Instagram boasts of over a billion users. A portion of these users is a target market for any business. The social media platform has grown from just another photo-sharing app to a serious site where people interact and brands grow their followership. Therefore, it only good that you consider marketing your business on it.

Like any other social media platform, you need to grow your following on Instagram to have tangible benefits. The higher the number of people that are following you, the more the people who will see your post. Below are a few tips on ways to grow your brand on Instagram.

Grow your brand on Instagram with these tools

Grow Your Brand on Instagram with these Tools

Use a Business Account

The business account has several features that are not available in the personal type. It allows you to view insights, create ads, take advantage of Instagram shopping feature as well as include contact information and a call to action. Besides, you can add links to your Instagram stories as well as make sponsored posts that reach your target market. Converting your account to a business account is free and can be done at the top right corner of the page. It is important to familiarise yourself with various features and settings of the business account before you make your first post.

Take Advantage of Free Tools

The Instagram business profile looks more like the Facebook one. It provides you with a few lines for writing what you do in the bio section, adding your business link and accessing your profile analytics. The bio is especially essential in showcasing your business and the products that you are offering. Since you are allowed a few words, you should ensure that you write a perfect business introduction. You can utilise various Instagram bio ideas Shopify site to help create unique bios for your profile.

On the insights section, you can view the number of impressions that a post has made, access engagement data and information on your followers biodata such as location, gender, age and the hours they are usually online. This information will help you determine what and when to post to ensure maximum reach.

Consider Product Teasers Rather than Outright Advertisements

Most Instagram followers are put off by tons of advertisements. They do not really want businesses that are pushing them to buy even if they need the items. However, you can still market your items using teasers rather than pushy ads. Consider laid-back ads where you showcase your products and include a call to action such as ‘Shop Now.’ If your followers like the images of the items you are marketing, they will click the link below the item and shop. Ensure that you use sharp imagery and play with backgrounds to spur interest.

Use Sponsored Ads Once in a While

In your regular updates, only people that have followed you can see your posts. However, for sponsored ads, you can reach a broad audience that matches the target market descriptions. Create a budget for your ads to determine daily spend. You may show one or multiple ads by using the carousel feature. Ensure that each campaign has a definite, measurable goal that is to be met with the campaign. Be sure to define your target audience correctly so that you get the desired results at the end of the advertising effort.Use the Right Hashtags

When looking to grow your brand on Instagram, you should also keep your current audience regularly engaged so that they keep the brand in their minds. You need to keep posting new and exciting stories on your profile. While doing so, you need to hashtag your photos so that they are visible with specific search terms. Look at the popular hashtags that match your message to increase your chance of being discovered. The hashtag does not only need to be that names the brand but also a hashtag that describes what they are searching. For example, you can use #glutenFree for gluten-free food and #MensFashion for men’s clothing.

Go for the Right Picture Filters

Apart from the keyword hashtags, the Instagram community tends to respond to certain photo filters well than others. Therefore, using the right filters has a significant impact on your engagement rates. Some of the popular filters include Normal (where there is no filter) Juno, Claredon, Amaro, Lark, Ludwig and Gingham, among others. Test various filters and determine a few best ones when it comes to user engagement. Besides, check if there are favourite filters that your target audience use on their profiles and add them to your list.

Determine the Best Time to Post

You need to know the optimal time to post your content on Instagram. Determine when it is best to post by checking engagement rates. Out of the results, pick two most convenient times to post your content. Use the Instagram analytics tools on the business account to keep track of the engagement rates and the location of the clients. This helps you to determine when to post to reach prospects from a particular region. If you cannot keep posting throughout the day, consider using a social media-scheduling tool to automatically post when it is the best time for your targeted audience.

Steal Followers from Your Competitors

While stealing is not the best word to describe the action, it is generally converting your competitor’s followers to follow you. Your competitor targets a similar audience as your business. Therefore, these followers are more likely to be engaged with your content than random traffic from the internet. You can engage competitor followers by following them, liking photos and other content that they post and commenting on their images. You may then invite them to like your page. In most cases, over 30% of competitor followers will follow you and start liking your photos if you do the same to their postings.

Make use of Geotags to Reach Local Customers

If you are a small business that only serves a particular location, you do not need followers in other areas as they are not going to add any value to your business. Your posts should point to your location so that you get relevant traffic. Use geotags where you tag your location, whether a venue, city or region. Location tags have their Instagram feed and their story. Have that location sticker in all your stories. To maximise the impact, be sure to post content that relates to the region of your interest. Most viral posts originate from popular stories and like of the target audience.

Use Highlights to Organise Your Stories

When your potential visitors land on your page, you have a small window to have them follow you. One of the methods you can use is the ‘Highlights’ feature on your Instagram profile. Use the feature to organise your stories in such a way that visitors get to know what you are about.

Stories have a lifespan of 24 hours. However, with the Highlights, you give them a second chance where you convince the readers to follow so that they do not miss any stories in the future. You can use this feature to explain your product offering, create product trailers and organise the stories into stories.

Growing your brand on Instagram requires tact, effort and persistence. Various free and paid tools can help you meet this goal. However, do not expect to grow the following overnight. Be committed in your goal and use the right tools to get a following. The tools listed above are some of the most effective ones.

See also: How the New Instagram Co-Watching Feature Works?

Alexa Coleman is a young editor that has a lot of fresh ideas. She love marketing, technology and the Internet in general and she tells stories for different media all over the world.