4 ways to grow your brand on Instagram

With 700 million monthly users, Instagram is one of those platforms that’s hard to ignore if you’re looking to make an impact online. In Kenya, it’s become an especially successful marketing platform for eCommerce businesses in fashion, beauty and fitness.

So, how can you get in on the action? Linda Okello, a model who recently sold her Instagram page with 16,000 followers at Sh1 per follower, says the secret to making Instagram work for you is to increase your following steadily and consistently. The more followers you have, the larger the overall potential audience your posts reach. Here are simple ways to get started.

1. Use what’s free

Like on Facebook, Instagram allows you to set up a business profile, which then enables your customers to communicate with your brand via text or email. You also gain access to data on who’s checking out your page and from where through Instagram Insights.

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These analytics can prove very useful in coming up with pricing models, timings of campaigns and even brand direction. If you’re selling your products through a personal account, consider converting it to a business one so you can access these benefits.

2. Go from Insta to the rest

To increase your followers, consider putting up your Instagram posts on other social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and even LinkedIn if it’s relevant to your professional profile. Encourage the friends you have on these other networks to follow your Instagram page to increase your audience impact.

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3. Start slow

You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with three posts or more an hour. If people feel like you’re constantly in their face, they’re likely to unfollow your page just to get a break. While there’s no perfect number of posts to put up, you can use Insights to get an idea of what your audience wants from their browsing habits.

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Consider starting with just two posts a day – in the morning and evening, if that’s when your audience is engaging. Keep a constant eye on the data on your audience and adjust your posts accordingly – habits are constantly in flux, though, so you’ll find that just when you’ve hit the sweet spot, your audience suddenly switches things around. You’ll need to keep up.

4. Encourage conversation

Don’t let comments on your posts go unanswered. Take the time to interact with your followers so you can create a loyal following and boost the chances of their recommending your page or brand to their friends.

You can also spark conversations by asking your followers to ‘tag a friend who’d love this’ or use hashtags that get them involved in your posts.

For instance, if you’re trying to get word out about a new product line, you can create a campaign that encourages your followers to take photos with the product and use a hashtag that you can then search for to re-post their pictures.

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This way, you get your followers to expose your brand to their friends, and in exchange, you offer them the chance to get featured on your page. Just don’t overdo it to the point where this loses value because your customers are getting lost in a sea of re-posts.

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