Updated: Dec 4, 2020
Instagram is a powerful medium to grow your business. It's a great way to get found, build relationships, connect with like-minded business owners and move prospects through your social sales funnel.
Today, I am going to share how I went from zero to 1,000 followers from April 27, 2019 to December 29, 2019. That is one thousand ENGAGED followers in eight months. Slow and steady,100% organic growth (no paid advertising).
If you are keen to use Instagram as part of your growth strategy for 2020, here’s how to grow your business Instagram community.
How to grow your business Instagram community
TIP 1: Get your bio sorted
When looking to how to grow your business Instagram community, the first and most important thing to do is create a meaningful bio. If a potential follower lands on your home page they will generally do a quick scan of your bio and the top 12 -15 images on your grid. Which means you don't have long to capture their attention.
Your bio should have your name and a quick statement stating your ideal customer and how you help them. It should also include a link to your website (yes, you do need a website - I will save that for another post though) and if you are a solopreneur or service-based business a picture of you. Research shows it's more effective to use an image of you rather than a logo for your profile pic.
TIP 2: Content is more than just copy
If you want to stop the insta scroll and attract attention you need high-quality, striking images. Instagram is a visual platform. I saw HUGE growth on my business Instagram page once I started using professional photographs. BUT, you can't have one without the other. A great content strategy includes both high-quality and engaging imagery as well as targeted, value-add copy.
TIP 3: Give more than you take
Be social. Invest time in forging relationships with your followers (and be genuine about it). And in order to be found by new pages you need to go out and search for your ideal client. I tend to search via hashtags that I know my audience will post on. That way I can find them and start to engaging with their content.
TIP 4: Get real and show up
Video is not going away anytime soon and video is the fastest way for your followers, prospects and clients to know you, like you and trust you. This will lead to not only more followers, but also a greater conversion of your offering.
Stories are a great place to start with video and then, when you are more confident, start recording IGTV videos. And remember, if you haven't done it before it's not going to be perfect. But the more you do it the more comfortable you will get.
TIP 5: Mix up your posting schedule
In the beginning I was posting 4-5 times a week. Then I noticed engagement plateaued despite my increased following. I think this was because my audience was getting a little bit fatigued from my posts.
But I noticed a HUGE increase in engagement once I starting mixing up how often I posted. Sometimes it was once a week and sometimes it was three times a week. I used the time I would have otherwise used creating content to engage in the platform on other business pages.
TIP 6: You can't win all the time
It can be easy to get discouraged if you have a bombed post! The truth is marketing is always about testing. There is no sure fire winner. Ask any content creator and they will say the same. The posts they think will do well don't and the posts they are unsure about are a huge hit.
You must be checking your analytics to understand what posts are working for you. Instagram insights got so much better in 2019, it is now even easier to sort posts by reach, engagement, saves, shares etc. If you are not analysing your posts you are flying blind.
TIP 7: Write for your ideal client
Having the right content will attract the right audience and significantly build your business Instagram reach. If you want to write powerful content that will help your ideal client understand exactly how you can help them and why they should work with you and not a competitor, you need to write with them in mind.
The first step is to create a customer avatar (free customer avatar template). Once you get laser focused on your ideal client - their needs, desires, challenges, problems, likes and dislikes - you can start to create value-add content. This will result long term in more engaged followers.
TIP 8: Branding matters
There are thousands of cookie cutter, scrapbook Instagram accounts out there. So, in order to stand out amongst the crowd it's best to create and stick to your personal and business brand style rather than following insta trends just for followers and likes. Your images should have a level of symmetry but I suggest staying away from an overly curated grid. It can look a little less personable and whilst it may attract higher likes, it often doesn't translate into real engagement and business performance outcomes.
TIP 9: Use hashtags to get found
Using the right hashtags will help you get discovered by new audiences. However it is important to understand how to use hashtatgs correctly in order to be discovered by your ideal client. Here are my top tips:
1/ Use hashtags used by your ideal client
2/ Make it relevant - don't use hashtags that have absolutely nothing to do with your content
3/ Mix it up; avoid using the same hashtag set for every post
4/ Do your analytics - check the insights to see how your hashtags perform
5/ Use a combination of popular and more targeted hashtags
Instagram is an incredible (free) resource that can help you grow your business. My final note is followers and likes don't necessarily equal business income. So, make sure you are paying attention to your insights, conversions and ROI.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post and would love to hear your top tips on how to grow your business Instagram community.