Top 10 Tips for Instagram Growth for Small Businesses

With all its features and updates, Instagram can feel like a monster to navigate. As a small business owner, it’s overwhelming to manage social media! Instagram can feel like a hassle, but it’s vital for developing your business. Whether you want to establish yourself, grow your page, or improve your post reach, these tips and tricks help you to know what you’re doing right. Ready to see the steps you can take to improve your platform? Here are my top ten tips for growing your small business on Instagram!

1. Engage With Your Audience

Engaging with your audience is pretty broad, but you take a few specific actions to make the most of your online interactions. You should regularly post content to gain consistent likes and comments. Second, have a call to action in your description to encourage followers to engage with your post. Then, you engage with them. This includes liking or replying to comments, chatting over DMs, or engaging with their posts. Engaging with your followers builds your sincerity, boosts post reach and builds a network of loyal followers. Lastly, ask your audience what they want to see. This is valuable information from your target market that can help you curate content for social media. 

2. Post Consistently

Don’t ignore the importance of regularly posting content! A consistent posting schedule does wonders for your post reach, engagement, and follower count. Posting at least twice a week increases the number of people who see your post and boosts followers. When you post often and receive consistent engagement, it informs the algorithm that people enjoy your content and want to see more of it. The algorithm will show your content to your followers and others similar to them. This increases your chances of ending up on the explore page and receiving more engagement. Consistent posting increases followers and page engagement, so plan your content and post at least twice a week. 

3. Use Reels

Reels is Instagram’s newest feature, so the algorithm will prioritize showing Reels to an audience. Reels are great for reaching new followers, as they tend to see a higher watch rate, follow-through rate, and engagement. Overall, it’s a solid feature that aids your organic growth when your feed posts aren’t seeing the numbers you want. There’s a lot that goes into making a Reel, so don’t be disheartened if the first one you post isn’t successful! Experiment and see what works best with your followers and engagement rates. 

4. Optimize Your Bio

Optimizing your bio means including information that helps index your page when people search for you. Include keywords describing the services you offer and the work that you do. Using keywords is the most influential part of attracting the correct audience. Have a call-to-action that encourages users to click the embedded link in your bio. This redirects traffic to your website, which could help the ranking of your website on Google. Use Story Highlights to make information accessible to your followers. If you’re unsure what to include, this resource details how to optimize your Instagram bio. 

5. Use Keywords in Your Captions

If you’re familiar with SEO, several of the same principles apply to Instagram. Instagram has implemented tools to help with content reach and accessibility, like the search function. The search function allows users to search for posts using keywords. Your descriptions should include keywords to increase your post ranking. Much like hashtags, it’s good to have a range of general, niche, short-tail, and long-tail keywords. 

Need a bit of help figuring out SEO terminology? The more you use a keyword in your descriptions and hashtags, the more likely you may rank for it. Including a keyword multiple times will make your caption a bit longer, but it will increase the chances of your post ranking higher for that specific keyword. This resource is an excellent guide for understanding and mastering Instagram SEO. 

6. Post IG Stories

Instagram Stories are an underutilized resource that helps increase your reach and growth. Brand stories tend to have an 86% completion rate. Instagram Stories works on a sort of algorithm positive feedback loop. The more people that view your story, the more likely the algorithm will recommend it to more of your followers. The more your story is recommended to others and watched, your Instagram page will have a wider reach and be suggested to more people. And the cycle will continue. The posts you upload to Stories don’t have to be as structured as a feed post though. Sharing tidbits of information or running a poll to engage with followers informally can raise your sincerity and improve engagement. 

7. Stay On-Brand

Don’t confuse your audience with random posts and branding. You should always stick to your regular branding, which means having a consistent color palette, font, and tone of voice. Posting random content on your feed disrupts the continuity that branding provides. Breaking continuity will confuse your followers and make your feed less cohesive. If you’re struggling to keep your posts on brand, or you’re unsure of what you want your brand to entail, reach out to me to figure out a perfect solution for your business. 

8. Give Value

Don’t treat your Instagram page as another way to make a sale or build leads. Follow the 80/20 rule: Your page should be 80% value and 20% sales. Your followers are there because they enjoy the content you post, not to purchase from you. If your followers feel like you are always trying to sell them something, they are less inclined to engage with your posts. To avoid being salesy, mix up your content from sales. Post about your favorite productivity platforms, tips, and tricks in your industry, or how-to videos. As a general rule of thumb, post about what you think your audience could benefit from to generate value. You’re more likely to get sales if you focus on building value.

9. Don’t Buy Followers

If you follow only one piece of advice from this list, please let it be this one! Purchasing followers will only hurt your growth. You are paying for a number, not for the engagement that comes with a large follower count. Most of the time, purchased followers tend to be bot accounts that will follow you but won’t interact with any of your posts. If they do interact, it will be on one or two posts. 

You aren’t buying followers; You’re buying a number with a small burst of engagement that will taper off. Instagram is known to delete bot accounts and pages that purchase false followers. You’ll pay for followers only to have these accounts deactivated or deleted over time. Buying followers only hurts your credibility and informs your real followers that you only care about the number, not about the connections you make with your business. Although organic growth takes time, it’s a better alternative than relying on quick fixes.

10. Experiment With Hashtags

There’s no one right way to do hashtags. However, I do recommend that you use them in your posts (rather than not using them at all.) Different strategies will work for different businesses. Some pages thrive with a variety of general hashtags, and others do well using specific niche hashtags. Check the hashtag’s use volume (ex. if the hashtag has been used 100 times or 5 million times) to test if it is a successful tag that people are searching for. See what hashtags others in your industry use and note their post statistics. What qualities do these posts have that you can incorporate into your own? Hashtags help spread your post across the platform to increase reach and engagement, so don’t be afraid to use them!

As I said, Instagram can be very overwhelming! These tips might make Instagram seem demanding, but it becomes more manageable over time. These tips improve organic growth exponentially, so it’s well worth the time and effort Instagram requires. The key takeaway is to be consistent with your post schedule, stay on brand, and be sincere with your posts. If you’re struggling with managing your social media, or want a few personalized tips and tricks, reach out to me today, and let’s get started on curating a successful Instagram feed. 

About Wildly Creative Studio

Get ready to stand out online and attract your ideal client with custom strategies that are built for you. With several years of experience in the advertising industry, I decided to put my skills and expertise into a business that helps online service providers and small business owners grow their online presence. From custom brand & website design to social media management + engagement & lead generation, you’ll have your clients knockin’ at your doors to work with you. Book a discovery call with me to get started.