Is your business on IG? You may have had this question asked before, and if you were a bit embarrassed to respond, the following is for you. Social media is a must if you hope to grow your business and brand following.
Why? It gives your brand 24/7 access to potential customers because people don’t go anywhere without their smartphones — not even the bathroom.
Instagram is one of the leading social media platforms you can leverage to boost brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, and sell products and/or services. There are over one billion active Instagram users and more than 500 million daily IG stories.
The number of active users alone is a pretty clear call to action for any business owner to get serious about using Instagram to grow their following. Sadly, most businesses shy away from Instagram and social media altogether. As big of a mistake as this is for brands, it is common.
The truth is, managing social media for your business is a full-time job. And you already have a few jobs to do when it comes to managing your business. But the effort of leveraging Instagram to grow your business and brand following is definitely worthwhile.
A few reasons why are . . .
- There are 25 million IG business profiles (some are your competitors)
- 70 percent of all IG hashtags are branded
- 66 percent of Instagram users buy products on Instagram
- 100 million images are shared on Instagram daily
- IG made $9 billion in ad revenue in 2018
And if you’re using the excuse of, “My demographic isn’t millennials,” you should consider this . . .
Only 65 percent of IG users are between the ages of 18 and 34. There’s a lot of variety in age on Instagram. Even if your target audience is over 65, you have 28 million people to reach, just via Instagram alone.
All statistics aside, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. We’ve compiled a list of Instagram specific ways to grow your business and social media following. Let’s dive in!
1. Deliver Value To Build Trust And Loyalty
One of the best ways to grow your business and social media following on Instagram, or any other social media channel, is to build trust and loyalty. And the best way to do this is to post valuable content. What exactly does “valuable” mean?
Valuable content is creative content that helps people solve a problem, get inspired or motivated, or tells a story. If you’re pitching your business, products, and/or services via Instagram, this is a must if you want to grow your business by building trust and loyalty. The traditional sales pitch is dead, so you’ll need to adapt.
For instance, let’s say you run a successful plumbing business servicing multiple cities in your state. There is probably quite a bit of competition, so you’ve decided to focus on just using Instagram to grow your business. You’ve been pushing your services, cities your business is in, and other sales pitch-centric posts.
Exhibit A . . .
If you’re doing the above (hence zero views), you’re probably not seeing the IG needle move. What if you turn that sales pitch into something people can run with instead of employing your business?
Exhibit B . . .
The above IG video shows how to do something, and it generated over 100,000 views.
I know what you’re thinking. If you give away free “How To” instructions, you’ll lose business. Wrong. People are generally too busy to take on a plumbing project of their own. But if you entice them with actionable content, they will appreciate the tip, remember your business, and call you. They’ll also follow you on Instagram to get more tips and tricks down the road.
2. Make Post Engagement A Two-Way Street
Part of using Instagram to grow your business and brand following is to maximize the social part in social media. That’s the whole point, may seem obvious, but many businesses simply use social media platforms like Instagram as a bulletin board.
The above IG post had seven or so comments, but the poster only replied to two of them. Even a thumbs up or smiley face would be better than nothing.
Engaging with other users is a very important part of using Instagram to grow your business and followers. You want people to know that you are in fact a real business, and a real person on the other end of the smartphone screen. If you reply in a meaningful way to every comment you received via post, your follower count will quickly grow.
Here’s some two-way engagement . . .
When you get a comment, give back by replying back. Yes, it can be time-consuming, but the payoff is worth it when it comes to growing your business using Instagram.
3. Utilize The Power Of Visual Content
Delivering valuable content and engaging with your audience is only part of the Instagram business battle. The type of content you deliver for consumption on IG is also mission critical for success. What’s the best type of content? Video! Video content is the primary choice of content for Instagrammers.
In fact, 95 percent of Instagram users also use YouTube.
This is certainly no coincidence. There is an 80 percent increase in videos posted to Instagram every year. This is not a shocking statistic. Within the first 24 hours of IG’s existence, over 5 million videos were uploaded to the social media network.
This paints a pretty clear picture for the type of content you should be posting on your Instagram page in order to grow your business. Videos can also be used as great pillar content pieces, since you can have a video transcribed into a blog post, use the video for YouTube, as well as take video clips and transcribed content to use on other social media channels.
Here’s a great real-time case study to prove the power of video. Image of fashionista woman entrepreneur . . .
Her net likes hovering around 1,500. Now a video of a disappearing beaker (whatever that is) . . .
Disappearing beaker video current views are at nearly 33,000. You do the math.
Video content wins every time. And more video content for businesses will take your Instagram page to new levels. Instagram isn’t only about fashion and amazing travel pics, it’s about value, video, and creativity.
4. Leverage Influencer Marketing To Build Brand Awareness
The number one way to grow your business and following on Instagram is via influencer marketing. Influencer marketing helps businesses reach hundreds of thousands of built-in followers to build brand awareness, drive traffic to their websites, create a buzz around new product launches, and even boost sales.
Leveraging influencers to increase your business’ online visibility is also very ROI positive. So ROI positive that nearly 50 percent of marketing budgets are allocated to influencer marketing campaigns. In fact, over 60 percent of marketers increased their influencer campaign spend in 2019.
But not all influencers are created equal. If you want to grow your business on Instagram, spending $200,000 on a mega-influencer may not be the best investment.
Kylie Jenner can post about Adidas, and Adidas can definitely fit the bill. However, how many of those 5 million likes are actually going toward the shoes and not just Jenner? Instead of wasting valuable resources on mega-influencers, you can focus on micro-influencers.
Micro-influencers are far more cost-effective, probably easier to collaborate with, and their followers are insanely loyal. And when it comes to purchase power, over 82 percent of micro-influencer followers are likely to take action.
Here’s a great example of a micro-influencer with over 28,000 faithful mom followers . . .
If you wanted to promote your kids’ products via Instagram and have an instant mom follower base in the tens of thousands, this would be a great micro-influencer to partner with.
You can see that this one post netted 1,000 likes . . .
Influencer marketing is a definite way to increase your followers and build a stronger brand on Instagram. Not to mention cost-effective with a ROI positive outcome. And if you don’t have time to build your brand via influencers, Scalefluence can help.
Grow Your Business On Instagram With Scalefluence
It is not easy connecting with an audience on Instagram, or any other social media channel. That’s why so many brands rely on the pros to create, manage, and grow their social media profiles. Scalefluence brand influencer platform can help you build an influencer network that simply gets results.
We deliver . . .
- Influencers and micro-influencers that get ROI positive results
- Branded campaigns and posts to meet your business goals
- A detailed posting schedule to ensure consistency
- Enticing visual content that creates a buzz, and is highly shareable
- Post engagement via comment replies across all your social media accounts
- Real-time campaign data via the Scalefluence dashboard
- Data driven decision making on campaigns, current and future
We do the heavy lifting for you. We know the time it takes to run a business, so let us help you use the power of Instagram to grow your business and following. Ready to take action? Your target audience is. Let Scalefluence catalyze social action.