing Instagram for your business the right way, which is why we put together this guide on how to set up, grow, and optimize your Instagram strategy to increase your audience, followers, leads, customers, and continue down the path of becoming an (even more) lovable brand. Then, we’ll take a deep dive into Instagram’s newly released tools on the Instagram for Business Platform.
3 Key Rules That Will Always Grow Your Audience
You’ve got to have a bigger audience and if you have a mission, and if you care about people, and you want to grow your audience and impact online, then this is for you.
Stop spamming and get personal.
- Serve (Add value.)
How can I add as much value to people who are following me? Don’t be selling anything. Serve people first. Serve. Serve. Serve. Just add value in your way.
Connect. Be transparent. Authentic. Sometimes vulnerable. So people can connect with you.
…through the impact that you make helping other people with your product or services.
How to sell through value:
1. Open up about your past, struggles and challenges – tell your story
2. Share your dreams
3. Share your ideas
(this is when you’ll start building your audience)
4. Offer it to followers
If you really care about your message and the value you add to the world. Help others all the time. Value. Value. Value.
10 steps to 10k Instagram Followers
- Optimize your profile. Lead with authority and credibility. Consistent look and feel.
- Use more hashtags > all-hashtag.com
- Follow hashtags
- Study your own analytics
- Engage on YOUR content (authentically and custom as possible)
- Add value
- engage in different ways:
- 60 sec video replies, photo)
- reshare viral content
- sell through the proof
- Use Instagram Live
- Live co-hosting videos
- Use Instagram Stories
- Capture social proof
- Promote your stories
- Use IGTV (Instagram TV)
How to Define Value
Often times with social networks, it can be hard to define value from a platform that is somewhat “intangible.” Unlike an ebook or webinar that could generate hundreds or thousands of new leads and customers that you can proudly show your CMO, Instagram is beneficial to the heart of a company: it humanizes and gives life to your brand.
Where Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are for networking and sharing and promoting content, Instagram is the platform where a company can show its human side. By showing off the wonderful people who build your product, the place where you all come together and work, events and friends in the industry you’re growing with, the dogs that roam around your office, and the things that your company celebrates, you’re offering an invaluable window to your brand’s culture that is warm, inviting, friendly, and most of all: human.
No matter what the social network, there will always be people out there posting negative or inappropriate comments.
Respond to positive comments on your Instagram content if a user takes the time to ask a question and participate in any conversation you’ve started. As a best practice, check comments at least once a week thoroughly, especially for contests/timely posts. Engage with people who follow you, or other people in your category that you follow, ie. you Give love to get love. Spend time daily or at least weekly “liking” and commenting on other posts besides your own. Not sure how to respond when different types of comments start rolling in on one of your posts? Follow these guidelines outlined by HubSpot’s social media and content strategist, Brittany Leaning:
How to Respond to Comments on Instagram
Positive + False = Respond
Positive + True = Listen or Respond
Negative + Not a Troll + Rant/Joke = Listen
Negative + Not a Troll + Not a Rant/Joke + Erroneous Information = Respond
Negative + Not a Troll + Not a Rant/- Joke + Not Erroneous Information + Unhappy = Respond
Negative + Not a Troll + Not a Rant/Joke + Not Erroneous Information + Not Unhappy = Listen
If you’re playing small, you’re not serving other people. If you don’t care enough to build your own personal influence, you don’t really care.
Without that audience, you’re playing small.
How to Use Instagram’s New Business Tools
While other social platforms like Twitter and Facebook have had Business platforms for years, Instagram only just launched Business-specific profiles and opened their within-app Business tools. Previously, Business profiles were just like regular Instagram profiles, and Instagram ads were all hosted through the Facebook for Business platform.
But that way of doing Instagram for Business is no longer. Now, you can you can create a business profile (linked to your Facebook Business page), see actual analytics on your followers and posts, and create paid ads all within the app.
The Instagram for Business tool now allows users to turn their regular Instagram account into a business profile. This makes it easier for users to identify your account as a Business account and get in touch with you directly from the app. It also gives you access to the Insights and Promotes tools, which make your life as a marketer much easier. Need help setting up your Business profile or converting your regular account to a Business Profile? Check out this tutorial.
Previously, businesses could only access information and analytics about their followers and performance through third-party apps. Now, the new Insights tool lets you see who your followers are and what kinds of content performs best for your audience.
Insights also tells you how many total numbers of impressions, reach, and engage each of your posts are getting. This information is invaluable to marketers because it helps you tailor your Instagram posting strategy over time.
Your primary focus on Instagram should be creating Instagram content that performs well with your audience, but what about expanding your audience past your current reach?
Previously, you could only advertise on Instagram through the Facebook for Business platform. But with the Instagram for Business tools, you can now promote posts right within the app. Want a full guide on Instagram advertising? Check out this guide.
Instagram is a growing channel that will allow you to grow and humanize your brand, recruit future employees, showcase your product, company culture, delight customers, and generate new business. All with images you can create and share!
Give it a shot: make a profile, start testing and learn from what works and what doesn’t.