November 4, 2015

How to Grow Your Business’ Instagram Account

Photo courtesy of Hootsuite
By Justin H.

There the Tek Team was, a few months back, pondering each and every way to grow the eGumball brand. As we slaved away like true keyboard warriors, bringing you the latest and greatest in the tech and marketing industries, we felt something was missing.

Social media had been going well, and Tek Shouts! was continuing to improve, but we were neglecting one aspect – we had no face for our brand!

One of the best ways to capture the personality of a company is through photos, and what better way to share those photos with your customers than building an Instagram account? We had created an Instagram profile at eGumball a while back, but decided that five photos and 17 followers who had forgotten we existed was simply not enough.

So, over the past few months, we have put our nose to the grindstone and posted daily, showing happenings around the office, infographics, and other engaging images to shine light on various aspects of our industry. We’d like to share what we learned along the way to help any and all businesses develop a following of their own on the world’s trendiest social media app!

Post Consistently

We have shed light on how to create effective and shareable Instagram content in the past, but it is all for naught if you are lackadaisical in your execution. The five photos we had on our account (we’d show them here, but they may or may not have been deleted out of embarrassment) were months old, and all failed to meet any criteria of an appealing Instagram photo. On the bright side, all we can do is learn from them!

Now, things are going much better. Our photos tend to fall into a few different categories for variety’s sake while still aligning with our general theme. Posting every day ensures your followers don’t forget you exist, which surely happened to our account in the beginning. We also make sure to post at optimal times, which according to the Huffington Post is around either 2 a.m. or 5 p.m. ET.

Another thing to keep in mind is to avoid hard selling your products on Instagram. It’s simply not the platform to do so. The way you increase your sales on Instagram is by establishing your brand and building a network. People like to see photos of food and happy people without being berated by captions like, “DO YOU HATE YOURSELF?! FIND OUT HOW TO SOLVE ALL YOUR PROBLEMS TODAY FOR THE LOW PRICE OF $9,999.99! CALL NOW!”

Keep it cool. Your products will sell themselves once you’ve developed your network.


Follow, Follow, Follow!

Don’t be embarrassed about following too many people on the Gram. It’s important to connect with everyone within reach, so we started out by following dozens of relevant accounts. We made sure to follow some of our own followers, as well as other big names within the marketing industry, and even our competition!

Your competitors’ followers represent a sneaky, but totally valid way to build your own following. You know they are interested in your niche market, so why not capitalize on it? Make sure to not only follow them, but like and comment on their photos to entice them to become engaged with your own content.

When following large amounts of people, make sure to go back every few weeks or so and check if you follow any accounts that are either inactive or spam. Feel free to unfollow them.


Engage With Hashtags

Hashtags are crucial tools, as they help us consistently get a large amount of likes despite only having a few hundred followers. You can use sites such as hashtags.org or hashtagify.me to see what’s popular at the moment.

You don’t want to use too many hashtags, as it comes across as spammy and desperate. Stick to 5-10 that are relevant to your niche. We typically use ones like #business, #marketing, #blog, and #fun. If you go too far outside the box and hashtag all of the members of One Direction or #followforfollow, you look less credible.


Show Faces!

This study conducted at Georgia Tech found that Instagram photos featuring people’s faces get an average of 38 percent more likes!

This doesn’t mean every photo has to be a selfie, but even casual photos around the office of your employees plugging away will do a strong job of establishing your voice and brand. Customers want to see actual humans working behind the scenes, especially SEO and marketing companies like eGumball. There happens to be so many shady shenanigans in the SEO industry, but that just makes out genuine Instagram account all the more effective.

Showing people having fun is the best thing you can do for your account. We love to post techie photos of new gadgets and whatever we are covering on the blog that day, but it is also important to capture the real moments that take place when we volunteer with charitable organizations or dress up for Halloween.

Hopefully you were able to learn a thing or two from this article! Feel free to connect with us on Instagram and let us know how we are doing. We promise that we always #followforfollow.


How do you build your personal or business brand on Instagram? Let us know in the comment section!


7 comments:

  1. Hi Justin. I'm Jonah from Hashtagify.me. Thanks very much for the mention :) Have a nice day!

    ReplyDelete
  2. How do handle the bots and fake users on Instagram?

    I commented on your superfood photo! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Luckily, most of the fake users were dealt with in the purge about a year ago. You may have lost a noticeable amount of followers, just like many others. For the remaining accounts, you could either block or ignore them.

      Thank you for commenting!

      Delete
    2. Thanks for your reply. I see "likes" by bots and fake followers now and then. Do you know how big part of Instagram's user base is real?

      Delete
    3. Check this out!

      http://www.businessinsider.com/italian-security-researchers-find-8-percent-of-instagram-accounts-are-fake-2015-7

      Delete