6 ways to boost your Insta
Aaaah Instagram, ruining breakfast time since 2010.
Over the past 9 years, Instagram has shaped the way we engage online, every tom, dick and dog has an account and just like James and the giant peach, Instagram is growing bigger and juicier than ever.
When we first started B&F, I googled ‘how to grow your instagram’ approximately 5000 times, we just couldn’t get ourselves past the pity followers (mum). But after a lot of learning and experimenting, we feel we have finally cracked our social presence hooray! We have plenty of genuine followers that aren’t part of the pity party and who actually follow us out of choice. We are proud to say that we gain the majority of clients from this glorious platform and we are here to tell you how.
At the very start of our Betsy & Francis dream we proudly created our account and made the mistake of treating it like it was our personal page, we would put up whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. It’s hilarious to think that we are designers and still didn’t grasp the importance of a beautiful instagram, but here we were, posing in Ikea at our very first desk. They say content is king, but what we soon came to realise is that content may be king but if the content isn’t useful or even ‘instagrammable’ then you might as well swap the acai for a bowl of cornflakes my friend, you just lost at the insta game.
But the past is the past, and we are here to tell you how to avoid the embarrassment and grow an instagram that is not only beautiful, but valuable to you and your business.
There are over 1 billion users on Instagram, they are all sat there waiting for you to create something they will love, share and engage with. If you have a business, whether it’s big or small, you have a platform that is guaranteed to have your target market on it, they are ready and waiting for you to come along and rock their world. Here are 6 ways to grow an instagram that is unique, genuine and valuable.
KNOW YOUR AESTHETIC
Know your businesses vibe and stick to it. The chances are your instagram isn’t going to be the only thing potential clients check out before getting in touch. Would you hand over your precious money to somebody without fully creeping on them first? Of course not. You need to know your brand style and then apply it to your feed. You need everything within your business to compliment each other.
These three simple questions have been invaluable when growing our page and often keep us on the straight and narrow.
Is it useful to our audience?
Is it relevant to our business?
Does it reflect our brand?
Your instagram should flow nicely into your website and vice versa, doing this, you are guaranteed to gain more of a following. If your concept is clear, your audience will understand it, relate to it and trust your brand. So even if you have a few too many wines one night and think it’s hilarious to put underpants on your cat… whatever you do, don’t gram it!
2. PLAN YOUR WORK, WORK YOUR PLAN
We have plans for everything, plans for the business, plans for life, plans for savings. We are planners! And I really don’t think Betsy & Francis would have worked without having plans in place. Planning your instagram is just as important.
We dedicate 1 day a week to curating our instagram. We hate to break it to you, but instagram is not instant. Everybody with a beautifully curated news feed has carefully selected those images and popped them into a scheduling program.
Our fav scheduling program is Later, it’s a great tool to see all of your upcoming posts, making sure they are ‘on brand’ and scheduling them to upload throughout the week, this also means we have more time to concentrate on client work and further develop our biz without stressing about an upcoming post.
3. CONTENT IS KING
It isn’t just about having that perfectly curated image on your newsfeed. Your captions is just as important as the visual. Many people don’t use the caption to their full advantage. When we first started, we wrote next to nothing in the caption apart from our poor choice of hashtags, but as time went on we realised we were wasting a great opportunity to sell the biz even more to our potential clients, we start to use our brand voice and communicate free valuable information that our audience would otherwise have to pay for. This is a great way to build trust and loyalty within your brand.
4. YOU CAN’T BUY LOVE
We receive daily emails from marketing agencies promising to grow our followers. During the beginning, we were very tempted to try the ‘free trial’. Do you know that the average social marketing agency charges around $2000 a month for their services? I’m sure there are some great ones out there but many of them grow your followers by attracting to the wrong audience and influencers. This often leads to less genuine following and next to no engagement. If you work hard to build your social yourself, you are guaranteed to only attract your target audience. You will gain genuine followers who love you and what you do. They are loyal, trustworthy and won’t drop you once you run out of budget. Always remember, quality over quantity.
There seems to be this unspoken rule that the more the hashtags the trashier you are, if this is the case, then we are trashy! Whether you hide them in the comments section or place them a mile below your caption (our personal favourite), you need hashtags! Don’t be ashamed, hashtags will help you gain 12% more engagement, and you are allowed 30, so go wild!
Although, we will say, only use hashtags that are relevant for your business, be careful not to get lost in #love #happy #follow. They may well be the most used hashtags in the insta world, but they are not relevant to your business, use only hashtags that relate to your biz and try to use ones that have only been used thousands of times instead of millions, you’re more likely to gain genuine interest by not appealing to the masses and instead opting for niche tags.
6. USE STORIES
Ok, so the instagram feed is looking incredible, it’s consistent, it’s relevant and it’s damn sexy! You can sit back and relax right? Wrong! You may have scheduled your feed to run smoothly, but insta stories is something you need to be on daily if you’re serious about keeping the attention of your followers. Insta stories is a great way to build community and drive engagement. People love to be a part of what you do, if they follow you, the chances are it’s because they like you and they love to be a part of your life and your business. We like to share what we do out of the office, the behind the scenes of our life when we aren’t running our lovely biz, we share plans, processes and working progress. It’s unfiltered and real life, it’s the bit you don’t get to put on your feed and we have gained loyal followers from doing it, finally we love it! It’s actually our favourite part of our insta life, we get to be ourselves and really connect and chat with our gorgeous little community of like minded, amazing peeps.
Note: Also use the hashtag and location buttons to increase your reach! Yeeeooooo
“Successful companies in social media function more like entertainment companies publishers, or party planners than as traditional advertisers.”
– ERIK QUALMAN
Don’t expect that you can build a successful business by only having a great website, nowadays, you need to be across all major platforms to gain the attention you need for your amazing biz to thrive. Instagram is the biggest one for us and we expect for you, follow these steps and we guarantee you will see results.
Over and out.
Notes to take away
Only use relevant hashtags for your business.
Keep consistency within your feed, this is one of the most important things you can do for your business.
Don’t waste the caption, use it to supply free quality information.
invest in a good scheduling program.
Always use stories to give extra value and content.