Instagram Marketing Basics for Businesses Who Wish to DIY It

Growing Instagram audiences is important. Savvy business owners can no longer stay away from Instagram and other visual social media like Instagram. Because 36% of IG users purchase products within 5 hours of coming across them on Instagram. And that’s what you want of course. New people finding out about your product or service and then converting into paying customers or clients.

If that’s what you want too and are new to Instagram marketing, we’re about to dive into how to build Instagram audiences that are actually interested in what you do or offer. For these are audiences that don’t just double-tap and scroll, but actually convert into paying clients or sales for your business. And this is true for all businesses. If your Instagram marketing is on-point and attracts your perfect target audiences, you’ll see this translate into profits irrespective of whether you are an online ecommerce business or service provider, or if you are a brick-and-mortar business targeting location-specific customers. All you need to do as a business owner who wants to DIY your Instagram marketing without the help of an Instagram expert or Instagram marketing agency, harnessing the power of Instagram by learning the basics can be a game-changer.

The Basics of Growing Instagram Audiences

person holding iphone showing social networks folder- growing instagram audiences
Photo by Tracy Le Blanc on
  • Set your goals: First and foremost, identify the aim of your Instagram marketing efforts, whether it’s increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic with clicks, growing followers or reach, or boosting actual conversions. If you are new, stick to one goal for a period of time, as this helps you assess how you’ve been performing compared to what you had set out to achieve on Instagram.
  • Audience check: Research and understand your target audience’s demographics, interests, and behaviors to tailor your content effectively. Though this seems unnecessary, since every follower would appear to be a good follower, only when you have your customer avatar in mind that you can carefully set out to create content that specifically appeals to them. And only when you draw your target audience in, will you see that increase in your sales and profits. A frivolous audience rarely converts.
  • Optimize Your Profile: A lot has been said about optimized Instagram profiles and yet it isn’t enough. Since keywords in your profile are searchable and can get you far better reach, researching them correctly is very important. Creating a compelling Instagram bio, choosing a brand-consistent profile picture, and including relevant keywords make your profile easily discoverable.
  • Consistent business branding: Maintaining a cohesive visual aesthetic across your feed, cover photos and stories, using consistent colors, filters, and themes that reflect your brand identity, not only make your profile appealing but it also helps with better brand recall in the clutter of messaging that Instagram has now become.
  • Create content that resonates: Post high-quality photos and videos that resonate with your audience. Try telling a story or showcasing your products/services in an engaging way, while ensuring that you are actually offering value and not just marketing your products and services day in and out. Offering value will get you results, salesy posts won’t.
  • Use hashtags strategically: Research relevant hashtags related to your industry and content in advance. When using them in your posts try a mix of popular and niche hashtags to expand your reach. Follow a 60-20-20 rule. 20% major hashtags that are general in nature, 20% medium-sized hashtags that are niche specific, and 60% hashtags that are small-to-medium in size and are specifically followed by your audiences.
  • Interact with your audience: Respond to comments, direct messages, and engage with content in your niche to foster a sense of community and build relationships. Remember, people buy from businesses they know, like and trust, and it is up to you to build those factors.
  • Maintain posting consistency: Maintain a consistent posting schedule even if you choose to post just once a week. Because the algorithm values consistency. And when you posts, ensure that you maintain the quality of your posts. Experiment with posting times to find what works best for your audience and also experiment with post styles.
  • Keep an eye out on your stats: Monitor your Instagram insights regularly to track your performance metrics, such as reach, engagement, and follower growth. Keep or improve what’s working and phase out what isn’t.

Other Tips for Business Owners Trying to Grow Instagram Organically

  1. Make Friends, But Don’t Overdo It

    When you’re starting out on Instagram with just a handful of followers, it’s common to follow other users hoping they’ll follow you back. But here’s the catch: Instagram’s algorithm checks if you’re following too many compared to your followers. So, be strategic. Start by following accounts your target audience likes. If you find you’re following more than those following you, it’s time to balance things out by unfollowing some. Don’t mass unfollow or mass follow on a single day as that is sure to get your account flagged
  2. Hashtags Are Your Friends

    Hashtags are like labels that help people find posts about stuff they’re interested in. Using the right ones can boost your post’s visibility, reaching more eyeballs. But don’t go overboard. Eight to ten hashtags per post seem to work like magic. You can sprinkle them within your post or tag them at the end. Also, emojis in hashtags? Not really necessary. Don’t go too generic with hashtags either, they serve no purpose.
  3. Talk the Talk

    Posting alone won’t cut it. Engage with others by leaving comments on their posts. It’s like joining conversations at a party. This boosts your visibility and attracts new followers. Also, don’t forget to tag others in your posts to get them involved too.

  4. Keep the Posts Coming

    Like we mentioned earlier, consistency is key. If you want your posts to reach more people, you’ve gotta keep ’em coming. Facebook, which owns Instagram, pays attention to your activity in the last seven days. Posting at least three times a week keeps your score up and your reach growing, so aim for at least that.

  5. Say No to Third-Party Tools

    Sure, it’s tempting to use apps like HootSuite to schedule posts, but recent studies show it might hurt your reach. Instagram prefers posts made directly through its platform, or at the very least, use approved partners or use Facebook’s scheduling tool (Meta) instead. Link your Instagram to your Facebook Business Page and schedule posts up to three months ahead. It might not let you post to Instagram alone, but hey, most folks aren’t scrolling both platforms at once anyway.

  6. Grow Naturally

    All these tips, they’re about growing your Instagram audience without spending a penny on ads, in other words, they are organic Instagram growth. So obviously, it might take a bit longer than if you were running Instagram ads, but hey, quality beats quantity any day. So, put these tips to work and watch your Instagram tribe flourish! Not just that. Watch your sales soar and profits increase, all thanks to your consistent, persistent efforts, or hire our social media marketing services at affordable prices and let us do the work for you.

This blog is part of Blogchatter’s A2Z challenge for April 2024.