As a fellow small business owner, I know how important it is to grow your Instagram presence. With over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram offers huge potential to expand your reach and drive conversions.
But with so many accounts competing for attention, scoring more followers can be a challenge.
Based on my own experience as a social media consultant helping dozens of small businesses succeed on Instagram, here are 5 concrete goals to pursue in 2023 if you want to gain more high-quality followers this year:
1. Post Consistently with a Cohesive Aesthetic
Posting consistently helps the Instagram algorithm show your content to more potential followers. But simply posting more isn‘t enough.
To drive follows, you need to develop a recognizable aesthetic that makes your content instantly identifiable.
Aim to post at least 5 times per week. industry research shows accounts that post daily or near daily see higher engagement.
Maintain visual consistency. Use the same filter, editing style, logo placement, etc. This repetition helps distinguish your posts at a glance.
Leverage your brand colors. Feature your brand‘s signature colors prominently in imagery to reinforce recognition.
Employing design thinking to craft a consistent aesthetic signals professionalism and gives followers a sense of connection when they see your familiar style.
Hashtags are crucial for discovery, but you need the right mix.
Leverage both popular and niche tags. Blend widely used hashtags like #smallbusiness with niche tags tailored to your industry and products.
Research competitor tags for inspiration. Tools like Display Purposes and RiteTag make this easy.
Analyze tag performance in Instagram Insights. Double down on tags delivering high reach and engagement.
Limit tags to 2-3 per caption, with any others in comments. Too many hashtags look spammy.
Getting strategic with hashtags can help quadruple your reach. With testing and optimization, you can continually refine the tags sending you the most relevant followers.
3. Engage With Your Audience
An engaged audience fuels organic growth. Here are 4 ways to connect with your followers:
- Reply to comments with thoughtful responses to spark dialog.
- Ask intriguing questions in captions and Stories to prompt reactions.
- Run regular Q&As to create shareable content.
- Poll followers for opinions to make them feel heard.
The more you interact, the more followers will stick around, share posts with friends, and help spread brand awareness.
4. Run Exciting Contests and Giveaways
Contests generate buzz and incentivize follows by requiring participants to tag friends or follow your brand.
Tailor prizes to your audience. For example, for a jewelry business, offer a gift card or custom accessory.
Promote contests widely through captions, Stories, emails, influencers, and ads. Remind viewers to enter as the deadline approaches.
Contests can earn hundreds of new followers when executed thoughtfully. Measure cost per follower to assess performance.
5. Partner With Relevant Influencers
Influencer marketing should be part of your growth strategy.
Start by gifting free product to micro-influencers with under 50k engaged followers in your niche. Ask that they share an honest review.
For larger influencers, expect to pay around $100 per 100k followers per post. Make sure their audience aligns with yours.
Prioritize partnerships that allow you to co-create content together for both audiences rather than one-off endorsements. This fosters an ongoing relationship.
Aligning with credible influencers who appeal to your target demographic can expose your brand to tens of thousands of potential new followers per partnership.
With a thoughtful Instagram strategy centered around these 5 goals, I‘m confident you can accelerate your follower growth in 2023. Stay focused on providing value for your audience, and your tribe of fans will continue to expand all year long.
Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m always happy to help fellow small business owners succeed on Instagram.