As of February 2019, Instagram has over 1 billion active accounts per month of which 200 million specifically visit at least one business profile each day. With stats like these, it’s easy to see why having a presence on Instagram is crucial for businesses. Instagram is no longer just a platform to post pretty pictures. It’s a place to share your experiences, engage directly with your customers and grow a loyal community of fans. With the right strategies in place, Instagram can be an extremely powerful platform for businesses to build awareness and increase leads and sales. So, without further ado, here are 7 powerful Instagram growth strategies for 2019.
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1. Post quality over quantity
It’s no longer essential for businesses to post everyday on Instagram to achieve growth on the platform. The Instagram timeline no longer shows posts in chronological order, meaning it’s more important than ever to post high quality, engaging content. Instagram’s ultimate goal is to keep people on their platform for as long as possible so posts that are highly engaged with, that is liked, commented on and saved by your audience, will signal to the algorithm that your content is interesting, resulting in Instagram showing that post to more of your audience. So, the key here is to share interesting content that either inspires, educates or entertains your audience. Before posting to the platform, ensure that your content meets at least one of these three criteria and you’ll be impressed by the results you’ll achieve.
2. Get personal
Consumers love to see the people behind the business. The more real and raw you can be with your audience, the more you humanise your business and build rapport. Share a personal story with your audience. This may be a success story or even a personal struggle that you overcame. The more relatable you can be, the better. Additionally, sharing a peek behind the scenes is another great way to personalise your business and build trust. This is a powerful strategy that will help you build an audience of loyal customers and raving fans.
3. Add incredible value
The more value you can provide your audience with the more you will see amazing results on Instagram. People are often reluctant to give away too much information for fear that their products or services will become redundant. In fact, the opposite is actually true. Not only is this is a great strategy for building rapport, it allows you to be seen as an expert in your field. This signals to your customers that you know what you’re talking about and will increase their desire to work with with you or purchase from you. Examples of value adding posts include, answering frequently asked questions, sharing industry tips or providing a tutorial of how to use your products or services.
4. Instagram stories
Introduced in 2016, Instagram stories are showing no sign of slowing down this year. Over 400 million accounts use Instagram stories everyday, making it an incredibly powerful tool for businesses to reach their audience. Stories allow brands to engage quickly and easily with their followers without having to craft an entire Instagram post. Stories can be used to poll your audience, share time sensitive sales offers, re-share user generated content and show behind the scenes photos and videos. Including stories in your Instagram strategy will help you stand out and considerably increase your reach and engagement on the platform.
5. Instagram Live Videos
If you’re comfortable in front of the camera, Instagram live videos are exceptionally powerful. The algorithm LOVES Instagram lives and will give you news feed priority, positioning you at the head of your followers feeds. Using Instagram live, businesses can respond immediately to customer issues, answer questions and have valuable conversations with their audience. Allowing your followers to interact with you live builds immense trust, credibility and increases engagement, making it a valuable strategy for 2019.
6. Community engagement
Social media isn’t a one way street. After all, it’s meant to be social right? This is why it’s crucial that you’re engaging directly with your community on a regular basis. As discussed earlier in the article, Instagram favours posts that are getting high engagement and the best way to do this is to actually engage back with your followers. If someone has made the effort to take time out of their busy day to leave you a thoughtful comment, the least you can do is reply to that comment – and I don’t just mean replying with a standard heart or smiley face emoji either. Take the time to respond in a meaningful way and even ask a question where appropriate. Show your followers that you truly care about what they have to say. The more conversation you can create, the better. By increasing your engagement, your posts will be seen in more of your followers news feeds, allowing you to achieve higher cut-through and reach.
7. Use a smaller number of niche hashtags
Hashtags to Instagram are like SEO to your website. Using them not only increases your discover-ability but also considerably increases your reach. An Instagram post that has at least one hashtag averages 12.6% more engagement than a post with no hashtags. Currently, Instagram allows 30 hashtags per post however using all 30 isn’t always the best option. It can be viewed as spammy and turn people off. Instead, try using a smaller number of niche hashtags relevant to your industry. Be sure not to use hashtags that are hugely popular as it will be less likely that your post will stand out in the crowd. Do some testing using different sized hashtags to see what works best for you. From there, save a few sets of your best performing hashtags and use them when crafting your posts.
I’d love to hear from you! Have you tried any of the above strategies? If so, how have they worked for you? Leave me a comment or message me Facebook or Instagram.