Instagram has easily become one of favorite ways to build a business platform. When I started my site in September 2015, I didn't see the real power of Instagram, or I didn't really get it. I learned quickly that it is a powerful tool, if used correctly. I wanted to share the tips I use to grow on Instagram.
This one will sound like a duh: just be social on Instagram. The funny thing, I didn't get that for a minute. I never did anything crazy on there. I would just post my picture and be done with it. I now understand you have to go knock on a few people's door to open up conversation. I don't mean to do anything spammy. Do not go the whole follow you for a follow route. Engage with people you would genuinely like in real life. That is the best way to build a community of "your people" or "ideal clients". So you need to talk with people, and don't be afraid to be the first to open up the dialogue. Over time it will become easier, and before you know it you have built real relationship and engagement. There are several people I communicate with "in real life" and met them through Instagram!
I mapped out the numbers so that you could see my Instagram growth:
NUMBER OF FOLLOWERS
Feb 2016 Following
March 2016 Following
PHOTOS ON POINT
This one may seem like another duh, but your photos need to be on fleek. You need high quality pictures. There is just no way around it! You don't have to use an expensive camera to get high quality photos. I take a lot of my photos with my camera phone. So in those cases, photo editing phone apps are your best friend. I use VSCO mostly for my photos. I love the features the phone app offers me. You will also need to become best friends with the cropping tool! Cropping tools saves a multitude of sins in your photos!
Instagram is a visual platform. It is important to master that part of Instagram to see growth.
So it is worth investing in photography, whether that be time or money. If you have a friend or family member who is more skilled in photography, solicit their help or services. It is worth the investment!
Don't forget to have GREAT lighting, it will take your photos far!
This is the tip no one wants to hear. If you want to see growth on Instagram, or any social media app for that matter, you have to be consistent. I don't mean it needs to take over your life. But if you start a presence there, you have to maintain it for growth. It is crazy, but I found posting 3 times a day really increases engagement. I would think the opposite. One who wants to see me 3 times a day, and two who wants to see me 3 times a day? If you examine it a little closer, most people won't see all 3 times. So you pretty much catch people at different times of the day, that you would have missed. And let's be honest, people take you more seriously when you are always consistent. That builds a trust factor for them. That is exactly what you should aim for and genuinely care about the people you are trying to serve.
So how do you use Instagram to grow your business platform?