Increase Followers on Instagram for SMBs

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How to Increase Instagram Followers - Instagram Logo
Nicole CruzNicole Cruz
November 10, 2021
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Instagram is one of the biggest social media platforms small businesses should have if they want to grow an engaged following. Since Instagram content is highly visual, many businesses can take advantage of featuring their products and services through posts, reels, and stories.

If you are new to social media marketing, perhaps you are wondering how you can grow your Instagram account. Since there are many features unique to the Instagram app, being familiar with the specific strategies can help you gain a solid footing. In this post, you will learn the tricks and tools of the trade to reach your target audience on Instagram.

Top Strategies to Grow Your Instagram Account: How to Increase Followers on Instagram for Small Business

Convert your profile to a business account

Instagram Business Profile

Instagram has three different types of accounts: Personal, Creator, and Business. For small business owners, it is ideal to activate the Instagram business accounts as it unlocks certain features which can help you promote your brand.

To activate or convert your business account, simply go to account settings and there will be an option to switch to a professional account. You can choose to have either a creator account or a business account depending on your needs. The business account will have certain features such as:

  • Ability to display partnership posts
  • Provide insights on posts through Instagram analytics
  • Post scheduling
  • Set up an Instagram merchant store
  • Adding links to Instagram stories

To put it simply, small businesses will benefit by converting to this account type as it will have specific features that are useful to those who want to grow their brand on Instagram.

Optimize your Instagram bio

Each social media platform has unique features that will allow you to maximize how you can display your business. For businesses on Instagram, it is very crucial to optimize one’s profile to contain as many ways to engage your target audience.

Many small businesses can benefit from these Instagram bio strategies:

  • Putting their website link: A link to your website or a relevant link page can be a great way to direct your audience to your offers once they move away from your Instagram bio. Make sure to place this in the link section of your profile to make it clickable.
  • Placing relevant hashtags: Hashtags are still effective to find Instagram users who are exploring the platform but are not familiar with your business just yet. You can place 2-3 relevant hashtags in your profile to make your account more searchable for other users.
  • Tagging related accounts: Does your business have other related Instagram accounts? You can tag them using the “@” symbol and these will be clickable.
  • Placing relevant, concise information: What is your business about? Placing 1-2 liners in your bio that encompasses what your business is can help users quickly get an idea of what you are offering.

Have a branding strategy for your posts

Brand - Name, Logo, Identity, Quality, Strategy

Many brands get engaged audiences if they focus on the message and image they are portraying on social media. This strategy is called building brand awareness and it is all about the combination of your content and visuals on Instagram.

What are some aspects of branding strategy that small businesses should be aware of?

  • Type of content: The content you present on Instagram must be a combination of value and information about your business. The types that are most effective for each business can vary. For example, businesses in the skincare industry can schedule posts on beauty tips, then alternatively post something about their own line of products.
  • Visual style: Visuals are also a large factor for getting into more people’s Instagram feed. Typically, clear crisp photos, engaging infographics, or quotations that are tastefully designed to match the business’ brand do well on Instagram.
  • Branding elements: Other elements of visual branding should be put into consideration such as colors, photo filters, fonts, and symbols to make your business stand out and become more noticeable than the rest.

Creating a branding strategy for your business on Instagram may take some time and effort, but when done correctly will pay off great results in the long run.

Adding a personal touch for your target audience

Gone are the days where businesses are “faceless”. People engage with brands that have a personal touch to them, such as those with relatable characters or influencers within the sphere of social media.

You can add a personal touch to your Instagram business account by either introducing yourself as an owner, sharing your client’s testimonials, or utilizing influencer marketing to improve your reach. Adding a face behind the business helps you stand out, and allows the user to become more familiar with your brand like it was knowing another person.

Some ways to implement adding personality in your Instagram content include:

  • Showing your staff, or yourself within the business: A post showing something about “getting to know the team” can help potential clients feel at ease about your business.
  • Sharing relatable topics: What are some of the common struggles that your target audience is going through? You can share such content in Instagram to help resonate with your followers.
  • Posting other people’s experiences: You can re-use content by influencers, previous clients, and other personalities that can be relatable to your target audience.

Utilizing audiovisual media on Instagram

Couple filming themselves

might have heard many digital marketing experts say that video is the future of social media. If you are looking for another easy strategy on how to increase followers on Instagram for small business, using features such as live video, video stories, or reels can greatly help.

Here are some audiovisual media ideas you can use to get more followers:

  • Instagram live: You can have a question and answer portion about your business, or yourself as a creator. Instagram live can also be used to showcase your products to your audience, such as giving them a tour of your physical store or presenting your items one by one.
  • Instagram reels: Reels are quite different from video posts as they are shown to users randomly who are browsing the reel feature. This is a great way to capture new audiences by capitalizing on the Instagram algorithm. Post 15-60 second videos that are engaging and related to your business, such as the creation process, storytelling, or following trends you see within the Instagram reels.
  • Instagram stories on video: This can be a regular part of your posting strategy on Instagram. Short video stories can be very engaging to the audience that are already followers of your account. Posting stories daily can help you get to the front of people’s Instagram feeds.

Using content from other channels

Thinking of new content from each platform such as your website, newsletter, and social media can be overwhelming for some business owners. Social media management can be a whole new work in itself and may take time off from other major things you need to take care of in your business.

Thus, one of the best ways on how to increase followers on Instagram for small business is to repurpose content from other platforms. Some strategies can include:

  • Summarizing points in your blog posts: You can create infographics about the main points in your blog post while directing your audience to your website if they want to read the full article.
  • Video snippets in reels and stories: You can reuse small snippets of your full video on your website or Youtube channel to create reels, video posts, or video stories on Instagram. You can also include links in your stories, caption, or on your bio page.
  • Polls to create content or offer: You can also import insights from Instagram to create content for your audience. There are polls you can post in stories, or encourage people to comment on your posts regarding what they want to see more in your business.

Use sponsored posts strategically

Sticky note with the words: Sponsored Content  Share

Instagram also has a sponsored post feature that allows you to be in front of people’s feeds, stories, or reels. Local businesses can benefit from this by using the settings which gather data from people’s current locations.

Sponsored posts can be shown to people who are currently within your city or community, or those who are searching for information related to your business. This is a laser-focused strategy on finding clients who are already warmed up to the idea of products and services related to your industry.

If you have a business account, you can start creating your own sponsored posts through people’s feeds, stories, or reels. You can also promote an influencer’s content with a link back to your Instagram account or website.

Using Instagram-specific features

There are many other strategies that can be implemented that are specific to Instagram growth. Other ideas you can do for your account or in partnership with others include:

  • Placing relevant hashtags on each post: Do not forget to place relevant and highly searchable hashtags for every post you create on Instagram. This allows other users to find your content as they use the explore feature.
  • Giveaways and partnerships: You can start your own product or service giveaway by yourself or in partnership with other business owners. Part of the mechanics should be following your Instagram account and engaging in your posts.
  • Engaging two-way and encouraging audience: Being responsive to comments, encouraging reactions, or asking questions can be helpful in increasing followers and improving engagement.

Need Instagram Growth? Follow These Strategies

The tips and tricks mentioned above are not just fads that come and go, but rather strategies that have stood the test of time. Implementing an Instagram strategy that includes many of the things mentioned above can serve your business well in gaining more followers.

Looking for a digital marketing agency El Monte, California? E-Marketing Associates handles the digital marketing needs of El Monte, CA businesses, and beyond. With a dedicated in-house team that can work on content marketing, web design, PPC, social media, and more, we can help your small business grow.

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