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Growing Your Business’ Instagram Following

Contributed by Taylor Burkhalter

READ THIS ARTICLE TO LEARN HOW TO GET 10,000 INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS OVER NIGHT!

Just kidding.

It doesn’t work like that. Growing your follower base takes time…and strategy. You may not be able to recruit a bunch of new followers over night, but you can grow your following faster by implementing a few different strategies.

Not every business has the potential to attract a gargantuan following on Instagram. If you’re a vacuum cleaner store in Wynne, Arkansas, chances are you probably won’t hit a million followers – you just need the right followers!

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Pop Quiz: Is this an appropriate advertisement for the vacuum store? See my point below about “knowing your audience”.

Let’s break it down.
You created an Instagram account for your business – now what?

Before you start recruiting new followers, you need to address the following 3 questions:

Know Your Mission: “Why are we on Instagram?”
a. To raise brand awareness?
b. To promote our product/services?
c. To engage with our fans?
d. Because my millennial child told me to.

The correct answer is d… But, probably one of the others, as well. Write down your reason for being on Instagram – Your Instagram Mission. Then, refer to this before sharing content. This will help keep you focused on your goals and will provide direction for your content strategy.

Know Your Audience: “Who is my target?”
Who are you targeting? Who do you want to see your content? Always keep your audience in mind when posting content. Ask yourself, “Will they find value in this content? Why did they follow us in the first place?”

If they followed you to stay up to date on the latest vacuum cleaner offerings, perhaps refrain from sharing that picture of the gourmet hotdog you had at lunch -

UNLESS…

You are demonstrating the capabilities of your vacuum. Then, yes. BY ALL MEANS, incorporate the hotdog into your content strategy. More specifically, coordinate a Man vs. Vacuum hotdog eating contest, video it and share it on the world wide web. I can see it now: “Oreck vs. Kobayashi” – 89,000,000 views. (We can talk about viral video marketing another time).

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Know Your Voice: “What is our brand voice?”

It’s important that your content is consistent with your brand voice, and that it is consistent over time. This is essentially your brand’s personality. Who’s talking? You or your brand?

Once you have answered these questions, it’s time to start posting content. First, you need to Develop a Content Base – Before you start recruiting followers to your page, you should have a solid base of content already posted. This way, once people start visiting your profile, they can reference your previous posts to get an idea of the kind of content you share. Getting them to your profile is half the battle – make sure you give them a reason to click “follow”.

GET FOLLOWERS
Now, the fun part. This is how you get new followers.

• Follow People – One of the quickest ways to get customers to your page is by following people. A LOT of people. But don’t just follow anybody – be strategic – follow people who are more likely to be interested in your content. For example, follow people who follow your competitors. If you’re the vacuum company in Wynne, search Instagram for all Vacuum Instagram accounts in the area and follow their followers. Maybe poach the Carpet store’s Instagram followers, too. This is my number 1 recommendation – I grew a local company’s business account from 128 followers to 1,000 followers in 2 weeks (organically) using this tactic.

• Insights – Stick to a strategic and consistent posting schedule. Use the Insights feature in Instagram to track when your followers are most active. Every account’s followers are different, but you can find plenty of articles online discussing the best posting times for each day of the week.

• Ads/Sponsored Posts – Instagram makes it super easy to advertise your account. Spend as much as you are comfortable to help your post reach a larger audience. You can also target specific demographics in customized geographic locations.

• Giveaways/Contests – Once you have an established following, get them engaged by hosting a giveaway. Ask participants to tag their friends in the comments for a chance to win a prize.

Cliffnotes: Know your audience, follow people, and share quality, engaging content.

 

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