How To Mold Your Million Dollar Business Through Instagram How To Mold Your Million Dollar Business Through Instagram Instagram has become one of the biggest tools in a business owner’s social media arsenal when it comes to engaging customers and driving sales. After being purchased by Facebook in 2012, the app has continued to grow and eventually became the fastest growing social media platform, surpassing Facebook itself. Recently, they’ve given users the ability to create profiles for their businesses making it possible to track analytics and create ads within the app. Whether your goal is to gain followers or boost sales, here are six tips to ensure your business is making the most of Instagram. 1. Take Full Advantage of Your Business Profile To upgrade your Instagram account to business class all you need to do is link it with your brand’s Facebook page. This gives you the ability to create ads and access analytical data about your photos, stories, and promoted content. Everything from impressions to reach and profile views will all be at your fingertips. You’ll also be able to see your top posts and track your followers along with the average times they’re on Instagram during a typical day. Two more analytics you’ll get to work into your strategy are the top age ranges and locations of your followers. Plus, you can finally see how many people click on your profile’s website. All of these tools will give you a better sense of who your followers are, when you should be posting, and what type of content your followers are drawn to the most. You can also use this data to see what demographics you’re missing so you can focus on tapping into the right audience for your particular business. When it comes to creating ads and spending money, it also doesn’t hurt to be an expert at Instagram’s new analytical offerings so you get the most bang for your buck. 2. Insta-Grind Just like every other aspect of your brand, you can’t just put things out into the world and expect magical results. Success demands hustle and that’s why actively engaging on Instagram is key when it comes to growing your following. It’s as simple as taking some time every day to search hashtags related to your business, your products or your industry. Then, just start liking and commenting away on the photos you find. This is a technique I’ve dubbed “Insta-grinding”. Essentially, it serves as an organic way to build your following and customer base by showing some love for people who might be interested in what you’re selling. Bottom line: supporting other Instagram users can do wonders to increase your stats, so Insta-grind away! Oh, and don’t forget about engaging with the followers you already have and anyone who likes your photos or leaves comments. Make sure to reciprocate and share the support. 3. Create Partnerships Another way to encourage growth is to create partnerships with brands and influencers. Reaching out to brands or influencers that complement yours is a great way to barter mutual exposure. Whether you decide to do a product giveaway, have an Influencer take over your account for the day, or agree to simply cross-promote each other’s brands, partnerships are a great way to be discovered by potential new customers. When it comes to partnerships don’t be afraid to reach out to accounts who have more followers than yours. Just be willing to come up with an appropriate barter. If you have 20,000 followers and they have 60,000 you can offer to post three photos to your account in exchange for one on theirs. If you have more Facebook and Twitter followers but less Instagram followers than a potential partner, suggest a campaign strategy across multiple social platforms that feels fair to both parties. 4. Closely Follow Insta’s Algorithms Alas, because Instagram is owned by Facebook, a platform notorious for quietly switching up its algorithms, it’s important to keep any eye out for changes that might be going on behind the scenes at Instagram. Remember their ill-fated Discover page? That fun feature, unfortunately, doesn’t exist anymore. There was also that stressful week when businesses scrambled to get their followers to turn on notifications because Instagram switched the way photos would be fed into its users’ timelines. The new feed favored the accounts users interacted with the most, leaving businesses worried their photos would get lost in the mix. Luckily, that wound up being temporary. And while those were obvious changes to the app, not all of their switch-ups are as easily noticed. Staying on top of them is key to ensuring your strategy is on point and ahead of the curve. 5. Use hashtags to Your Advantage Somewhere along the way, it seems Instagram users decided that openly using hashtags was embarrassing or should be hidden by using paragraph breaks or inserting them into the comments section. The fact is, at the moment at least, hashtags work. Do some research to find the top hashtags related to your business and use them shamelessly. Not only will your photos be pulled when people do specific searches, but it’ll also help boost your photos to the top of users’ search pages. Overall, hashtags are a great tool for getting your photos in front of the people who would be most likely to give them a double tap. 6. Stay on Brand While it might be tempting to post a really great food photo, an adorable pic of your pooch, or a group shot of your squad — unless it’s directly related to your business and/or fits into the aesthetic of your page, those are best left to your personal account. Having a cohesive, well-curated page looks professional and shows users what they’re in for if they follow you. So although it might be hard, make sure to leave any curve balls out. Ani Palen Ani Palen is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor with over five years of experience. She currently works as a freelance writer covering skincare, beauty, lifestyle, and wellness.