How to grow your business with Instagram

Sarah Kauter, MD digital PR and marketing agency, VerriBerri, shares some top tips on growing a business' Instagram presence.

Instagram on a smartphone

Growing your business through Instagram can be difficult. Although it’s not something the platform will openly admit to, personal and creator profiles appear to receive a higher level of engagement.

Even well-known brands, such as Tefal, tend to receive under 100 likes on a post. This can leave smaller brands feeling somewhat despondent about their chances of success, but don’t give up! You can succeed on Instagram; it just takes some knowhow and time.

The team at VerriBerri has been dedicated to helping clients succeed on Instagram for the last nine years. We have helped with client engagement and growth – seeing the likes of more than 8,000% organic increase in just a month. Here are some of our tips to help you grow your brand’s Instagram.

Who are your target audience?

The first step is identifying your audience. Unless you know what they are doing, what they want to see, and what interests them, you will not be able to build an effective strategy. A great place to start is by looking at your competitors. See what posts gain traction and try to establish why. Is it the type of people that follow them? Absolutely! Is it the hashtags they are using? Almost certainly! Is it the quality of the image? Probably!

Until you know your place in the market, you’re on the back foot. This isn’t a ten-minute job, so dedicate some time to look into this. Jot down any recurring themes you see and any inspiration you have. Determine from this how frequently you can post and be realistic. There is no point posting every single day if you are going to quickly run out of content and ideas. There’s nothing wrong with two or three posts a week. This is definitely a platform where quality over quantity is key.

Don’t underestimate the power of scheduling tools. Platforms, such as Planoly, allow you to plan your posts in advance. This means you will have considered images with well thought out captions and researched hashtags, all of which will result in a better level of engagement and following.

Don’t forget the visuals!

As we all know, Instagram is a visual platform, but that doesn’t stop at the images. Instagram allows for a theme to run across your grid. This is a great way to reinforce your branding. For example, we try to keep the VerriBerri Instagram as clean as possible, and when we use graphics, we try to use our brand colours of purple, grey, and green. That’s not the only way to create your grid though. You could choose to have one theme, such as all photos in a particular filter or angle. Or, you could have six or nine photos make up one larger image. The options are endless so let your imagination roam. The above scheduling tool will let you see how it is going to look, making sure your aesthetic is perfect.

The clue’s in the name

Social media was created for exactly this reason, to engage with other people. You simply cannot expect other users to like, comment, and follow if you are not doing the same. If someone posts something you think is great; then show some appreciation! Of course, you shouldn’t be spamming people with the aim of securing a larger following; but targeted and considered engagement will help you reap the rewards.

Bringing this article full circle, if you accurately identified your target market in step one, this stage should be really easy. You will have chosen to connect with people who you have a genuine affinity with and should, in return, have an interest in your company.

Sell sell sell!

So many accounts purely focus on making sales. Controversially, this will not increase your ROI. People follow profiles that they are getting something from. They want to buy from your brand once they know you, trust you, and like you! Take the opportunity to show more than your services or products.

Post photos of your team, things you are proud of, join in with national days; Instagram is your oyster. Not all sales are overtly obvious. If you can show that you have done something really well then people will be aware that you are an expert in your field, or have an outstanding product.

When you do put up a sales orientated post, however, make sure your call to action is strong. You can afford to do this because you have a number of ‘friendly’ posts that have already helped to build a relationship with your following. In this scenario, offer clear direction.

You don’t just have to use your grid for this either. Make use of your story. You should ideally post here a minimum of three times a day. Your story is casual so show people your day to day life, explain what your values are, offer advice, and build a relationship.

Don’t be vain

To conclude, with possibly the most important point. Of course, we all want a cool million followers, but what’s even better than that is 1000 followers where every one of them buys from you. I cannot stress this strongly enough… Do NOT ever buy followers. It throws out your algorithm, decreases your ROI, reduces your engagement, and decimates the trust people have in your brand.

We hope you enjoyed this article. If you would like to find out more about how you can use Instagram for your business growth, just click here for more tips.

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