Using Instagram is a powerful tool for entrepreneurs. When it comes to building your business through social media marketing, it’s important to focus on sales rather than vanity metrics. It feels great to receive validation in the form of likes and comments, but if it’s not adding to your company’s bottom line, then is it really benefitting you in any way?
As an entrepreneur, it’s imperative that you build a trustworthy brand that effectively sells your products or services. This simple recipe is what has worked in increasing my own engagement and social following while building a worthwhile brand.
Understanding the algorithm
Instagram’s ever-changing algorithm has one common denominator: the platform wants its users to engage. Instagram prioritizes accounts that are constantly making use of its features, such as commenting, liking, sharing, direct messaging, etc. And luckily for us entrepreneurs, these are all of the elements that lead to community building.
By using the platform to create content and engage with your community, you increase your brand awareness. However, doing so takes time and dedication, and if and when you try to cut corners, that’s when the fatal shadowban can hit your account.
To avoid Instagram blocking your content for any reason, just make sure you’re regularly sharing authentic content on the platform.
Lead with value
It’s important to create content for the audience that you’re looking to build, even if you aren’t quite reaching them yet.
Think about the kind of content that your target audience wants to see. Consider your target customer: what are their desires, fears and interests? You need to develop content that interests them, while also providing them with value they won’t find elsewhere.
Being self-promotional is one of the biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs and brands make on Instagram. Constantly throwing products and services in your audience’s face will quickly get you ignored (and even unfollowed). You need to ensure that the content you’re pushing out has just as much value as the content you want your audience to (eventually) pay for with the product or service you provide.
Initially, focus less on selling, and more on providing your audience with value. It’s important to first build trust with your audience before you try to sell to them. And the more value you provide through your content, the more likely that content will be shared.
Once you’ve decided on the kind of value-based content that you want your brand to be known for, it’s time to focus on building your community. The goal isn’t so much to gain a massive following, but to gain a loyal following.
When your Instagram followers publicly validate your content through comments, reshares, etc., it gives permission to other followers to validate it, as well. Share your company’s values and ideas with your audience, but don’t make it all about you, either. Remember, you lead your online tribe through inspiration and authenticity.
In order to be wildly successful on Instagram, share success stories, how to content, tutorials, spotlight clients, etc.
By building a community of loyal followers on Instagram, you are creating a space for your followers to interact with your brand and with each other. Provide these fans with value, and they will in turn empower your brand.