I came to the conclusion i needed to know how to grow Instagram followers for business.
I’m in my 50’s and like many people I lost my corporate job and career path that went with it with all of the businesses that collapsed or closed indefinitely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Life will never be the same for many people, but if I take a “glass half full” approach rather than a “glass half empty” one.
I know that I have some business ideas that can make money provided I manage my Start Up in a way that meets today’s customer needs.
Want to jump straight to the answer? Tailwind is definitely the better tool for most businesses out there.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I will make a commission at no extra cost to you should you click through and make a purchase.
Social media and its impact on growth; both positive or negative depending on how it is used is something that I was familiar with.
From a personal use perspective, I didn’t have much spare time to be using social media as the company I worked for had a corporate policy of no private social media to be used during work time.
I used to drive to and home from work daily and that meant my only time to use social media was during my lunch break or at home in the evenings or on weekends.
In that personal environment I was never one to take photos of my meals out, or shopping purchases.
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That type of social media usage has always struck me as being a bit narcissistic and one friend is so shallow in how and what they post that I liken their usage to almost be like ‘emotional prostitution’ in how they solicit responses from their friends.
I realize that is at one complete extreme and that usage in a business context can reap great rewards in things such as traffic to a website, brand awareness, professionalism, referrals, customer feedback, and ultimately to increased sales and cashflow along with repeat business.
Certainly, in my business life I had mainly worked in larger companies with a Manager or Marketing team responsible for managing the entire portfolio of social media.
As an employee we were give the “corporate spiel” on any promotional campaigns, just as we would if there was radio, TV or print media advertising.
My experience of social media in the business world is that it is a necessity; I know what it is and the various sites available; sites that also include things such as a proper functioning
YouTube site as well as your own Podcasts where you can.
Yet until recently I have no real first-hand experience at actually using many of the sites.
That back story is something that is not uncommon with my generation.
Every generation learns new skills and experiences from the generation that preceded them.
My observation of newer generations than mine is that they have a far greater understanding and usage of many different social media sites.
This something that I want to change in myself, because I have to change my understanding, skill level and usage if I am to get my business up and running in a quick, thorough and profitable way.
I also acknowledge that my business will be marketed mostly to generations younger than myself and that those generations will see it as a necessity that the company and products have slick and savvy online profiles, news and reviews.
If I want to be able to convert them into a sale, I need to be talking their language, though means that attract, retain and motivate them to purchase; in an online sales format at that.
I decided to start first with educating myself on how to grow Instagram followers for business and how I could use it to promote my brand as it seemed to be the biggest player in the market, yet the one I knew least of how to use it.
From my recent research and learnings these are a summary of what Instagram is and ways that your social media strategy needs to use Instagram so that it can work for your business.
How to grow Instagram followers for business for beginners with Tailwind
If you are new to Instagram you should invest in a tool that saves you time and money.
Companies have been researching what works for Instagram and have build profitable Instagram management software around it.
Tailwind provides some absurdly promising features such as a smart publisher bio, hashtag finder and scheduling program.
The Tailwind smart assistant helps people new to Instagram visually plan image content, optimize each post and pick the post times when your audience is already most engaged.
With the hashtags feature, you can save the best performing hashtags and user locations and re-use them for future posts.
How to grow Instagram followers for business when you don’t know what to post
When you have a fresh new Instagram page, you most likely will not know what the best image to post would be to bring in traffic.
Tailwinds content planner will provide you with ready to use content post ideas, which can be customized for your business type.
What is Instagram?
It is regarded as the best image sharing App on your device, and you use it to add creative filters for both video as well as photos.
Once you have applied the filters of your choice you can then share the images with friends through Facebook and Twitter.
You can also post using email; such as to yourself to store elsewhere or to someone else.
A big advantage is that the you can own your own images, that through the use of creative filtering can be far better quality than a standard stock photo’s. It looks more professional and helps with a consistency of image for your brand.
While you cannot directly post other people’s photos and videos on Instagram there are reposting Apps available that will link to Instagram; such as Repost for Instagram.
People can comment on posts; a great way of getting direct and quick feedback.
