Instagram now has over 500 million monthly active users, receives 4.2billion likes a day, and users share over a combined 95 millions photos and videos per day. A survey from the Global Web Index found that 53% of consumers preferred to follow brands on Instagram, and between 2016 and 2020, eMarketer predicts that Instagram will add 26.9 million users.
However, getting your audience to engage with you may not be as easy as your think. The goal is to increase your social following and to maximise the platform for promotional use, but you want to make sure your audience consists of the right people.
This leaves us with one key question;
How can Instagram be used by businesses?
Here are some tips to grow your Instagram audience.
1. Utilise relevant hashtags
Hashtags are a great tool for classifying your posts or images into specific categories; whether you want to increase the visibility of a post or find exactly what you’re looking for. You can significantly improve the reach of a post by including a relevant hashtag. Posts with at least one hashtag gain 12.6% more engagement. It is important that your hashtags are industry or product related, in order to attract the right new audience outside of your own follower base. When we create our monthly social editorial calendars for diamond specialist, Diamond Heaven, we ensure the hashtags are both product related and location specific to reach the targeted demographic.
2. Use Inspirational Quotes
One type of content that has proven to be quite successful on Instagram is inspirational quotes that support the vision and values of your brand. We have seen this drive a lot of engagement. To retain your Instagram audience, you will need to post high quality content that your audience can relate to and associate your brand with. It is important that you remember not to overwhelm your audience by posting too much of the same content. Use a variation of products, quotes and lifestyle posts as this can help to deliver great returns. Posting inspirational quotes has been quite successful for our client and leading hypnotherapist, Paul Mckenna.
3. Create a business profile
Creating an Instagram business profile can benefit you in a number of ways, as it allows your audience to access key contact information instantly. Before the update was rolled out, businesses could only provide a website link in their profile. Once you provide your business contact information, Instagram users will have access to an email address, contact number and can find your location on a map. A business profile also includes an analytics tool, known as ‘Insights’ – this tool will allow you to monitor your content performance.
4. Grow your community
A great way to improve your presence on Instagram is by engaging with the Instagram community. This could include; following influential Instagram users that would represent the image of your brand, responding to users when they engage with your posts or even developing a network of brand ambassadors. Setting up an ambassador program, will allow you to endorse your products through number of channels, will increase your audience reach and brand visibility both locally and globally. A client that adopts an ambassador program across their social channels is Vinyl Revolution. They specialise and producing wall art, stickers and decals, and reward people for joining the community.