An Instagram Business account is decidedly different than a regular Instagram account in that it allows a business to: Access analytics data, including insights for how posts are performing, and what followers like Add an address, phone number, and website Create Instagram ads A potential caveat: an Instagram Business profile can only be activated if you have a Facebook page. Regardless of the social platform you’re trying to grow (social media, blogging, etc. So make sure that if you take any Instagram growth advice from this article, you focus on consistency. Create Lifestyle Content on Instagram Creating a level of consistency with regards to your posting and visual assets is a great first step for Instagram growth. A focus on lifestyle content is the perfect strategy for Instagram growth, as it encompasses the essence of content and participation on the platform. Look through your competitor’s posts. Hashtag Do’s & Don’ts Once you’ve found the perfect Instagram hashtags, you’re still not done. Encourage User-Generated Content User-generated content (UGC) simply refers to content created by your followers. The benefits of using UGC in your Instagram growth strategy are numerous, and include: Increased engagement. Customers are twice as likely to share UGC that was posted on a business page.
If you’ve been waiting to give Instagram a try for your business, now is the perfect opportunity to act. On it’s own, the platform boasts over 600 million users and the highest engagement rates among all social networks. If Facebook wasn’t their parent company, it would be fair to say that they should watch out!
As with any social platform, growing a large following can be time and energy consuming. As a result, it’s easy to understand how individuals and businesses are tempted to buy followers to boost vanity metrics. But buying followers ultimately results in a loss of money and credibility if you’re found out.
Creating an account that attracts authentic followers is a much better strategy, since they’ll be more qualified as potential customers. After all, fake followers will never be your customers. It’s better to have a small engaged following rather than a large number of people following you that don’t really care about your brand.
OK, so if you’re not supposed to buy followers, and organic Instagram growth takes a fair amount of time to be effective, what is it that you can do that won’t be frowned upon, and better yet, will actually work?
Start small, get things right, then push out your profile to the world. The following pieces can help you to speed up Instagram growth—without buying followers.
Activate Your Business Profile or Use an Analytics Tool
Instagram introduced Business accounts in May 2016, and they’ve been a huge help to the 5 million businesses already on Instagram. An Instagram Business account is decidedly different than a regular Instagram account in that it allows a business to:
- Access analytics data, including insights for how posts are performing, and what followers like
- Add an address, phone number, and website
- Create Instagram ads
A potential caveat: an Instagram Business profile can only be activated if you have a Facebook page. If that’s the one thing getting in your way of using it, it might be useful to create a Facebook page for your business, even if you don’t plan to update it (though at the bare minimum, you could push over a copy of your Instagram content using a scheduling tool like Sprout Social).
Another major caveat centers around the concept of a business versus an individual account. On Facebook, the reach of a page compared to the reach of a friend is completely different, with the business getting the short end of the stick. Since Facebook owns Instagram, and they share many of the same features, it’s fair to assume that switching to a business profile on Instagram could restrict reach, and have other implications as far as how Instagram users respond to the posts of a business versus an individual.
As of this writing, there haven’t been any far-reaching experiments or data that shows the potential negative implications of switching to an Instagram Business account. You’ll have to decide for yourself and your company if it’s worth taking the risk.
Of course, focusing on the more positive benefits of switching, an Instagram business profile can provide detailed analytics data. This includes a snapshot of what your followers like and dislike in your posts, best times to post and how many have seen your post. It also offers data on your followers, including demographics like age, gender and location. With all this information at your fingertips, there should be no reason for posts to perform poorly over the long run.
If you’re still on the fence about switching, consider instead using Sprout’s social media analytics tools to glean information from your Instagram interactions. For reference, here’s a comparison of what Sprout Social’s analytics can offer, what Instagram’s Business profile analytics can offer, and some of the features they share:
Post Consistently on Instagram
Ready for something a little less involved than deciding whether or not to make a permanent profile change?
Regardless of the social platform you’re trying to grow (social media, blogging, etc.), the number one rule for building an audience is demonstrating a level of consistency. For Instagram specifically, this means posting at least once per day. Unlike Facebook or LinkedIn, Instagram welcomes a larger quantity of posts.
To get more specific, according to CoSchedule, 1-2 posts per day are okay, with the best times to post being at 8-9am and 2am in your local time zone. That said, there is no global average found for the optimum number of posts per day because every brand (and audience!) is different. For best results, run your own experiments and interpret results to refine your strategy.
Brandishing their ties to Facebook, Instagram now operates off an algorithm to display posts instead of the chronological news feed of the past. Consistency is a factor in ranking on that algorithm, and getting in front of your followers. So make sure that if you take any Instagram growth advice from this article, you focus on consistency.
To make it easier to post consistently, you can schedule some Instagram posts ahead of time with Sprout. That way, you always have a steady stream of content to share.
Post Beautiful Instagram Photos
Like Pinterest, Instagram is a very visual platform and the brands that realize and embrace this fact are among the top performers.
Since “post good photos” isn’t really an actionable strategy, try these tips on for size:
- Create a consistent (there’s that word, again!) theme or mood so that your whole feed has a cohesive look or feel
- If you can’t commit…