Many people use hashtags as the description as it encourages clicks to your brand. Most people use 1-5 hashtags per post, but you can have up to 30 per post. Don’t overuse them.
If you choose very popular hashtags then your post will probably only stay at the top of the Recent feed for a few seconds at best.
This means that you need to create a number of different hashtags to try and maximize how long your post stays near the top of the Recent feed.
1. Use a single word or very short phrase.
2. Make them easily understood and memorable.
3. Don’t use words or phrases that have double meanings that may then be open to complaints or getting banned.
4. Try and create something unique.
5. Only use your own brand or product name and avoid using someone else’s name.
6. Use care as you can’t control the usage of a hashtag. Once out there anyone can use them.
7. There is an advert platform through Facebook (who owns Instagram) that allows you to filter them through.
8. Follow the Instagram guidelines; the last thing you want to do is create a successful site and then get banned for misusing it.
Benefits of Instagram to your business
Have you bought a new car or a property lately?
If you have, then the chances are high that the salesperson will have encouraged you to take a photo in front of your new purchase.
They will either ask you if you could post it on their site (with some suggested hashtags), or will get you to complete and sign a waiver, so that they can then put the image and hashtags on their site themselves.
Often a business will encourage customers to post an image online of them holding/wearing the product.
This could be done as an indication that they are a satisfied purchaser, or could be as a part of an online competition; or through the use of an online influencer.
A cheap place to find influencers is Fiverr. You can get someone to promote your post on their Instagram for $5.
When learning how to grow Instagram followers for business a handy hint is when wanting to directly feed from your Instagram to your Facebook page; make sure that you set up a business profile.
If you don’t do this then it will post by default to your personal profile page.
When creating a profile choose a name that reflects on your business; either a brand name, a niche-type name, or even your own name. However, always factor in:
- What are you good at?
- What do you love?
- What does the world need?
- What can earn you money?
- Using the ‘Insights’ feature will give you access to data such as:
- The Interactions on your profile.
- The accounts you have reached.
- The number of profiles that have seen your content.
- The number of unique profiles that have seen your content.
- The total number of times that your profile has been viewed.
- Instagram publishing methods change periodically. Here is a list of some key methods:
- Feed videos (up to a maximum of 60 seconds).
- Feed single photos.
- Feed multiple photos in a single post.
- Instagram story video (maximum of 15 seconds & it will only exist for 24-hours).
- Instagram Boomerang video for split-second marketing (1 second only & will only exist for 24 hours). You can turn a series of 1-second Boomerang videos into a thematic story video. Think how some music artists or car companies with a imminent product launch drip feed short ‘teaser’ ads to generate interest and traffic.
- Instagram story photos (only exist for 24 hours).
- Instagram TV (from 10 minutes up to 1-hour depending on the size of your Account).
Tools to help you
There are some great and user-friendly tools that are available through Instagram such as Instagram Live, Instagram Stories and Instagram Zoom. Here is a quick overview of each.
Learn How to grow Instagram followers for business with Tailwind
Visually Plan an Eye-Catching Feed
This is a great way of getting allows you to get in front; particularly useful if you are a small business with little or no advertising budget.
Once your broadcast is over it will disappear from the App.
However, you can save a copy to your device. You have the option of turning comments ‘On’ or ‘Off’. Beginning a broadcast is simple:
- Go to ‘Your story’ profile photo and tap on it (at the top of your Newsfeed).
- Click on ‘Live’.
This is a great tool for things such as a company announcement, a live Q&A session with customers, product or service launches or other impromptu events (such as competitions).
This is a tool that takes its usability further than other Apps such as Snapchat. Features and benefits include:
- Create a file to store all your photo’s, videos and daily activities that then creates a daily story in a slideshow format.
- People you follow may have ‘stories’; these get displayed on your screen in the bar at the top & you can access them for the next 24 hours. You can send them private messages by simply ‘tapping’ but there is no public comment or liking function with these.
- Your own ‘stories’ can be ‘public’ or ‘private’ depending on how you set up your privacy settings.
- This is a great way to get direct customer responses if you are wanting to experiment with your brand to gauge what may work or not.
