The growth of Instagram and the role of influencers in the social commerce industry
Instagram is the go-to place for hundreds of millions of people to share their photos, videos and stories every single day.
From major brands to local mom-and-pop shops, businesses around the world are driving results with Instagram. According to one report, nearly 80% of Instagram users make a purchase decisions based on something they saw while browsing the app, that means selling through social media is a great opportunity for any business and influencer.
Some reports show showed 89% of consumers will buy from a brand after following on social, so it’s important to secure the attention and loyalty needed to convert a visitor to your profile into a follower.
Here are three ways to grow your audience and reach on Instagram:
Optimize your profile:
When using Instagram for business, think of your profile as your homepage. You get 150 characters, one link, and a few action buttons to win over potential followers and customers, so be sure your profile makes a good impression.
First, make sure you switch to an Instagram business profile. Business accounts offer extra features that allow you to expand your profile, track content performance, and sell on Instagram.
Instagram business accounts also have access to Action Buttons—additional clickable buttons for specific calls to action such as Book Now, Contact, View Shop, etc. Action Buttons are a great way to get more links into your profile and make it easier for your fans to interact with you.
Hashtags are a great tool to reach new audiences, in fact, Instagram is continually optimizing how hashtags are used for improved user experience:
Hashtags are used to categorize content and allow Instagrammers to discover new content and accounts to follow. Try to choose hashtags that are a bit narrow or niche, the less volume of posts a hashtag has, the more likely you'll be seen by people who follow them.
We recommend that creators use between 5-10 hashtags on their posts, despite Instagram allowing up to 30 per post.
It can be difficult to organize and group hashtags, some of our creators save groups on their phone ready to cut and paste to posts before publishing.
Be active - engagement builds engagement:
If you feature a person or brand in your post, mention them. Even better if it’s in an Instagram Story where they can share your post in their own Story. This not only helps increase engagement, but expands your reach because it allows people who follow the person or brand you’ve tagged to see your content as well.
Remember to comment on other posts. When you comment on content you can show your expertise in a topic or relevant niche category and it leads to interest for your account and gives you free followers.
Try to respond to as many questions or comments as possible, because it could mean the difference between getting a new customer, follower or improving your relationship with your audience.
Last but not least, when you make your Instagram followers happy, you see the payoff in audience growth. We’ve given you a few tips to consider so put them into practice in a way that feels real to your own brand voice. In other words, avoid seeming needy, sales-driven or robotic.
This could mean including posts that are legitimately designed to bring a smile to followers’ faces. Consider sharing content to your followers as if they were friends on your personal feed: this might include posting memes, inspirational content, or just re-sharing interesting photos or artwork (all properly credited, of course) that can give your followers a little joy during the day.