These days, it seems like everyone’s on Instagram. What started as a fun way to share photos with your friends has suddenly become one of the world’s largest social media platforms, second only to Facebook. Because of that, many businesses are now on Instagram, getting likes from customers and buying Instagram followers to get more shares and engagement. Whether you’re thinking of becoming an influencer, or you’re running a business and want to market your brand on Instagram, it’s important to get this engagement and connect with your customers. But especially in the beginning, it can be a challenge to pull this off. These days, so many businesses are on Instagram that simply posting cool pictures and using some clever captions isn’t going to cut it.
Luckily, there are some great strategies you can use to grow your Instagram’s organic following. It’s all about getting to know your customers and finding the most creative ways to reach them–and here’s how.
Understand your customers – and what they want
Let’s say that you’re running a coffee shop, and you want to attract more customers to it. If you’re based in a touristy area (let’s say, Montreal), then use that to your advantage and draw in customers with images not only of your beautiful coffees but also of Montreal. You could create an entire set of images where you have a cappuccino traveling in all the different parts of the city. If, on the other hand, you’re running a hipster coffee shop in Brooklyn, you may want to post pictures of your coffee shop’s decor, as well as images of people working on their laptops and having business meetings by the window on Bedford Avenue.
It’s all about choosing the right theme for your Instagram feed, and then creating an aesthetic that matches it (the right color scheme and fonts). If you aren’t sure what to do, check out what your competitors are doing. And don’t forget: pictures with faces in them are 38 percent more likely to get engaged with than those without, so even though most of your pictures may be of coffee, remember to include some people, too.
Post regularly and at the right times
However awesome your pictures and captions are, you aren’t going to get anywhere if you aren’t posting consistently. In the same way that your followers will come to expect a certain aesthetic from your company, they’re also going to expect you to post regularly. Choose how many times you’re going to post, and don’t break from that habit. If you need to use a program like Hootsuite to schedule and post your pictures for you, do it. Additionally, be strategic about when you post.
According to SproutSocial, “the best time to post on Instagram (for most businesses) is 3 pm on a Wednesday, 11 am, 3 pm and 4 pm on a Thursday and 5 am on a Friday. You’ll need to do some of your own digging into details like your industry’s audience habits to make sure that schedule works for you. Check out your Instagram insights to see when your followers are most active.”
Use Instagram Stories
One of Instagram’s coolest features is Instagram Stories. Originally created to help Instagram compete with Snapchat, it has helped Instagram become much more popular than Snapchat among young generations such as millennials and Gen Zers. Regular users are using this feature all the time to share a quick snapshot of their lives with their friends–and they’re additionally following their favorite brands and influencers this way, too. If you haven’t started already, it’s time to use this feature.
It may be challenging at first, but there’s no need to worry. There are apps out there, such as Over and Unfold, that make it easy to make your Instagram Stories stand out among the crowd. Considering that Unfold is already gaining 75,000 followers a day, it goes to show how useful this technology can be.
Another great way to get followers is by using Geotags. Anytime you can, tag where you are, and this will automatically help your account pop up in other people’s newsfeeds who are near you. You’ll get more engagement this way without having to do much. There’s a reason why six in ten social media users location-tag posts, and it’s because it works.
These are some of the best ways to grow your Instagram’s organic following. Especially if you’re starting a new business, they can be incredibly effective. What other ways do you use social media to interact with your customers and make your business more popular?