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Tips to Obtain Your First 1,000 Instagram Followers

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By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

 

Starting out in social media for any business seems difficult but it really doesn’t have to be so intimidating. Building a large following takes time and effort but it should be fun. There are a few things that you can do to help increase your followers and below are some tips to obtain first 1,000 followers a bit more quickly.

 

  • Hashtags

Using popular hashtags is a great way to gain followers but the catch is the hashtag must be relevant to your business. Additionally, be sure to mix a variety of popular hashtags with some less popular hashtags so that you don’t simply get lost if there is a high level of competition for the tags.

 

  • Eye Candy

If your content is not interesting or visually appealing, people are not going to follow you. Invest some time and effort into the content that you post.  Take time and spend the money to have a professional photo shoot to build a library of high-quality photos to promote yourself on social media. Spur-of-the-moment smartphone photos are great occasionally but followers will be more willing to stay engaged if your content provides high-quality eye candy.

 

  • Engagement

Set aside a small amount of time everyday to engage with your followers such as liking their content, responding to comments, mentions, and private messages. This is also a good time to search for other accounts that you would like to follow. Simply liking a post is not going to cut it. Your like will get lost in the hundreds of other likes and will go unnoticed. Comments force interaction and tend to stay more visible.

 

  • Giveaways!

To build your following, consider a giveaway promotion. Many giveaways have multiple rules that help boost your account, reach, and engagement. Ask your followers to “Follow our account and tag two friends in the comments below.” By having people tag two friends, you will gain more attention and, hopefully, a lot of new followers.  Don’t add too many rules, make your rules clear, make sure to add an end date to the giveaway and keep on top of the promotion to engage those playing.

 

  • Account Setup

If are using a personal account for your business brand, we highly recommend changing it over to a business account. The business account provides you access to analytics and other benefits that are not available with personal accounts. If you are using a personal account and do not want to switch to a business account, make sure your personal account is set to public. This may sound obvious to some but you really need to make sure that your account is not private. Business accounts are automatically made public.

 

  • Instagram Insights

If you have a business account, you have access to Instagram Insights for your account. Instagram Insights doesn’t necessarily provide super in depth analytics, but it does give you basic information that can assist you in understanding your followers, their behaviors, and the best times to post for engagement.

 

In summary, gaining 1,000 followers will take time.  Remember to be patient, post consistently, post quality, and engage your audience!  Remember to leverage relevant hashtags, tag other brands and individuals, and consider hosting a giveaway. Taking these steps will help your account grow and boost your business.

Small Business Instagram Guide

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By Debbie Gregory.

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Why is Instagram so important for your business? The customers you want to reach are using the platform to connect with friends and businesses just like yours. Instagram has over a billion monthly active users and most people use the platform to find and connect with business brands.

 

Where to Start:

Instagram is not very accessible using a web browser… so you will need to start by downloading the Instagram app on your cell phone and then set up your business account.

 

A few setup tips:

  • Make sure you create a business and not a personal account.
  • Add a contact button so followers can get in touch with you directly from Instagram.
  • Upload an eye-catching and relevant profile photo.
  • Write a compelling bio including links to your business website and relevant hashtags.

 

What to Post:

Instagram is all about photos and videos! People always notice the visuals before they read your caption.   Quality is what is important and not simply quantity. Make sure that your posts are highly visual, high-quality, and engaging.

 

Post items such as:

  • Your team
  • Your products
  • Your services
  • Your events
  • Your boasts
  • Your giveaways
  • Your specials
  • Videos
  • Customer quotes or testimonials
  • Share user-generated content about your business

 

Your followers want to see content that adds value without being inundated with the same kinds of content repeatedly or overwhelmed by promotional content about your business.

 

When to Post:

Your goal for using Instagram should be to maximize follower engagement and get as many new eyes on your brand as possible. This is easiest when you post at times your customers will be on the platform and most likely to like, comment on, and share your posts with their friends. When is this?  Begin by posting a few times a week at varying times of the day and watch your Instagram Insights.  A clear picture will emerge and provide best times that work for your content and your followers.

