MY TOP 19 INSTAGRAM GROWTH TIPS

Growing an audience on any social media channel is increasingly difficult. Especially in a time when all content is becoming hugely cannibalised with every brand and businesses trying to say the same message in their industries.

Instagram is a huge opportunity for every brand and business, but, you need an audience first, especially one who could potentially share your content with their fans. So, here are 19 simple tips to remember for you to grow you Instagram.

1. How often are you posting?

How consistent is your content? We all know regular posts are a key to staying top-of-mind, and long gaps between updates can let your followers forget about you. This is the same on all social media channels too, not just instagram.

On the other hand, going mad with how often you post, your followers with excessive Instagram posts will make them unfollow you. Your Instagram presence should be like your a nice smell, noticeable, but not overpowering.

Now, the basic rule of thumb is, a piece of content will last 8 hours, so you need to be looking to post about 3 times a day, but it could potentially be more often or slightly less.

One or two posts a day is the sweet spot for most brands. Experiment with different frequencies and analyse your results to find your balance.

For example, start doing two posts a day for a while and monitor your engagement. Then switch things up by posting more or less, and see how your followers respond. You can also try posting at different times of the day to see when your followers are most active.

2. Are you making good use of hashtags?

There is no doubt about the benefits of using Hashtags on Instagram. Hashtags are perhaps the best way to expand your reach, because they expose you to users who are already interested in those specific tags.

First things first, make sure you have a hashtag for your own brand or business. Like I have #howto9xyoursocialmedia what could you have that’s possibly a bit catchier for yourself?

Also a good hashtag should be specific to your industry to make sure you’re reaching the right people, but, don’t forget people in your industry will also be searching these so try to make it so your potential customers can find you.

You need to not get too specific, because it still needs to be something users will actually look for.

Some brands work their hashtags into the caption itself, while others just put all their hashtags after the caption. Either option (or a mix of both) is totally fine. The most important thing is that you include hashtags somewhere.

3. Update Your Profile

You’ve got limited space, so make the most of it.

Word economy is the key phrase here, so don’t get to wordy with what it is you do. Emojis are a great way to paint a picture instead of a thousand words.

Also, get cunning and create a page on your website with all your useful weblinks on it, and then use the address for that page as your single web link. That way you’re helping people find everything they need about you in one place…..don’t use crappy sites that do it for you, they get the traffic instead of you.

Don’t forget as well, include contact details, especially if you’re a business make it a business profile so you can do this. There’s no point in people loving your value and content, and then not being able to get in touch with you.

4. Talk To People

So, here’s a question for you, and be honest in the comments………Do you reply to the comments you get on your content?

If you’re getting any comments on your content, you should be looking to respond.

It seems that a lot of accounts, especially business account, ignore the comments under their own posts.

Trust me, I understand it, especially those one word comments that you can’t be sure if it’s spam, a bot or fake.

However, it is still important to check your comments and respond to the best of your ability, acknowledging your real followers and commenters.

It shows people who are just browsing through your profile that you do pay attention to your community, which gives them an extra reason to follow your account.

Besides, a number of comments are a much stronger engagement indicator to the algorithm, so encourage conversations and discussions!

Instagram is a social network.

Remember, I’ve spoken about this before……that integral word……SOCIAL. So, be social and react to comments.

You wouldn’t ignore people’s remarks at a party and just casually pass them by so don’t do it here

5. Sharing Is Caring

So, we all consume content on a regular basis. We sometimes interact, maybe by liking the content, or perhaps even commenting. However, how often do you share the content of the people you consume?

If that content is of value to you, imagine how valuable it might be to your audience too. It also helps the creator potentially grow their audience while you’re working to the rule of 1/3 on social media. 1/3 sharing your own content, 1/3 sharing someone else, 1/3 being social.

A few other good reasons to share content are.

1. It will improve your relevance and visibility online.

2. You can build relationships with influencers in the tourism industry and be part of a community of content curators, mutually sharing and benefitting from each other’s content.

3. Amplifying content about your subject matter will spread the love around your social networks and beyond

So, next time you’re happy to click the like button, or even write a message, go on, move the mouse and share that content with your audience too. You wouldn’t believe how much that little click can help.

6. How Consistent Is Your Content?

As with all social media, Instagram works on rules like this.

The fact of the matter is, the next bright idea, the next amazing piece of content you put out could be the one that goes crazy and increases your brand and businesses reach exponentially.

However, if you’re currently sat creating content on a sporadic basis, or even worse almost never, then the audience you have will go and consume from those who are creating consistently. Also, you’ll find the algorithms will forget about you and your content, the less you post the more they favour those that post consistently and drop your content down into peoples feeds. The reason for this is interactions etc. If someone is posting consistently, their audience will slowly build as will their contents interactions i.e. comments, thumbs up, watching the full video, clicks on links etc. etc. If you don’t post often then when you do the algorithm will favour their content over yours in someones feed as they’ve interacted more recently with their content, so imagine if that other persons content is your competition?

