Instagram for Business: Part Three

3. Growing your presence and boosting engagement

Welcome back for week three of our Instagram for Business Masterclass. Last time we discussed how to choose the right imagery for your profile and now you’ve got a load of great content, it’s time to get it seen by the masses.

This week, we’re looking at how to grow your business’s presence on Instagram…

The dos

Do post consistently

It sounds obvious, but your followers want to see content from you – that’s why they’ve followed in the first place and when they interact with your profile, it’s visible to their followers too which means your profile is seen by a wider audience. Studies have also proven that if you post every day compared to once a week or less, you’ll get better engagement and more followers, with the number of followers increasing by more than 40% on average.

Do share your Instagram account across your social channels.

If you want to get more followers on Instagram, you need to direct as many people as possible to your page. If you already have a huge following on Facebook or Twitter, ask them to give you a follow on Instagram too. Try sharing sneak peaks of your Instagram posts to your Facebook and Twitter and encourage followers to head over to the app to see the rest of your content.

Do get tag happy

Using the right tags can expose your image to a large and targeted audience. If your business has a physical location, or you’re onsite somewhere, make sure to tag it and encourage your customers to do the same. When users click on the location, they’ll see other posts from your business and your customers and it’s an easy way to increase your business’s presence.

Take the time to research and create a list of the hashtags that are most popular for your area of business, your products, your surrounding location, and even what your target audience are using. Make sure you check out how many posts have already been shared using these hashtags too as this can impact how visible your post will be. For example, #selfie has 367 million posts which means yours will only appear in the search for a few seconds before getting lost in the masses. Try to use hashtags with lower numbers to increase the chances of your post being seen. Studies have also shown that using nine hashtags per post seems to be the optimum number for getting the most engagement – so choose them wisely!

Do encourage more engagement.

With Instagram’s current algorithm, the more engagement a post has, the more users it will be shown too. For every Instagram post you share, try to write an interesting caption, that encourages your followers to like and comment. Ask a question in your caption that can be answered in the comments or ask your followers to tag a friend with a fun caption like “tag a friend who needs to treat you to one of our cocktails this weekend.” Doing so will expose your post to a wider range of users. It’s also best practice to respond to as many comments on your posts with a comment back or even a simple like as it shows that you appreciate the followers who actually took the time to like and comment on your post in the first place.

Do run competitions

Competitions are a great way to organically grow your presence on Instagram. They can help grow your audience, drive traffic to your website, and even sell products. To enter the competition, ask people to follow your page, like or comment on one of your photos, use a specific hashtag, or repost one of your photos. Remember to pick a winner and share when they claim their prize.

 

The don’ts

Don’t follow every account you see.

Chances are they will have no interest in your business and whilst it might seem impressive to have over 10,000 followers, if your engagement is low and you’re not seeing an increase in business, is there any point? Instead, build your network with local, relevant and industry specific accounts and you’ll see more quality results.

Don’t set your profile to private.

You’d think this is a no brainer, but you’d be surprised at the number of business profiles that have their privacy switched on which means they aren’t visible to potential customers in searches. If this is you, make sure you get it switched off ASAP.

Don’t use blurry images.

As we’ve said in previous weeks, Instagram is a visual platform. No user wants to see blurry pictures and you’ll run the risk of getting a few unfollows if your content isn’t good enough. Quality content means quality followers so keep that in mind when uploading your posts.

 

Next week, we’ll be taking at Instagram’s increasingly popular stories feature and show you how you can use it your advantage to keep your profile at the top of your followers feeds.

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