As a small business, it can be difficult to get your page started and to find new customers. This blog post will go over some of my favorite strategies for organic growth and engagement.
1. Posting Reels
Why it's important: Instagram Reels is a video feature similar to that of TikTok. Reels are videos that range from 15-30 seconds, and are a great way to get your account out there and seen by even more viewers. Reels will always live in a separate feed in addition to having the option of an in feed post as well. When you get ready to post your reel, you will see a toggle that says "also share to feed" that is automatically checked on. You can choose for your video to remain in your profile grid or uncheck this option for it to only stay on the reels section of your account.
Reels often get more views than an in-feed photo or video post because story views count towards your total view count (ie: sharing your reel to your story) and Reels now hold a permanent place on the Explore page. The best practice is to make your Reels in Instagram and keep it in your feed for 24 hours (keeping it in the profile grid or removing it is up to you), and share it on your story once it's uploaded.
From personal experience, I have actually been uploading my TikTok videos to reels for months now. But it has now been made known that Instagram will not show that video to as many viewers if it contains the TikTok logo. A way around this is to screen record your video before you post to TikTok. Then it is saved to your camera roll without a watermark so you can then share to Reels.
2. Instagram Giveaways
Instagram Giveaways are a great growth tool for any business, and is certainly a method that Corey Paige Designs has seen success with. The best IG Giveaways include "rules" that can raise your engagement on your page by "liking" or "saving" the giveaway post, as well as tagging friends in the comments who may not follow your business. The most important "rule" is to follow both accounts involved in the giveaway, new accounts will now choose to follow you when they enter the contest.
Not to mention, when you host a giveaway with another business/brand, you both get the benefit of being shared to each other's audiences. Talk about finding new customers! Especially partnering with a brand that has higher following or engagment than you is sure to bring even more new followers who may very well turn into customers or fans.
3. Promoting Instagram posts
Ever see a post from a brand on your feed or stories that says "Sponsored"? That means the company promoted their post for it to be shown to you and other potential customers. This is a great tool to find new followers and potential customers.
Here's how to do it: find a post on your page is doing exceptionally well compared to other daily feed posts and hit that little blue button that says "Promote" in the bottom right corner of your photo. When you promote this post, Instagram will boost that image and show it to a targeted group of people who may not follow your brand. You will choose a budget that you feel comfortable paying, and a time frame for the advertisement to run. If your objective is to get new followers, my recommended Call to Action is to send viewers to my profile, where they can see more of my content.
You can also create more targeted advertisements through Facebook Ads Manager.
4. Pay attention to your analytics and insights
Analytics are your best friends as far as numbers go on Instagram! Here's the breakdown of what it all means:
ON INDIVIDUAL POSTS
These can be found in the bottom left corner of your post, parallel to the "Promote" button.
– Profile Visits: The number of people who viewed your profile (clicked your username) from that post
– Website Clicks: The number of people who went to your profile and clicked the link in your bio.
– Reach: The number of unique accounts who viewed your post (if you're wondering what unique means in terms of IG, basically it's just individual accounts that have seen your post. There's no way to clearly differentiate what kind of the profiles the unique users are viewing from).
– Impressions: The number of times your post was seen
ON YOUR PROFILE
This section can be found on your profile between your Call to Action buttons, and it is labeled "Insights."
– Overview: Your overview numbers of the accounts you reached and how they interacted with your content.
– Accounts Reached: This is the number of accounts that has seen ANY of the content you posted, whether that be Feed, Reels, IGTV, Stories, etc. This can include multiple views from the same account, and Instagram says this is completely estimated.
– Content Interactions: Depending on your time period (the default is one week), you can view the number of content interactions across all your content.
– Your Audience: Tap "Total Followers" to get the most information about who's following you, including age, gender and location.
– Content You Shared: This is a roundup of the content you shared in the specific time period you selected (change this at the top left corner of your Insights).
– Active Promotions: This shows any active promotions you are running at that moment.
PS: Instagram keeps these definitions at the top corner for you when you select "Insights" then click the "I" in the circle in the top right corner.
5. Always add hashtags to your photos.
Hashtags are another way to spread your content to become more visible – especially since Instagram made them followable. This means certain brands or users can follow their favorite hashtags such as #fashionweek or #graphicdesign, so by tagging your photos with these hashtags, you can show up in other's feeds even if they don't follow you.
The best practice for hashtags is usually between 15-30 hashtags, geared toward your content. Make sure you list a range of hashtags, so be careful not to pick hashtags that are too generalized because these will be the most saturated. It is also smart to rotate between 3 groups of hashtags so that Instagram doesn't shadowban you (turn off your ability to interact with your followers for a temporary period) or think you are spamming users.
I have found that adding hashtags in the comments section of my posts have proven successful to getting more post views. When looking at my analytics, it will show me how many impressions that post got "From Hashtags." I am always shocked at how high that number can be on some posts!
6. Plan your feed
When someone looks at your feed it could very well be their first impression of your company or brand. Therefore, it should look as good as you'd want to look if you were meeting a new customer in person. Another analogy I once heard is to think of your Instagram Feed as your shop window. That is the first thing you, as the potential buyer, sees when you walk past a retail store and it’s a big deciding factor on whether you go in or keep walking. This means your Instagram grid should have flow, consistency, and really show your brand's true colors. The few seconds while a new potential follower views your profile can be make or break it for them to press the follow button. So while planning your feed is not necessary, it could prove very helpful.
For planning your feed, I recommend the app Plann, but other favorites include Feed Preview, Unum, and Planoly (all on the App Store).