So, when you’re thinking about social media content, be sure to work hard on making sure you’re posting consistent content to help keep building your raving fans.

7. Set – Up As A Business Account

When you initially set-up your instagram it’s done as a personal account. This is all fine, however, it means you lost out on some amazing options you only get when you set-up as a business account. This is why it’s so advisable to switch to a business account as soon as possible.

Instagram offers awesome free tools to business accounts.

If you’re currently set up as a personal profile, consider converting it to a business profile.

Doing so offers valuable benefits including the following:

The ability to see data analysis about your impressions and engagement

Giving users the option to text, email, or call your business from your Instagram profile

Imagine putting out a piece of content and not allowing people to contact you once they’d seen it as your contact details are not available, that’s why a personal account does, but a business profile all the above can be tapped and that contact can be made instantly.

8. Get Creative

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Something I preach all the time is perfection isn’t important when it comes to content for your social media and especially instagram, but, don’t let this be a reason to not get creative.

If you get a creative idea for your brand or business, it’s 100% worth your time making that idea a reality, especially if it’s a visual content idea.

Sometimes the best ideas are the scariest, so don’t be afraid to try new things. Show off your product or service in a unique way by sharing real world uses, demonstrations, and individual customer highlights.

So, when you make content, don’t let your creative side shine when it can, but, still, don’t focus on perfection.

9. Everyone Loves A Free Gift

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Gifts and prizes could help incentivize your audience to stay up to date with your content and also get you new people following your content too. So how do you do this?

The first step in getting more Fans and Followers using incentives is to choose motivational prizes that will resonate with your market. Generally speaking, the better your offer, the more takers you’ll get.

Your offer needs to be:

One that your Fans can’t refuse.
In keeping with the “ask” you want to achieve.
Related to your business, product or service.

There’s so much more to it which is why I’ve written a blog on the subject, check out my website (link in my bio) to find out more.

10. Write Great Captions

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Use humor.

Tell a story.

Reveal something your followers might not know.

There are all kinds of ways to enhance your photo or video with the caption, and it’s important to get the most out of every word. I always make sure I use my caption to the best of my abilities.

Invite people to interact with your captions, get them involved, give away stats and information and don’t forget to give lots and lots of value to your audience and potential audience.

Social media isn’t for selling, so just remember value is Soooooooo important and you can put a lot of this into your instagram caption.

11. Tell A Story

If you’ve ever thought about using Instagram Stories for business, now is the time!

Not only are Instagram Stories fun and creative, but they’re great for growing your engagement, building brand awareness, driving traffic to your website, and even making ecommerce sales!

We’ve all at some point watched a form of reality tv, be it back when Big brother was actually a social experiment, or the more recent series of Love Island and everything in between. We live in a voyeuristic age, where people love to see behind the scenes, real life stuff.

So, this is what I suggest using stories for at first. Give people an insight into your life, almost like a daily vlog, but, it’ll only last for 24 hours in peoples streams, it’s also a chance to really put vertical video to excellent use, but, we’ll discuss landscape v’s portrait tomorrow.

Until then, start putting instagram stories to good use in your business, give that behind the scenes look as well as giving value in a way that removes yet another level of friction.

12. Are You Trying To Sell?

As I’ve mentioned many times, social media is for being SOCIAL. It’s not a place to post and sell with every post you put out. However, selling does have a time and a place.

When it comes to selling your brand and products means you really need to stand out, create something different. This is the point speaking to a professional might be the way forwards. We can all have a creative idea, and it could be amazing, but, it’s usually a professional team who’ll help you realise it, and when you’re putting money behind the content to help sell your brand it’s well worth making sure the content you’re using looks great and does what you want it too.

For example, did you know research has found that photos with a single dominant hue do best, and also images with faces help break down the barriers of not knowing who you’re working with. Blue colours are very calming and images with natural light score more likes on average? A professional will know these things and much more.

There are exceptions to every rule, though, so the most important thing is to take beautiful photos and video or find someone who can. Yes there’s a cost attached, but you want your content to perform and sell, so weigh up is the £1000 worth the £5000 you could make in return?

13. Are You Planning Your Content

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When it comes to content creation, I’ve heard all the excuses…..however, in an age where we nearly all walk around with a smart phone in our back pocket, with the ability to download apps onto them……there’s NO EXCUSE for not creating content for your brand and or business.

With meme creation apps, podcast creating apps, video editing software and so much more, all available on your mobile phone, what is it that’s really stopping you from creating content to pass on your value and build a group of raving fans? ARE YOU READY FOR A BRAND NEW WEEK?

So, are you ready for this week?

