How to Grow Your Instagram for Business

By on 03/27/2017

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In March 2017, Instagram reached a milestone of its millionth active monthly advertiser. Similarly, there are currently over 600 million monthly active users on the platform in whole. As such, this platform is not one to ignore and actually quite easy to utilize as a business! So we’ve compiled a few of the most useful tips and tricks that you can put to work today to start growing your engagement, reach, and likes!

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User Generated Content (UCG)

  • Create a campaign that spotlights user generated content, a.k.a. your users’ activity. Buffer has proven that your numbers can increase exponentially just by sharing your followers’ work. The National Geographic Instagram, for example, almost exclusively showcases their photographers’ work and links back to the original profile it was shared from. Not only does the NatGeo Instagram account have over 73 million followers, but their content is stunning, informed, and worthy of being followed. UGC allows brands to connect with their users and guide them through the brand experience, rather than selling something to them or sharing false moments.

The key with UGC is that it must be the best-of-the-best content. Match photos with your brand, and create a unique hashtag so you can find all the resource photos in one place. Add relevant, popular hashtags, and remember to tag the original poster!

Cross Promotion From Instagram To Facebook

  • A study by Buzzsumo found that images shared from Instagram to Facebook receive 24% more engagement than natively uploaded photos. To take this one step further, Facebook has introduced a feature that allows you to have an Instagram feed right on your Facebook page! Utilize this awesome feature and direct your followers back and forth between your profiles.

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Share Unique Content About Your Business On Instagram

  • Use your Instagram to show a different side to your brand. Don’t publish the same content your followers will find on all your different channels. Use your Instagram as a voice to express the feeling, or aesthetic, of your brand.

Black Bear Design’s Instagram focuses on the outdoors. We’ve taken our tagline “standout in the forest” and have created an image and culture around that. Our Instagram features photos of everything from hiking and bears to forests and mountains. Is that the work we do? Not necessarily (only in our free time), but it’s the brand that’s being built on Instagram, and followers notice.

It’s simple, if you share aesthetically pleasing content, as opposed to an advertisement with written words, people are more likely to double tap.

#Hashtags For Business

  • Hashtags are king on Instagram. It’s the only channel that won’t negatively impact you if you go all out with the most popular and relevant tags. Of course, with any good thing there should be a limit, and in Instagram’s case you max out at 30 hashtags per post. But you get a huge bang for your buck with that limit. Research has shown that the golden number of hashtags on a popular post is about eleven, so choose tags that don’t have millions of results, or too few, and watch your numbers grow.

You can use plugins like HashTest to test your most used hashtags and see if they’re successful. Similarly, when typing in hashtags directly on Instagram, “suggested tags” will pop up and let you see how many other people are tagging with that word. Try to find something a little more unique if the word already has over a million results. This will increase the probability that people who scour the tags will find your post and it won’t get lost in a sea of photos.

“You Scratch Our Back…”

  • Instagram is a fun app, and as such, should be enjoyed by all users – including you! The best way to gain a faithful following of loyal fans is by taking the time and scrolling through your feed, liking posts, scouring the hashtags and “trending” sections, and engaging with the community. Go ahead and feel free to like every relevant thing, it won’t hurt and the receiving user will enjoy the love. Follow the accounts that are relevant to your company and your brand.

black bear design instagram

Create the Perfect Instagram Post

  • Create each new post with the perfect elements:
    • Use the brightness feature or filters to show off your product or aesthetic. Photos that are brightly exposed receive over 23% more likes than dark photos. Similarly, photos with filters receive more comments than those without. So keep your image bright, breezy, and above all: crisp. Make sure your photos are not grainy, otherwise choose another one.
    • Create a witty caption to go with the photo and try to keep it short. By all means, if you’re promoting an event and need to give some detail, DO! But for your day-to-day posts keep it concise and try to implement the five most persuasive words in the English language: you, free, because, instantly, new.
    • Use 11 of the most relatable hashtags to your brand! Get noticed in those hashtag flows and let others find you!
    • If you can, find one of your follower’s content that relates to your brand and use that as your perfect post material!

Let us know how well these tricks and tips work for you when you implement them into your strategy, we truly want to know!

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