Instagram growth often seems like a daunting task. Starting a new account can feel like attending a party where everyone knows everyone and you know… the chip bowl you’ve had in your lap for the last 30 minutes. But it shouldn’t be that way, right? You should be engaging, building your network, and maybe even having a little fun!

We’re here to help you focus on Instagram growth and utilize the platform for your business the way it was meant to be used.

A few simple steps can take you from being that awkward guy in the corner to the life of the party, expert razzle-dazzler, and networking extraordinaire. Here’s how to create your business’ Instagram account and get over that (sometimes rough) 1,000 followers hump from scratch.


1. Create an Optimized Business Account

Before you drive traffic to your profile, it’s important to have it set-up right. We could write a whole other blog post on how to set up your account. In fact, we did and you can read all about it right here. As an overview there are three key things you should do:

-Make sure you set up your profile as a business account. Nothing is harder than trying to figure out what content your followers love without the data a business account gives you.

-Next, pick a unique handle that coincides with your brand.

-Lastly, craft a bio that grabs a potential follower’s attention, while clearly explaining what it is you do. Include key search words and hashtags that will help with SEO.


2. Plan Your Content Calendar

Now that you have your sparkly new profile up and running, it’s time to start planning content. There are a few things to keep in mind when you start crafting your content.

The first is that consistency is key. This rings true in terms of how often you post, what types of content you post, how it looks, and your voice. Your followers should be able to rely on you for regular updates and be able to distinguish your brand quickly from the sea of other marketers on the platform.

Second, be true to your brand. There are a lot of marketers and influencers online that are doing the same thing as everyone else. Don’t follow into the “popular on Instagram” trap. If you want to build a strong community of followers online you must offer them something no one else can, and do it consistently.


3. Hashtag It

Each post gives you 30 opportunities to land your content in front of a potential client/new follower. Use them all and use them wisely. It can seem like you’re saving time by copy and pasting the same hashtags into your caption, but in the long run, this isn’t a practice that encourages channel growth. Be intentional, do your research, and switch it up every now and then.

Start out with 3 different sets of 30 hashtags based on the types of content you post often and switch them out depending on your post. If you start to see your reach dwindle, switch out a few tags or add more sets.

When building these sets, we recommend having both broad and niche tags. That way your post reaches both a wide audience and a more specific one. For example, one broad tag we use for The Agency is #Marketing, that way we reach a large number of people interested in marketing content on Instagram. We also use the tag #MarketingCharlotte as a niche tag because we are based, and many of clients are based, in Charlotte. This is a simple way to increase Instagram growth rate with the content you’re already posting.


4. Ask for Help

This one pushes many people outside of their comfort zone, but Instagram is a platform built around community. You won’t get anywhere without participating in it.

Take some time to find other grammers, influencers, and brands that have a bigger following than you on the platform and ask to collaborate with them. This can be in the form of a promotion, giveaway, contest, takeover, or just a mention of your brand in their content. Leveraging the power of others in your community and users that you admire is going to help you reach their audience and expand your own. Remember when you make it big to return the favor!


5. Engage and Build a Community

Instagram growth is a consistent, everyday task. You have to not only push out your content but respond to engagement on that content and engage with other users’ posts. This is how online communities are built. Long gone are the days of marketing being a one-way conversation.

We recommend setting aside 20 minutes or so to respond to comments and engage with others in your community each day. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the return you get from a few meaningful interactions.


So, are you ready to get out on the dance floor? If you’ve tried some of these tactics, let us know in the comments below!