How to Grow Your Business on Instagram in 2024

How to Grow Your Business on Instagram in 2024
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Is your Instagram account helping you grow your small business? It should be. Instagram has 1.4 billion active users, making it the fourth most popular network. And with a marketing strategy that includes organic growth, you can reach many of these users without using paid ads.

An Instagram marketing strategy that focuses on organic (as opposed to paid) opportunities can help business owners and entrepreneurs reach potential customers without adding more advertising hard costs to their digital marketing budgets. Aside from the (possible) cost of creating photos or videos, you won’t have to pay a penny to grow organically.

Getting organic growth can take some work, however. Below, we’ve put together a few strategies to help you grow your business on Instagram organically.

  1. Start using Instagram Business
  2. Post at the right times
  3. Optimize your Instagram bio
  4. Post often and consistently
  5. Target the right audience
  6. Always use hashtags
  7. Maintain a consistent visual aesthetic
  8. Use influencer marketing strategies
  9. Track your metrics
  10. Run promotions and giveaways

1. Start using Instagram Business

An Instagram Business profile offers features that aren’t available with personal accounts. With an Instagram Business account, you can auto-publish (using a scheduler), view analytics, tag people, manage Instagram comments, and sell directly from your Instagram page. In April 2022, Instagram began allowing personal users to tag your products in their posts, which expands the potential reach of your Instagram business products.

Instagram Business accounts, unlike personal accounts, also have access to “Instagram Insights,” which offers analytics data that can help you better understand user interest and behavior. Instagram Insights provides data on the number of accounts reached, accounts that engaged with your content (ads and organic), the number of posts you’ve shared, and the most active times your content is being seen. Instagram Business accounts can create ads for promoting content via Meta’s (formerly Facebook) Ad Manager platform. Meta owns Instagram, and Instagram Business owners can manage paid advertising for both Instagram and Facebook within its dashboard.

2. Post at the right times

How do you know when and how often to post to your Instagram Business account? The short answer is to post whenever you have relevant and high-quality content. That said, posting consistently and at the right time will help ensure your target audience sees your posts.

As of June 2022, social media management platform Hootsuite says the best time to post an image is Wednesday at 11 a.m. (UTC -8). The company also found that the best time to post Instagram Reels is between 9 a.m. and noon from Monday to Thursday.

Post at the right times

Source: Hootsuite

If you are targeting a global audience, there are a few strategies you can take to boost engagement. Scheduling platform Cobin suggests three strategies for timing posts for different time zones: Track user behavior and post during your busiest hours, track user locations and focus on the prime hours for your most profitable areas, or post three times a day (morning, afternoon, evening) every day to cast a broad net.

Try posting at these times (EST) throughout the week:

  • Monday at 6 a.m., 10 a.m., and 10 p.m.
  • Tuesday at 2 a.m., 4 a.m., and 9 a.m.
  • Wednesday at 7 a.m., 8 a.m., and 11 p.m.
  • Thursday at 9 a.m., noon, and 7 p.m.
  • Friday at 5 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.
  • Saturday at 11 a.m., 7 p.m., and 8 p.m.
  • Sunday at 7 a.m., 8 a.m., and 4 p.m.

Source: Combin

Posting three times a day at different times can be helpful not only for the followers in your time zone, but it also gives you coverage at different times of day in other parts of the world.

3. Optimize your Instagram bio

One of your most important Instagram selling tools is your bio content. Ensure your bio tells your business’s story as briefly and accurately as possible in the limited space. It would help if you also took advantage of additional features available, including a link to your website, clickable hashtags, emojis, a clever profile picture, and product features for a business account.

Optimize instagram bio 1

Source: Instagram.com/apple

If you have multiple social media properties, your Instagram page should include some of the same branding elements as the others. However, you should avoid simply copying and pasting all descriptions and elements from other social networks. Instagram is a visual social network, so your bio images should be professional and creative.

Optimize instagram bio 2

Source: Instagram.com/tomashavel

Instagram also allows users to organize Instagram story highlights under specific headings (see our Tomas Havel example above). When you post frequently, you can create subcategories that would be of interest to your customers.

4. Post often and consistently

As for how often to post on Instagram, the marketing service Hubspot surveyed its users to see how frequently they post for their business. On average, about 43% of businesses post multiple times a week, and 26% post multiple times a day.

Post often and consistently

Source: Hubspot

Some sources suggest posting multiple times per day, which might work better for some Instagram businesses. According to Instagram chief Adam Mosseri, no one formula fits everyone. However, he does suggest starting with a couple of in-feed posts and a couple of stories per day as a starting point. It is also recommended that users increase their use of video (over static images) and create content that can capture attention very quickly as users scroll through their feeds.

The Instagram algorithm gives a lot of weight to recent content, so frequent posting can help keep you in front of your audience. However, posting a lot of content that does not produce engagement can also reduce your reach. As an ongoing task, you should experiment with frequency, timing, and type of content and monitor user engagement for the best results.

If you want to post more frequently but can’t always find the time to post during prime hours, consider using a social media scheduler like Sprout Social or Hootsuite.

5. Target the right audience

A cardinal rule of all marketing is to know your target audience. Understanding the Instagram audience will help you understand the kind of content that’s both relevant to your brand and meaningful to Instagram users.

