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Grow Your Small Business on Instagram!

Updated: Jun 27

When you think of Instagram, what do you picture? Beautiful travel photos, perfectly styled platters of pasta, and… the necessary tools to organically grow your small business.

That’s right – your target audience is waiting for you on social media. You just have to find them.

How do you do this? There are currently 1.074 billion Instagram users – how do you find and connect with the right users and turn them into an actively engaged audience? And from there, how do you turn that actively engaged audience into potential clients for your business?

At Assistants4Hire, this is just one of the many things we do for our own clients – optimizing their social media presence and increasing their platform reach. After just one week of doing this kind of work for our own A4H Instagram account, our follower count had increased by over one hundred users. Today, I’m going to share with you a few tips you can utilize in your own social media work to organically grow your business using Instagram.

Engage with and follow similar companies:

Do your research to find comparable companies with similarly sized accounts on Instagram. Establish a connection with them by following their account, and then liking their most recent posts or sending them a personalized direct message. Remember, social media is not a competition – you want to build a community of companies online who will grow together, like each other’s content, and eventually even cross-promote each other’s work. If you feel it’d be a particularly good fit, you can reach out to suggest a partnership or collaboration of some kind. Remember, social media is a tool for you to foster real connections and build your network.

Post great content AND post consistent content:

Instagram is a visual medium! So, have fun creating content that pops. Decide on a color palette that adds to your existing brand colors, while also creating a cohesive look for your feed. And remember, consistency is key! The way to build a brand and create a direct relationship with your followers is to post on a consistent schedule. To that end, research “best times to post on Instagram” (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays tend to be the days with the highest amount of traffic, but get specific with your search and find the best times to post for accounts within your industry. Also be aware of what time zone the majority of your followers are in!)

Be smart and strategic with your hashtag use:

Hashtags are like little traffic signs that direct the right people to your page. You’ll want to find the most popular hashtags within your industry – there are a number of websites you can use to discover what these are and how often they’re used. However, remember to pair the more popular hashtags with more niche hashtags – you want to appeal to a broad audience, but also target the users looking for your specific content and services. Focusing on companies whose target audience is similar to yours is another great way to find the best hashtags. As you follow new companies, look to see which hashtags have garnered them the most attention on their posts. Then, create a spreadsheet where you can keep track of that information and utilize it for your own posts in the future.

Have a clear brand with a strong call to action:

In 2020, Instagram updated its search functionality to allow users to search general keywords in addition to hashtags and locations and find the posts that include those words. This means you can utilize Instagram SEO to become more easily discoverable in the search results of your target audience! Identify and prioritize your brand’s most important keywords and incorporate them in your name, username, and/or Instagram bio. You should also optimize your bio using very clear directives that exactly explain what your business is and what services you offer. Include a Linktree that directs users to places like your website, a sales page, and/or a sign-up page for any courses or webinars you’re currently offering. Once people find your Instagram account, you want to make it as simple as possible for them to discover all the wonderful things your small business has to offer!

Focus on fostering personal connections:

At the end of the day, the most important thing you can do for your brand is to create community. Anyone can buy a bunch of fake followers. Instead, commit to growing an engaged audience that truly cares about the content you’re creating. Search your most used hashtags and look for the users who are actively engaging with and commenting on posts within your industry. Know your worth and what you and your small business bring to the table, and then engage with those users as well in an authentic way. It takes time, but remember… Every person you reach out to is another potential member of the community you’re building. With patience and perseverance, you will watch that community grow!

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Written by Jessie Cannizzaro

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