Do you know what you’re going to be posting about?

Don’t forget the opportunity for you to create content galore by simply getting that blog written and published.

Start writing a blog, and with this one thing you can make so much more with the “How to 9 x your social media” process.

14. Using Search

Are you using one of the most powerful tools on social media? So many people I’ve been speaking to recently either don’t realise, or have forgotten then most social media platforms are also a search tool.

This is a brilliant chance for you to reach out to people around the world, or locally who need your help. We all buy on emotion, and we need someone to help with a specific pain point in our businesses.

Use the search function and reach out to speak to 10 or 15 people every single day on each social platform. You’ll be amazed at the potential of building your group of raving fans by doing something like this and giving people value value value.

15. If You Build It They Will Come

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We’ve all seen the amazing film “Field Of Dreams” (if you’ve not get hold of a copy, it’s pretty awesome). The above lines are prevalent all the way through, and it’s something marketeers seem to have tagged onto massively in recent years.

However……WHAT A CROCK OF SHIT. Too many people have in mind that just because they do a spot of social media content the audience will come. The number of brands and businesses I’ve spoken to recently who tell me they’re doing blogs but don’t have any more business yet is quite amazing.

I feel it’s my place to help brands and businesses and especially “entrepreneurs” understand that building a social media audience, in fact any form of digital audience is hard work, and doesn’t happen over night, especially building a group of raving fans who give a shit about your content, and will be happy to share it to their audience.

So, don’t just assume because you’re doing a blog it will bring an audience. Think about what else you could do with your blog, and all your content. What could you tie it into that people are already emotionally connected too. Wimbledon, Star Wars day etc. etc. these are all events you may potentially be able to draw people into your content with by using these events as examples as to why your content subject matter works, in other words “TIE YOUR BLOGS IN” (and other content) with events happening around the world or even better locally.

16. Give Instagram Stories A Try

KHARKIV, UKRAINE – DECEMBER 24, 2018: iPhone X Max with social networking application Instagram on screen, isolated on white background

If you’ve ever thought about using Instagram Stories for business, now is the time!

Not only are Instagram Stories fun and creative, but they’re great for growing your engagement, building brand awareness, driving traffic to your website, and even making ecommerce sales!

We’ve all at some point watched a form of reality tv, be it back when Big brother was actually a social experiment, or the more recent series of Love Island and everything in between. We live in a voyeuristic age, where people love to see behind the scenes, real life stuff.

So, this is what I suggest using stories for at first. Give people an insight into your life, almost like a daily vlog, but, it’ll only last for 24 hours in peoples streams, it’s also a chance to really put vertical video to excellent use, but, we’ll discuss landscape v’s portrait tomorrow.

Until then, start putting instagram stories to good use in your business, give that behind the scenes look as well as giving value in a way that removes yet another level of friction.

17. Collaborations

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When you’re in a photo with multiple other people or businesses, do you tag them in the photo?

This is an excellent and easy way to collaborate without specific content. Those businesses will see the tag in their feeds on whichever channel you’ve tagged them and most importantly, potentially share that content to their feed, for their audience to see and hopefully come to see your profile and get value.

So, next time you post a pic after a meeting or a networking event etc. make sure you tag fellow businesses and people in the photo to help increase your reach.

PS That doesn’t mean just randomly tagging people and businesses not in the photographs, that just cheeses people off.

18. Have You Every Paid For A Post

Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users. 500 million of those users are engaging daily on the platform.

And they’re not just engaging with their very best of friends.

They’re engaging with brands, too, 10x more than they do on Facebook.

So, as Instagram is owned by Facebook (and has access to all of that data), it allows for awesome targeting if you know who you’re trying to reach.

Sponsored posts are also not in your face on Instagram, so they’re less likely to be ignored than a typical online banner ad.

Sponsored Instagram ads can have a massive impact when they’re well-targeted and take advantage of Instagram being a visual medium. Make sure your sponsored posts are some of your most visually appealing work.
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19. Instagram Doesn’t Switch Off For The Weekend

So, it’s time for my final tip to help your Instagram growth.

Yes it’s the WEEKEND, and we all know what that means, I’m about to tell you telling you how Instagram doesn’t work a 5 day week.

That’s right, the weekend is a fantastic opportunity for you to keep talking to your amazing audience, and keep giving them value that your competition probably isn’t doing.

How do you keep them interested on a weekend, well why not run polls, get them involved in a quiz on your instagram stories, or simply go out and speak to them on their content as well as posting your own stuff.

Just don’t forget, the weekend isn’t always a chance to switch off, but more so, a chance to really get 4 or 5 steps ahead of the competition with a few simple posts and a bit of being social on social media.

As always if you want to speak more about how you can grow your social media channels as well as Instagram and take your brand from local to national, drop me a line [email protected]