Building an audience for your small business, services, or creative entrepreneurship can be a challenge. Using these smart ideas, you can connect with your ideal Instagram audience.
The biggest thing to consider is that social media success do not happen overnight. Social media takes time and patience. Therefore, if you have a product, book to launch, or something with a specific deadline, you need to work on this well in advance so you have time to cultivate relationships and build your social network on Instagram.
As we consider how to creatively build your ideal audience on Instagram, let's first think about who your ideal audience is. Being specific about who you want to reach helps you tailor your content for them.
Who is your ideal Instagram audience?
From Hubspot, “a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.
When creating your buyer persona(s), consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. The more detailed you are, the better.” Hubspot has a template to create your own buyer persona if you need to dig deeper into that topic.
If you're a new writer and this is your first book, look into people that have written books similar to yours. If you're a small business, who will be your customers and buy your product or services? Knowing these things in great detail makes everything more clarified in your process.
One thing to consider: if you're targeting everyone with $20, you're not going to reach anyone.
Grow your audience with geotags
Geotags occur when you tag your location when posting on Instagram. Instagram then adds the location in blue under your name on the post.
“As you share images, add them to the Instagram Photo Map. This feature allows you to geotag your image location and share the specific site where the photo was taken.
Maps will take your followers beyond your latest pictures and show them the exact location of the photos you share. This is an excellent way to create relevance within a community and build credibility as the go-to business within that area.” from Rebekah Radice.
Read more: How to Use Instagram to Expand Business Reach
While working with a local salon, I realized that she didn't have her location set up properly on her Facebook Page which is connected with the location for Instagram. If you have a brick and mortar business, make sure that your location is set up properly on Facebook, Yelp, and any other geo-location services. This way people can check into your location and it will go into their social stream.
When other Instagrammers are geotagging, your business will pop up! Magic, right?
Be safe when you're using geotagging, if you work from home don't geotag your office.
Post Notifications for instant access
Instagram has a great feature called post notifications. Inviting your fans to turn on post notifications helps more people find your posts. I created a quick graphic and used the Skitch app to add arrows to show people how to turn on notifications.
1⃣ Go to their profile ?
2⃣ Click the three circles in the top right corner
3⃣ Select get notifications from the pop up
How easy is that? You can test it on my profile.
You also want to turn on post notification for colleagues in your niche and influencers you admire so you can comment and like their posts. It's all about building the reciprocal relationship on social media. Your goal is to open communication with the people and build a relationship. This means that the conversation should flow to and from you – broadcasting your message without engaging in the comments won't help build your audience.
Invite people to follow your Instagram account
Did you notice what I did in the section above? I showed how to use post notifications and then invited you to turn them on for my posts.
Make sure that you're sharing your Instagram account and building your network off of Instagram.
A few places that you can share your Instagram:
- In a blog post
- On your blog sidebar with a widget. (lots of details for how to do that here)
- Add a link to your Instagram in your email signature. I use WiseStamp.
Connect with conversation
Loreal Paris USA does a great job with this Instagram post. They are featuring a product but it's not a sales pitch. They used a trending hashtag – #bookstagram – and these hashtags as well: lorealparisusa #loreal #lorealparis #lorealista #makeupdesigner #makeup #beauty #makeupbloggers #beautyjunkie #motd #bbloggers#saturdaymorning #brunch #paris #france #howtobeparisian #parisian #macaroons#ballerinashoes #colourriche #pinklipstick#flatlay #bookstagram #coffeestagram #cappuccino
By sharing a gorgeous photo, they were able to start conversations with people who love coffee, people love brunch, beauty bloggers, books, and most importantly people who follow their brand.
Good Morning Lorealistas! Any brunch plans today? ??? Featuring Colour Riche Lipstick in Ballerina Shoes & Texture Perfecter
A photo posted by L'Oreal Paris USA (@lorealparisusa) on
Think about how you can share your ideas and tie them into trending topics or hashtags to reach more people.
Create an Instagram hashtag strategy
As noted in the example with Loreal, they used plenty of hashtags and they were all relevant to the photo that they shared. It creates trust when someone sees your post in a hashtag hub with other related content. Misusing hashtags to hijack trending hashtags won't grow your followers or get more likes but may earn you more unfollows.
Be authentic and trustworthy with your hashtags. Your requesting an invitation to join the conversation around the hashtag topic – make it count!
A few hashtag caveats to build your ideal Instagram audience:
- You can use up to 30 hashtags per post.
- Post a few in the original post. Add more in a comment.
- Use Evernote to save groups of hashtags by topic to use across your devices. Or use Notes on an iPhone.
- Be consistent with your hashtags. Choose your own to help people find you. I use #artofsocial for social media content for my book The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users.
- It’s worth the time to build your hashtag strategy. It saves time and helps with consistency.
- Create separate accounts if you have more than one niche. Sue has six accounts to cover her different business focuses. She’s increasing her business because customers of her store and clients for her social media consulting find her with hashtags.
- Stop the random acts of hashtagging! Be focused and targeted in your niche.
Read more here:
Follow some Instagram smarties to learn more about Instagram
Here are a few of my favorite people to follow on Instagram that share Instagram how-to's and tips:
Learn more through training
There's a wealth of free education available on the web through reading blog posts (like this one), following social posts, and also free webinars.
I have an upcoming free webinar hosted by my friends at Sprout Social. This practical webinar to help you create an engaging Instagram presence that grows. Jam-packed with actionable tips, this webinar will help you get a handle on creating an Instagram strategy and provide valuable insight into using Instagram analytics.
I hope this article has given you some ideas to grow your ideal Instagram audience and grow your social media following. I wish you lots of success!