Diving into the world of Instagram after starting a business can feel extremely overwhelming – especially when you haven’t got the slightest clue where to start. These 4 steps are CRUCIAL when it comes to using social media to it’s full potential for your business.
1. Content Strategy: Quality Over Quantity
I don’t think I’ve ever come across a scenario where this saying isn’t 110% relevant – especially when it comes to growing your social media.
The biggest mistake I see business’ make is posting content literally just for the sake of posting content. I totally get it though, you don’t want to be invisible and posting loads of content is basically the one thing everyone thinks is absolutely crucial to gain online traction.
Well, I’m here to tell you the opposite. Here’s why…
At the end of the day, people will only follow you and remain engaged with your feed if you’re either educating them, inspiring them, or entertaining them. It’s as simple as that.
Like all business, Instagram is literally just a value exchange. If you’re overly sales-y and constantly promoting yourself – don’t be surprised when not only does your engagement drop but your follower count doesn’t grow.
So… lets dive into HOW exactly you can you inspire, entertain or educate your audience… it’s easier than you think.
a) How can you help your ideal customers/clients?
List everything your potential clients/customers struggle with when it comes to your area of expertise/your industry.
Service Based Business Example: For Socials By Jarrah – I know my ideal client struggles with social media growth, marketing, and increasing brand awareness.
Product Based Business Example: For a skin care brand – their ideal client would struggle and seek advice when it comes to all things skincare, beauty tips, make-up etc.
b) How can your business/expertise help solve these struggles?
What advice/tips can you provide your potential customers with that will help them solve these issues and/or educate them on this topic?
These answers will create loads of content ideas that will not only attract your target demographic, but will also dramatically increase the growth & engagement of your Instagram content.
Using my business as an example when using this method; when I sat down to develop my social media strategy, I listed everything I’ve ever been asked about social media and began to right down 2/3 tips to answer each question. I would then turn this into a lengthy Instagram/Facebook caption, blog post, YouTube video, etc. Boom! There’s my value ready to exchange with my potential clients.
Let’s say you’re a Chiropractor – you can provide advice/tips when it comes to all things health, diet, fitness, etc. as each of these topics tie in nicely with Chiropractic services and are likely the common interests of your ideal clients/customers.
2. Promote your Instagram Outside of Instagram
Believe it or not but the majority of followers I’ve gained on Instagram so far have actually come from promoting my page outside of Instagram. This step is super simple and requires minimal thought, but definitely delivers results. Here’s where I’ve promoted my Instagram so far:
My Email signature – by hyperlinking my social media pages into my email signature, each & every person I’ve emailed has been given a “call to action” to visit my Instagram/Facebook/Website page. Here’s what it looks like:
Note: If you want to know how I added hyperlinks into my signature, click here for a really helpful video (for Gmail users).
Personal Social Media Pages – get the word out there! You’ll be surprised how many people are interested and would love to support your business. This creates brand/business awareness and is likely to provide leads/customers through word of mouth
Blog, Website & Other Social Media Platforms
Flyers - if your business is based in a certain location, hang these up in local cafes & stores.
This step is a bit of a no-brainer. But in my opinion, it’s potential when it comes to growing your following authentically can be hugely underrated. As a bit of a case study, let’s use my client, Nomadic Belle (@nomadic.belle) as a perfect example. For the last 3 weeks, I’ve taken 15 minutes out of my day to connect with other similar accounts on Instagram – and almost straight away I’ve noticed a huge spike in new followers & engagement.
It’s important to note, though, that I’m not talking about following a bunch of random accounts and crossing my fingers hoping they’ll follow me back. I’m talking about taking the time to genuinely connect with these accounts.
Essentially, this means liking & commenting on posts and profiles that clearly share the same core values as your brand or business. For example, if you’re a personal trainer, you would be looking for accounts that illustrate an interest in health & fitness. By doing this, you’re giving these accounts the opportunity to discover yours, so it’s pretty crucial that you spend this time connecting with similar accounts… AKA potential customers/clients.
4. Facebook Groups
Facebook. Groups. Omg. I’m kicking myself I didn’t jump on this sooner within my own business. They are literally one of the simplest ways to get your brand/business out there. Not only do they provide a hugely valuable platform to promote what you do, but they also give you the priceless opportunity to develop genuine relationships with other business owners (big & small) – which essentially leads to follower & Instagram growth.
Most Facebook Groups allow you to promote your Instagram in “Instagram Follow Threads” every few weeks, jumping on these on behalf of my clients has created noticeable spikes in our follower & engagement growth. Sooo good.
This brings me back to Step 1; to use these groups to their full potential, being successful within a Facebook Group also requires a value exchange. You can’t just drop the link to your Instagram on every post; people won’t follow you unless you give them a valid reason as to why they should.