 

Users on Instagram value QUALITY over QUANTITY. You do not need to post multiple times a day to achieve your Instagram goals. Make sure you post a couple of times a week and make sure those posts are highly engaging.  This goes further than daily low quality posts.

 

Extra Impact:

  • Be Consistent – Use the same look and feel for all of your posts. This includes filters, colors, fonts, and the overall tone of the post. This consistency builds your brand recognition and keeps your followers familiar with your vibe and voice.

 

  • Be Compelling – You have to capture the attention of your audience in order to engage them with your company. A great photo or video will pull them in, but it’s the caption that will show off the personality and unique voice of your business. Make sure the accompanying text is well thought out and short and sweet. Don’t forget to tell them to follow.

 

  • Use Hashtags – Using relevant hashtags will get new eyes on your business’ content and boost the associated post’s engagement. Instagram users can also follow hashtags as well as accounts that means more engagement for your company. If you use hashtags, people are following. Be sure to place them at the end of your post so they don’t distract from your message.

 

  • Interact – Engaging with your audience is just as important as posting your content. Respond to comments, mentions, and private messages.  This is a great way to get more eyes on you. The followers of other accounts will see the comment you made and just might click over to your profile.

 

The ultimate goal for your business on Instagram is to engage the right customers and build relationships to make you stand out from your competition. Take the time to setup your account properly, post awesome content, use relevant and popular hashtags, and make sure that you interact.

Instagram Tips for Entrepreneurs

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By Debbie Gregory.

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Navigating social media can be daunting for entrepreneurs. You need need to be on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  It is also in your best interest to also be on Instagram if you run a business.

 

Why?  The customers you want to reach are using this platform to connect with friends and businesses like yours. Instagram has over a billion monthly active users and most use the platform to find and connect with business brands.

 

Tips for Better Instagram Use and Engagement:

 

  • Follow and Engage with Others:

The best way to gain followers and boost engagement in your posts is to follow and engage with other people! Find and build relationships with current customers, prospective clients, and other like-minded or complementary businesses. This does multiple things for you and your business – it establishes you as an authority, it helps boost your credibility, it makes your company seem more personable and it encourages people to follow you back and engage with you. Don’t forget to respond to comments, mentions, and private messages.

 

  • Hastags! Hashtags! Hashtags!:

Hashtags are searchable keywords that begin with the pound sign (#) and all social media platforms use hastags to search their platform for content. Using relevant hashtags will get new eyes on your business’ content and boost the associated post’s engagement. Instagram users can also follow hashtags as well as accounts; which can mean more engagement for your company if you use hashtags people are following. You can easily find relevant hashtags by using Instagram’s search bar. Simply type in a potential hashtag and you will see not only related hashtags but how many times each hashtag has been used.

 

  • Instagram Stories:

Instagram Stories are short-lived posts that receive top billing in the social media interface. This means the post will be the first thing your followers see when they login to their accounts. These posts last 24 hours then disappear. It is a great place to make short announcements, specials, or shout-outs.

 

  • Keep your Brand Consistent:

Be sure to keep your company’s brand consistent when posting on Instagram. Don’t go overboard with the filters and cute little addons. People want companies to be more “real” and approachable.

 

  • Link it in the Bio:

Instagram doesn’t allow clickable links in actual posts now but there are ways around this. Simply put the link in your account bio and on your posts state “link in bio.” This also allows you to focus more attention on the link by calling it out.

 

  • Measure it!:

Having a lot of followers (on any social platform) sounds great but if they are not engaged with you and clicking on your links what is the point? Make sure to track the clicks to your personal website using both the in-platform analytics (follows, likes, shares, and comments) and 3rd party analytics on your website (like Google Analytics). Use the data from the analytics to craft your posts to better engage your audience.

 

In summary, make sure what you’re putting up is highly visual and engaging yet consistent with your brand; utilize local, popular, and other relevant hashtags; interact with other Instagram users to get more eyes on your page and brand; and don’t forget to measure the results.

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