6 Instagram Growth Hacks for Businesses

by Emily Oswalt on February 14, 2017

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One reason companies give for avoiding Instagram is that it takes too much time to build up an audience. That's a little silly – not only is Instagram already closely connected to other social media audiences like Facebook, but it offers a built-in, growing community that's easy to tap into with just a few Instagram growth hacks. Here are the steps to creating a "growth" post that will quickly put these fears to rest!

Step 1: Utilize Your Bio Section

You don't have much room to impress with Instagram – at least, when it comes to screen space. Almost everyone (literally, around 99% of users) tend to access Instagram on their phones. That means that when they are making decisions to follower new accounts or share images, they are looking only at the basic information available on the mobile Instagram page. This makes your bio – that small little section under your icon – very important. By necessity, this section is also very small, you only have room for a few short sentences at the most. So use your name to accurately copy the name of your company, and use the bio to describe your value offering and what you offer on your Instagram feed. Put a lot of thought into this description – don't copy anything from your About Us page. Make it snappy, informative, and relatable!

Step 2: Post Consistently (Daily is Fine)

Posting guides for various social media platforms can get a little complicated, we understand. For Instagram, let's make it easy. If you want more traffic and follower growth ASAP, start posting once a day. It's really that simple. Instagram users prefer to see daily updates from the brands they follow. It's enough to keep you in their minds, and you have a high likelihood of making posts more visible by adding new images every day. Start posting more than once a day, however, and interest dramatically falls – users tend to get annoyed at that frequency, and may drop you rather than deal with it.

Step 3: Seek Good Content Subjects BEFORE You Pick an Image

You'd be surprised how many busy marketing teams ignore this step – and how much difference it can make. While Instagram content needs to tie into your business, it should also tie into something else – current events, industry news, popular trends, hashtags, etc. Yes, this is important even in the B2B world. The key is finding new topics to discuss every day. Fortunately, there should always be a few industry topics you can talk about, or new case studies to introduce. For broader ideas, we highly suggest using a content or trend tool: Tools like Word Swag help you add trendy phrases to your images themselves, while a bunch of tools exist to examine trending news.

Step 4: Engage Different Audiences with Tailored Hashtags

Instagram is interesting because it encourages hashtags – lots of hashtags. Now, we don't suggest using a whole paragraph of meaningless hashtags just to try to produce results, but we do think you should consider what hashtags can do, and use them frequently. Start by picking out a particular audience, and then think of a particular point you want to make. Are you grateful for your clients? Hashtag them, along with obvious "#grateful" tags! Responding to a competitor? Call them out in the hashtags. Showing off a new product? Hashtag it with all #new oriented tags you can think of!

Step 5: Shout Out to Specific Brands and People

Using both hashtags and shoutouts to help target specific brands, influencers, partners and others. Shoutouts are essentially screenshots of other Instagram profiles that you can instantly share. It's a great way to build relationships and encourage your content community – as well as getting reciprocal shares in return. Sometimes, taking a break and encouraging someone else's brand can have powerful results.

Step 6: Use Analytics the Smart Way

Tools like Ink361, as well as Instagram's own business tools, can help you examine how successful your Instagram posts are. Take a look at the distribution of your social signals to see when you should post and what you should post for maximum effect!

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Emily Oswalt

As social media manager at 21 Handshake, my passion of social media shines through to bring awareness to your brand. From the latest hashtag trend to engaging influencers, my desire is provide the best content to get your target audience talking online.