Over 60% of Instagram users are between 18 and 34. About 25% are between 34 and 54. Gear your Instagram content toward engaging visuals relating to professional or personal interests. For higher-end brands, having high-quality photography or videos will help reinforce the impression of the quality of your products. If you want to reach teens, your content may find a larger audience on TikTok.

Target the right audience

Source: Hubspot

When planning your Instagram content strategy, start with content that brings value to your audience. Your marketing pitch can be secondary, especially as you grow your Instagram followers. Focus on shared interests, valuable information, entertainment, or sales and savings posts that will keep engagement high and your audience happy.

6. Always use hashtags

While trendy to the point of being overused, hashtags are still an important marketing tool. Adding relevant hashtags can help get your brand in front of users who don’t currently follow you—and give you a chance to get them to follow your business account.

If you’re unsure which hashtags to use, you can find some in a few ways. First, check competitors’ accounts to see which hashtags they use frequently, and start a running list of hashtags that you can integrate into your broader social media strategy. You can also use a free social media hashtag tool like Keyword Tool or All Hashtag.

Always use hashtags

Source: Instagram.com/CartemsDonuts

But how many hashtags are the right number? Technically, you can use up to 30 hashtags on a post. Hootsuite data shows the high end of hashtags hovers closer to 11, and most posts include just one to three hashtags. Some hashtag tools will tell you how many people have used a specific hashtag. Try using high-volume hashtags and more niche opportunities that might interest the audience you’re seeking.

Finally, come up with a creative branded hashtag unique to your brand and use it over time to reinforce a key message. For example, you’ll see #cartemsdonuts and #deepfrieddeliciousness in our Cartems Donuts example above.

7. Maintain a consistent visual aesthetic

Maintain aesthetic

Source: Instagram.com/Gucci

Instagram is primarily a visual medium (which explains the importance of hashtags). Your images must reflect your brand in design and spirit. Eye-catching images will get people to notice your brand, but a consistent look and feel will help them remember it.

This doesn’t mean you need fantastical images of remote waterfalls—unless your brand is all about remote waterfalls. Rather, you need to carefully craft your images to a standard using a branded approach to development and editing that helps make your Instagram posts feel like an extension of your brand. Create a design template to keep your designs consistent and to simplify the process.

If you want your small business to stand out and have a sense of legitimacy, high-quality images and sleek design can be an enormous help.

Maintain aesthetic 2

Source: Instagram.com/Tentstile

8. Use influencer marketing strategies

Instagram Influencers have developed their own Instagram marketing strategies for building successful businesses.

Influencer marketing is a strategy that includes collaboration with niche social media personalities and like-minded brands. Finding an influencer who appreciates your product or service can help build confidence in your brand. Since influencers are generally trusted by their followers, they can have a significant influence on the future purchases of their followers.

Influencers do not have to have large audiences to be successful. A positive review from an influencer with a small and loyal following is all you need to build brand awareness and generate leads. The one critical component that any influencer must have is integrity, which translates to trust with their followers.

Use influencer marketing

Source: Instagram.com/Elyse_meyers

9. Track your metrics

Once you’ve started making great content, tracking metrics on your Instagram posts can help inform your future Instagram strategy.

Instagram analytics are not the most robust for regular posts, but you can get some good information from the Instagram Insights Tool. This tool can help you understand the kind of content that interests your audience.

Every Instagram post includes an engagement count, which you can use to determine the popularity between posts. If your strategy includes Instagram Reels, you can see views and likes for a better idea of your engagement rate. This helps you understand the kind of content you should continue making and the kind that isn’t working as well for you.

Scheduling and analytics tools like Sprout Social and Hootsuite can make tracking your Instagram a little easier. These platforms, and others like them, can run automated reports from social networks on your behalf to provide even more insights about your audience. They also offer a dashboard that makes it easier to understand the data. These tools also track engagements on other platforms, making them helpful to your broader social media marketing efforts.

Check your Instagram follower counts regularly to ensure you’re growing rather than losing your follower base.

10. Run promotions and giveaways

Run promotions

Source: Instagram.com/FlameKingCo

Promotions and giveaways are great for generating interest on Instagram. A well-planned contest can help you build brand awareness and grow your followers.

There are a lot of ways to go about a contest or giveaway. No matter which kind you choose, remember that the main goal is to get more views—and, hopefully, sales. A few of the most common promotions are:

  • Like or share to win
  • Tag a friend to win
  • Caption this photo contest (the best answer wins)
  • Users share their content
  • Hashtag contest

Improve your reach on Instagram

If you’d like to avoid common social media mistakes from the start, consider hiring a social media expert who can help you reach your Instagram organic growth goals. Simply search the Upwork Project Catalog to find qualified and affordable talent to help you take your Instagram feed to the next level.

If you’re a freelance social media professional, promoting your services on the Upwork network can help you generate leads from businesses that need you. Simply set up a professional profile by highlighting your skills and let Upwork start generating leads to help you grow your freelance clientele.

Upwork is not affiliated with and does not sponsor or endorse any of the tools or services discussed in this article. These tools and services are provided only as potential options, and each reader and company should take the time needed to adequately analyze and determine the tools or services that would best fit their specific needs and situation.

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How to Grow Your Business on Instagram in 2024
The Upwork Team

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