Ever look at those business accounts that seem to have it all together, from a large following, to plenty of constant interactions with their audience and amazingly curated content that generates tons of likes, while you can’t even get a follow back???

Well today’s your lucky day, because you’re going to learn some easy steps to take that will have you on your way to hitting that 1000 followers mark!

With over 2 million, sorry I mean BILLION active users; sites like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest have become one of THE most valuable ways any business can use to reach potential clients, But first things first you have to have the followers!

Research published in the Journal of Small Business has shown, businesses that have an active social media presence have seen increase in brand awareness and inquiries, enhanced their relationships with existing customers.

Instagram in particular, at just 7 years old, has proven to be quite the marketing asset for many businesses, with its easy to use interface and minimalist approach. It’s been quite the hit.

Instagram Fun Facts

Prepare to be wowed!

  1. Number of daily active users : 500 million
  2. Number of business accounts ; 8 million
  3. Number of IG accounts you can have: 5
  4. Percentage of users who have bought products seen on IG: 72%

Now Lets Get Right Into It.

1. Utilize your 'Bio' section well.

As this is the first thing people you follow will see, you need to make sure it’s a gripping overview for your audience.Your bio consists of:

-Name (green) You want to use this space for a tag line that will be used to describe your business.

-Description(yellow) Use this section to briefly outline what it is that your business does. Also try to include a Call to Action which can be: directing people to a challenge, opt-in, website etc.

-Clickable link(aquamarine) You only get ONE clickable link so do not waste it! you can also use, bitly for your clickable link

You’ve got 150 characters to tell people exactly what you sell, relate to your audience personally, and direct them to take action, and give them a link to take that action. You need to make your words count, and make it clear to the   person who could potentially be a loyal client, what value they will get from you.

Feel free to play around with your bio changing it every week or so and find what gels with your audience.

2. Hashtags are your friend.

IG hashtags are basically the same as the tags you would use on your blog post, and have the same function: helping your posts get indexed for keyword searches. Make sure your tags are relevant and appropriate for your brand and business.

  • Banned Hashtags: Did you know that the use of a single banned hashtag, makes all the other tags on your post undiscoverable too? Well IG is not messing around when it comes to their community guidelines. so make sure you thoroughly research your tags, In fact its highly recommended to look at accounts that are in your industry and use the hashtags they use.
  • Alternatively you can use less popular #’s so you can be on the top searches: while you might think using popular hashtags like #instacool #bossbabe #WorkHard etc. is a sure fire way to gain visibility, it won’t help in terms of growing your business account. Using a combination of branded tags  AND community hashtags is better

 

  • Consider creating a customized #, specifically using your business name and encourage your followers to use it, this works best when it’s used for a specific purpose, like if your having a giveaway competition, a requirement is always that you follow the main account and re-post an image to your feed. Thats one of the fastest way to grow your followers.

3. Post Consistently.

As a beginner trying to reach that 1000 follower mark, as well as running your business(its even harder if you’ re a start-up or small business)something a s simple as making time to consistently post on your feed, can be quite a challenge, so scheduling tools like Planoly are life savers.

“Planoly is a visual planning tool that allows users to create calendars to plan their content, curate the content of others, schedule posts, analyze engagements and even grow an Instagram team.”

It gets better,because Planoly  has a “forever free” plan that gives you access to a limited number of features you’re able to test it out.

However should you decide to commit it only costs $7 a month for fully fledged plans, totally worth the investment, don’t you think?

4. Socialise

LOL! It’s all in the name, Social Media. Interacting with your audience can have an extremely positive impact on your business.

Answer questions, pose questions to your followers, have regular live sessions to increase that feeling of intimacy; it draws your potential clients closer and builds trust between them and your business.

While you may rely on your scheduling tool to do the uploading for you, its up to you to engage with your audience. You’d be surprised how positive the results will be.

Melyssa Griffin, an online business coach (without that title) shared  her encounter with CEO Susan Peterson (Freshly Picked), who managed to grow her measly IG following to a massive 400,000 loyal followers!

Her secret? She made it a point to like 5-10 pictures of a person she followed and a genuine comment too never hurt,EVERYDAY. She said it helped get her name and business out there.

This should show you how sometimes the little things add up and can have quite the impact on your page’s growth

5. Collaborate

Some new features include “Instagram Stories. & Instagram Live.” Stories create a whole new opportunity to collaborate with other people in your industry, either by taking over their account and interacting with their followers or vice versa.

This gives you access to a large number of people who are already interested in your type of business.

6. Call to Action

This is pretty clear cut, if you want more followers, be pro-active and ask for them! When posting something to your feed like a quote, ASK your followers if they can relate and why. This goes back to my previous point of engagement and  creating rapport with your followers.

This can also be done, using cross promotion, through your other platforms, such as Facebook, your blog, and/or Pinterest, where you can share your page there and get more followers.

7. Post wisely

Content creation needs to completely reflect your brand/business, staying true to your brand is one of the most effective ways to gain and maintain a loyal following.

So in order to achieve this you need to know your goal! You cant just be posting willy-nilly with no direction. In this case your sole focus is reaching that coveted 1000 follower mark, so all your efforts need to be on achieving that.

Don’t forget to constantly check your analytics to see what your audience reacts positively  and negatively to. That will give you a great deal of insight in what to post.

Consider having an overall theme that makes your page look neat and attractive (Planoly works wonders here). Humans are very visual, and if it’s pleasing to the eyes, it can make it easier to get that person to follow you.Whether its pictures, quotes or a combination, just remember to have fun with it and think outside the box.

Before you head off to conquer the 'Gram.....

I know in the beginning it can seem so daunting, but  everyone starts from 0, and Instagram is actually one of the easier platforms to gain followers.

Don’t forget engaging with your audience (and even your fellows in the same industry) is very important as it creates relatability, which in time creates trust and that is your ultimate goal to create a loyal following.

Looking forward to feedback, and your input on other strategies that have worked for you, please share this with other Femtrepreneurs and let’s have a conversation in the comments.

Until next time #girlboss xx

Selam Ahmed

Author: Selam Ahmed

Selam Ahmed is many things: fun, loving, fierce supporter of women, bookworm and an eternal Philomath. She always takes things as they come and is ever excited to see what life has to offer next. She is a foodie that loves to cook, in the best of times and the worst of times, from a very young age cooking has always been a way for her to stay sane. As an upcoming blogger (can you guess what type of blog it will be? hint: FOOD!)and as one of the contributors to the Safe Space blog, she is thrilled to welcome you all to a community that is based on uplifting women. We’ve got your back. Always.