A significant amount of mothers owned businesses make more sales through Instagram. In fact, Instagram provides 25% more engagement than other social media platform. If you can remember when Facebook dramatically reduced page reach, brands were forced you leverage on Instagram as their major source of product promotion. Most mothers owned businesses would not exist today if not for Instagram. For most, their major income comes from running Instagram ads. One of my favorite mumpreneurs who owns an organic product brand known as team natural often tells me how she has leveraged Instagram to make most of her sales. Instagram also offers a more cost-effective means of product advertising and marketing.
Branding is all about visuals and Instagram offers a way to express your brand through images. People tend to connect more with what they see and that’s a great way to create a lasting impression about your brand. All these and more form the major reason why you should learn how to grow your instagram followers
Adding hashtags can be a daunting task. Most people just want to post and image and that’s it, this approach can only stunt your Instagram growth. Hashtagging is skill and when mastered can skyrocket your Instagram growth. Adding hashtags makes it easy for your pictures to be found by those who are looking for what you offer. Hashtagging ties the conversations of different users who wouldn’t already be connected into a single stream. The key to effective hashtagging is to find the relevant hashtags in your niche or industry. All hashtags are not made equal; some obviously will bring you more followers. For example hashtags like #love (1,027,917,810 posts) #instagood (552,537,705 posts) #photooftheday (394,332,818 posts) #beautiful (367,636,422 posts) #happy (2353,202,629 posts) #tbt (360,522,758 posts) #fashion (351,195,493 posts).
The question is, the people that follow you through these hashtags, are they in your niche? Instagram is about quality, not just quantity. You want people who will actually convert and buy your products. Also, one very important tip is to stay away from hashtags like #like4like or #like4likes – they only bring you spam and low-quality followers. To find the relevant hashtags you might need to do a little research – you can do this by clicking on the search icon, putting the hashtag you wish to use, then clicking on the tags tab, this brings up a list of related hashtags on the top of your screen. I tried this with the #mumpreneur and it brought out a list of other hashtags like #mumprenuers #mumpreneurmovement #mumpreneurlife #mumpreneursrock #mumpreneurnetwork. You can as well click on the individual hashtags to bring up other related hashtags. For example clicking on #mumpreneurs brings up related hashtags like #businessmom #bossmom #momboss #setyourownhours #workfromhomemom.
If you also click on any of the hashtags it will bring up more related hashtags. This is a simple illustration of how to do your hashtag research.
What if I just found you through your hashtag, you need to convince me instantly that you are the right person to follow. The best way to do this is to simply customize your profile and make it look appealing. What you do and how you do it should reflect in your profile. Most mumpreneurs I know complain that one of the challenges they face is that their names have been taken. The best way to solve this is to make sure you use your business name in the username area and Reserve a username that is as close to your company’s name as possible. If you really want to gain huge followers for your business, I see no reason why you should make your Instagram private – make sure the “Private Account” is turned off. Also try adding your USP directly after your username, followed by what you offer. A good example is @homepolish: Making the world a better space. ?✨ Personal, professional interior design services at an hourly rate, nationwide. Book your designer → homepolish.com hmpl.sh/signup_service
Also feel free to experiment with different emoji’s specific to your niche. Emoji have a way to make your profile appear more vibrant. Next, add a link to your bio that leads to your website – it’s always advisable to shorten this link, you can use free tools like Google url shortener or bitly.
Finally, I recommend you enable notifications. Doing this notifies you when people share or comment on your photos so you can engage with them better. Most people like to link their Instagram to their Facebook and Twitter so it posts automatically on each platform, doing this is not best practice because posts types are different. If you can afford to post differently on each of these platforms, do so.
Apart from adding the right hashtags and fleshing out your profile, being consistent with your posts at the right time will make the most difference. If you are really keen on growing your followers then you should be posting at least three times daily, which gives you about 95 times in a month. This is actually the benchmark for brands with huge following – weekends should definitely not be left out.
The goal here is to keep users satisfied and not oversaturate their feeds. If three is too much a number, you can settle for two posts daily. Most people make the mistake of posting all three pictures at once – a better way to post is to first determine when your target audience will be online checking their phone. Another way to determine posting time is to use a targeted approach and analyze what have worked for you in the past, there are so many tools which you can use to achieve this, one of which is IconoSquare
One of the easiest ways to increase your following is to actually steal followers from your competitor. Obviously, you can also find your target audience in your competitor’s account – so the way to effectively draw them to follow you is to engage with them. You can do this by following a user, liking a photo or commenting on their post. Doing this increases the chance of them checking you out and follow you. Another way around this is to simply form a good relationship with people in your niche and do some cross-promoting with users who have audiences similar to your own.
Instagram was initially meant to be a picture sharing app, so good photography should be a priority. Most people will follow you immediately because of the quality of images you post. Whether you are using a professional camera or your iPhone to take pictures, always make sure that the pictures are looking clear and crisp. Good pictures send a message that your brand is premium. Even if you can’t hire a professional photographer, make sure that the pictures you take are focused on one subject at a time, look symmetric enough, have interesting perspectives, embrace negative space, has humor and represents your brand well.
Check out this article on taking great pictures with your smartphone. Another point to consider is using the right filter. Filters like Mayfair, Inkwell, and no filter drive more engagements than the others. Here is a complete post on the kinds of filters to use on specific types of post. Here is also an article on the 10 most used filter
For some taking the time to craft a compelling caption is just the last thing going on in their mind. They just want to post as quickly as possible for the sake of posting and leave. Your caption is meant to evoke the reader’s emotion and make him or her want to engage with it. Another point I have noticed is that most people are scared of asking questions for the fear of not getting a reply. The truth is that your audience sees your posts and appreciates them but do not see the need to reply since you aren’t asking any questions. For example, you might say things like “double-tap if you love it” or “share your story in the comments”. These are needed calls to action that prompts a reader to act. Below frank_bod did quite a great job with this caption. Another point to consider is the hashtag #letsbefrank. Over time their audience has used this hashtag to post pictures of themselves. That’s a great way to tie all conversation related to your brand up. We at mumpreneur.ng have also adopted that trend by adding the hashtag #kickassmum to all our posts.
Since the introduction on Instagram stories, most brands have adopted this to share theirs behind the scenes. These stories give your brand a human touch and let your brand engage with users in emotional ways. Instagram stories also give you the power to create live videos, this gives brands an opportunity to share unscripted, raw moments with their audience.
One of the secrets to gaining more followers through your stories is to stick to a particular theme it could be your companies early morning routine or gym session- anything that creates an episodic narrative over time should be perfect. Bustle.com have written a great article about this, I suggest you read it up
Finally the team at Iconsquare has put up a great online resource covering various aspects of using Instagram. This is also a worthwhile resource to checkout.
Chinonso Anyaehie is an Adobe Certified Expert – and visual and brand designer. He is also the founder of branded.ng. Feel free to contact him for your corporate branding, career branding and thought leader branding. firstname.lastname@example.org