Another user friendly and effective tool for things such as:
- Adding in pictures to a post where you have a lot of text; making the post a lot easier to follow with the eye.
- You can ‘Zoom’ in on your photos and videos if you have products with detail that would benefit from being displayed with close ups.
Instagram TV (IGTV)
In existence since mid-2018 for sharing vertical format (ie, portrait) videos. Using the Instagram App you can set up your own IGTV Channel.
- Smaller accounts can download videos between 15 seconds up to 10 minutes.
- Larger accounts (verified) can download videos between 15 seconds up to 60 minutes.
Using Instagram Videos
Use Instagram videos for a more dynamic and professional finish than what you can achieve using the video camera on your smart phone. Features and benefits of this function include:
- Engage your customers through competitions; getting them to submit their own 60-second videos about your products or services. You can set up to have the entrant’s videos emailed to you for judging etc.
- Videos can be set up to populate to your desktop Instagram page; meaning that you can view them in a larger format than on your smart phone.
- You can also Google other Apps that allow you to upload, download or make other changes to your videos giving you even more ability to add professionalism to your videos.
Build business relationships through your followers
We all want to grow our ‘likes’, ‘comments’ and ‘followers’ and are used to that through a variety of online platforms.
Instagram is another great way of doing these same things, so that you can build business relationships with your followers.
These are a few ways of attracting more followers:
- Visual impact is key. Remember the old saying; “A picture is worth a thousand words”; it is still valid today. Take the best impact photos and videos you can; using techniques and tools such as filters that are super professional and special to your followers. Stick to – image, then the words.
- Be consistent with your theme whether it be for a particular promotion or your Instagram page in general. That includes things such as colour palette, fonts and the general visual style of your graphics, photos and videos; through composition, lighting, perspective, filters, etc.
- Use a ‘description’ that adds value and generates a response from followers.
- Engage socially. Never just post a photo or video and do nothing else.
- Hashtags are a must and remember that you can use up to 30 per post; meaning you can target followers with both branded and unbranded hashtags.
- Timeliness with posts is important and as with any form of marketing it needs to be on a regular basis; do it daily and keep that routine consistent. A good daily discipline would be:
- Post 1 Boomerang. Over time you can turn the collection of 1-second videos into a thematic story.
- Post a minimum of 1 photo per day.
- Do either an IGTV video, Instagram Live or Story video.
- Follow 50-60 people or companies.
- Like around 100 photos of other profiles.
- Use a top-level hashtag to leave a post on a profile that you are following.
- Where people you are following don’t follow you back, then unfollow around 25 per day.
- Always respond to comments received and like those also.
Use Facebook to create an ad campaign through Instagram
This is a great way of using Facebook to create an ad campaign as you can’t create one direct in Instagram. Key points to remember:
- Make sure your video is no longer than 60 seconds or you won’t be able to upload it.
- When you have created the ad in Facebook, choose “Instagram’ as the place you want the ad to be placed.
- Your ads will have ‘sponsored’ at the top of each post.
Be aware of popular tends
There are so many high traffic Instagram profiles; each of them either creating new trends or generating traffic with posts with a popular and current theme.
Think about what is best for your business; a leader or a follower and what will bring the best responses and call to action with your followers.
Use the ‘Explore’ tab in Instagram by ‘tapping’ on the magnifying icon.
From there, that allows you to find new Instagram users that you could potentially follow, as well as topics that relate to your interests or your businesses industry.
We can’t all be celebrities, world leaders, successful business magnates, influencers, etc.
However, we can learn from them a try to create what will work best for your business relationships.
Longevity (& Summary)
Instagram is already such a successful platform it is likely to be an integral part of business marketing for a long time. It is simple to use; followers love it and businesses love finding new and successful ways of creating quick ways to engage with followers.
Many followers like pages that avoid blending into mediocrity and Instagram allows you to create that something unique and capture attention quickly.
While Instagram has been around successfully for a few years now; you have the power to use it to engage with your followers on a daily basis.
That means that you could create that engagement as quickly as in 1 day. It is up to you to use that marketing strategy for your future business branding and financial success.