5 Tips for Instagram Business Growth
Instagram is “no longer just a square photo sharing app”. This was the announcement in June 2021 from Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram. It certainly has changed a lot since its early days of photo sharing and now there are a number of features businesses can utilise, including Stories, Reels, Guides and Live.
If you’re a small business owner looking for quick tips on how to improve your business account and Instagram business growth you’re in the right place. Here are 5 things you can start doing today to help grow your account.
- Optimise your bio and profile
- Use keywords and hashtags
- Create Reels
- Think about your target audience
Optimise your bio and profile
Your bio and the last nine squares are key in people deciding whether to follow you or not, so make sure you give people a good first impression. Who are you? What do you do? What is the account about? The bio should be clear and concise, giving people an idea of what kind of content they can expect from you.
Equally the content should reflect the bio. It doesn’t have to be beautiful or highly curated but the grid should be consistent with eye-catching, high-quality visuals.
What do you want people to do from here? It’s a good idea to have a call to action (CTA) in your bio to tell people what you want them to do next – follow, visit your website, sign up to your email database etc.
Bonus tip: Highlights sit right underneath the bio and form part of this first impression. (Highlights are saved content from Instagram Stories). Think about what you want to draw attention to – your different products or services, reviews, FAQs, about the team etc? Make sure you give them a name to explain what the content is about, don’t just leave it as ‘Highlights’. You can also create customised Highlight covers using a tool like Canva.
Use keywords and hashtags
It used to be the case that hashtags were the key to reaching a new audience on Instagram but now keywords are just as important for being found. You may have read that in March 2022 Adam Mosseri said that hashtags are not a way to get more visibility but more to help Instagram understand what a post is about. Here’s why we believe that hashtags can still help your content to be discovered on Instagram and why you should still include some relevant hashtags in your posts.
- Many people choose to follow hashtags. If I’m following #madeinscotland and you use that hashtag in your post then it might appear in my newsfeed.
- People, like myself, use Instagram to plan and research holidays. If you’re a tourism business I would definitely recommend using a handful of location hashtags in each post. I have started following a few accommodation providers that I came across recently whilst searching #nc500 that I’d have otherwise never have heard of. Before a holiday I always use Instagram to search for ideas of things to see and do in that area, searching by location as well as relevant hashtags for the place or area I’m going to.
- In terms of Instagram Search Engine Optimisation (getting your content to appear high up in search results) hashtags and keywords are both important. You can now search for a keyword/phrase and it will default to the Top posts, but you can also scroll along to see Tags (hashtags). These Top posts all feature that keyword or phrase either in the photo/video or in the caption. Therefore to help your posts be found by the right audience it’s important to use both hashtags and keywords in your captions. Specifically the hashtags and keywords that your target audience are using.
With short form video firmly in the forefront of social media content at the moment, Reels is Instagram’s short video offering, much like TikTok. As video is one of four things Instagram is focusing on, it is a great way to reach a new audience. Reels are very short 15-60 second videos and they appear in their own Reels section, in search results (see screenshot from Instagram above), in the explore section, suggested in the newsfeed and now suggested in Stories. Again, make sure you’re using relevant keywords and hashtags in your captions to help with visibility.
If you’re looking for tips on creating Reels take a look at some of our latest Instagram Reels.
Think about your target audience
When creating content for social media it is important to know your audience. Who are you trying to reach? What are their questions/problems/challenges/pain points? If you know who you are trying to reach and their needs you can create content that is relevant, helpful and interesting to them. This is the idea behind content marketing, that you create content for which your audience is searching. If you can create relevant and valuable content for your ideal customer it can help to increase engagement and reach.
It really is one of the most important tips for growing on social media: engage with your audience. Some businesses forget the social aspect of social media. Reply to comments and questions, think about how you can connect with your audience and build an online community. Spending some time each day liking and commenting on other posts can help to make you visible. I quite frequently follow accounts that I have discovered purely because they have engaged with a post. In one case I became an advocate for a business I had started following after they liked and commented on a couple of my posts. I went on to buy their product and then I even started tagging their product in posts – and it all started with a like.