CHRONICLES OF A DIGITAL ENTREPRENEUR

CHAPTER 16: Tips & Tricks to Instagram

You’d be living under a rock if you didn’t know that Instagram is a powerful tool for any entrepreneur, business and/or brand. For a platform that clocked a big 10 years in 2020, it is safe to say that the social networking app has changed many lives during its existence. The visual-centric platform that began as a photo-posting app has grown into a source of income for creators and a new sales channel for businesses.  

 

Over 1 Billion people use Instagram and these users spend an average of 53 minutes per day. With such popularity and engagement, it is safe to say that this powerful marketing tool is a staple in every marketing plan. 

 

As an entrepreneur, I am certain that you seek new ways to advance your business and /or brand and Instagram is something you may have tried out (or still trying out), but like many, you are yet to unleash the full potential of this social network for your business. 

 

How would you like to stand out from the crowd and get your Instagram game to A? How would you like to create a presence on this platform to carve a niche for your business and/or brand? Today, I will share some tips and tricks to make your Instagram dreams come true.

 

TIP 1: Engagement Groups

Ever wondered what people who get Instagram followers fast do differently? 

They join engagement groups (aka. Instagram pods). While it can be tempting to join the biggest Instagram engagement groups, the truth is you’ll get a more targeted list of Instagram followers by sticking to your niche. The tactic is best for entrepreneurs just starting to learn how to get followers on Instagram.

 

You can find engagement groups for travel, beauty, fashion and more. In these groups, you can get followers and likes from people who have shared interests. But if you’re serious about getting their attention, you should also return the favor by following fan pages for people who join the group.



TIP 2: Ask Customers to Share their Photos

When you’re just starting out, getting followers on Instagram will be a lot easier with customer photos in your feed. Why? It helps increase social proof. If you’ve never had a customer before, reach out to influencers in your niche with under 5,000 followers. 

 

I know the number seems low but influencers with few followers on Instagram want to monetize their accounts and will be willing to take pictures with your products at a much lower rate. 

You can also offer them an affiliate deal where they’ll get a commission for every sale they score with their customer referral link.

 

TIP 3: Post Creative Content

There is no substitute for creative content. If your content is great, people are going to like and comment on your posts. Instagram is all about great visuals. There are numerous types of posts that you can create on the platform. These include photo posts, video posts, Instagram Stories, and even IGTV videos. So include vivid colors and frame your photos well. Instead of just posting about your products and promoting them, you could create stories around them.



TIP 4: Use the Right Hashtags

The purpose of hashtags is to reach out to an audience that isn’t following you. It’s important to use the right hashtags if you want to get noticed by the right crowd.

 

Let’s say you’re creating content related to a FIFA match, you shouldn’t just use #football because the term is too broad. Instead, use #FIFA, #FIFA2020, #FIFAWorldCup, or #FIFAWorldCup2020.

 

To find the most relevant hashtags, you can use tools like HashtagsForLikes, or better still, Instagram itself. With the power of hashtags, you can grow your organic following on social media. These tools give you a list of the best hashtags to give your account maximum exposure on Instagram. All you need to do is copy-paste the list of hashtags and use them in your Instagram posts.

 

TIP 5: Have a Thoughtful Strategy

To use any social network effectively, you need a clear plan. Getting more Instagram followers is a great goal to start with. But followers alone won’t give you a successful Instagram account. Gaining followers needs to be part of a larger plan that connects to your business strategy and social marketing objectives.

 

Think about the reasons why you want more Instagram followers. What do you really hope to accomplish? Maybe you want to:

  • increase brand awareness
  • boost product sales
  • drive traffic to your website.

Staying focused on these business-oriented goals will help keep your Instagram account consistent. It will help you tell a compelling brand story that appeals to new profile visitors and helps build (and keep) a loyal following.

 

TIP 6: Know your Audience?

Ask yourself some questions about who you are trying to reach:

  • How old are they?
  • Where do they live?
  • What do they do for work?
  • When and how do they use Instagram?
  • What are their pain points and challenges?

Answering these questions will help you craft the right kind of Instagram content to reach the people on Instagram who are most likely to give you a follow. It will also keep you focused on the needs of your target audience so you can consistently deliver content that makes them want to keep following you for the long term.

 

TIP 7: Get Creative with your Caption

A picture is worth a thousand words, but you can't skip the words entirely. Employ the art of storytelling to make your brand more relatable and your Instagram page more exciting. A brand that has done this well is National Geographic. 

 

National Geographic is fantastic at using storytelling alongside their Instagram photos to generate engagement and sharing. While traditional media brands have dropped like flies, NatGeo has thrived across digital and become one of the top brands on Instagram, with over 145 million followers.

 

TIP 8: Get Local

See what's going on in a specific area (say, your neighborhood, a city you're targeting in ads, or even an event in a certain location) by going to the search page and choosing the Places tab. Then, type in the name of the place to see all geotagged posts for that location.

 

TIP 9: Explore your Competition’s Followers

One of the best ways to find and attract a new following is by seeking out your closest competitors’ Instagram accounts and engaging with their audiences. These people have already shown some level of interest in the products you carry simply by following your competitors.

 

So how do you effectively steal your competitors’ followers? By engaging with them. There are several ways to engage with Instagram users, and the more work you put in, the more followers and repeat engagement you’ll get out of it.

The three types of engagement on Instagram are:

  • Follow a user
  • Like a photo
  • Comment on a photo



TIP 10: Use Instagram Live

Live video is the key to running a successful marketing strategy on any social media platform. With Instagram, you can use Instagram Live to stream videos to your followers and engage with them in real-time. 

 

When your brand starts a live video stream, a ring encases your profile picture in Instagram Stories to tell followers they can check out the stream. Followers also receive a notification when you start a live video. Once you finish your livestream, you can upload it to your Story for 24 hours. 

 

Some ways to gain more followers when using Instagram Live include:

  • Influencer takeovers
  • Hosting an AMA (Ask Me Anything) or Q&A
  • Teasing a product launch or update
  • Hosting a talk show
  • Going behind the scenes on your operations
  • Sharing a current event 
  • Running product tutorials

 

There you have it. These are my top 10 favourite tips to growing your Instagram account. Have you tried any? What were the results? Which of these tips are you looking forward to experimenting? Tell me in the comments section below.

 

Until next time, I remain yours in the digital entrepreneurship journey,

Amanda Scarletclaw.

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