Whether you’ve had a storefront for years or you’re not yet off the ground with your idea, you might be interested in starting a business on Instagram. As one of the biggest social media platforms in the world, it’s smart to get your company on the map and Instagram is a wonderful way to get noticed – and get customers.
Once you open a business account on Instagram, you’ll be prompted to buy ads to get on people’s feeds. But is there another way?
Here, we’ll go over the four steps you should take when launching on Instagram in order to get noticed, engage with your audience, and earn some conversions. In the end, you might be surprised at how much ROI you can generate without promoting your posts at all.
Get Super Social
The first step is getting social – super social. Basically, be as social as you can be without being a total creep on people’s feeds. This means spending between two to three hours a week engaging with your target audience on Instagram.
Like their photos, leave comments, respond to stories, and reply to DMs. Make sure you’re not just copy and pasting content either. Pay attention to what your audience talks about and engage with them on a genuine level.
It’s imperative not to skip this step because it will allow you to really internalize what your potential customers care about in a way that data just can’t. You’ll see the lingo they’re using and the stories they’re posting. You’ll also get a feel for what gets engagement.
For example, does your target audience love giveaways? Are they more likely to comment when the caption poses a question? This is all great insight that you can only get when you put in the time and really interact with the app.
Getting social as the first stage of launching on Instagram is essential and it’s not something you can outsource. Do this part yourself and you’ll learn something about your future customers along the way.
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Ramp Up Content
It’s no secret that engagement has dropped significantly on Instagram. That’s why you need to ramp up the amount of content you’re sharing on the platform. At this point, whether you like it or not, it’s becoming a numbers game in order to get noticed and the more you post, the higher chance you’ll have at engagement.
Instagram has many new features that you might not be taking full advantage of. Platforms like Insta Stories and IG Live are great for sharing content on the fly. They’re the best options for when you want to add a lot of content without annoying your followers.
When launching on Instagram, posting too much to your feed becomes cumbersome and irritating, so using these “less official” Instagram features is the way to go when it comes to pushing your content into high gear.
Even though Stories only last for a day and IG Live is over when it’s over, it’s definitely not a waste of time. Plus, people love the uncut, uncensored aspect of these off-the-cuff features and they’re perfect for letting your customers get a behind the scenes look at your business.
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Don’t Sell to Them, Help Them
At the end of the day, Instagram is more than just a social media platform. It’s a way to tell stories about your brand and for your potential customers to follow along on the journey. Launching on Instagram means that your business is a living, breathing entity and your followers are getting the inside scoop.
So, instead of putting on your salesman hat, instead, it’s important to use the power of storytelling to show how your product or service can help your target audience.
For this step, you’ll want to think of your audience in two different states of awareness: their current state and their future state.
First, take your Instagram audience on a journey and allow them to understand their “pain points”. This part is related to their current state by pointing out some problems they might be facing in the present.
Then, you’ll show them how your product or service can help solve these problems, either by offering a better solution than the one they’re currently aware of or by softening a pain point they didn’t even realize they had.
Basically, instead of thinking sell, sell, sell – think of why you started your business in the first place. What makes your product or service valuable? What problem does it solve for people? Why should people care?
Answer those questions with no expectations and you’ll be on your way to creating fantastic Instagram content that your target audience should surely respond to.
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During your Instagram launch, it’ll be easy to fall into the trap of focusing too much on followers and not enough on actual conversions.
Sure, it’s exciting when people are interested in your brand or you’re getting a ton of entries on the latest contest you’re running, but if you’re not driving traffic to your website or affiliate links, then what’s the point of having a business on Instagram?
After all, it is meant to be a business and nothing says business like ROI.
The first way to measure your success with conversions is to decide what your efforts are aiming for. Maybe you’re working to grow your email list. Maybe you’re hoping to drive traffic to your blog. Maybe you want people to purchase a book from your affiliate link.
Once you have a conversion goal in mind, you’ll be able to focus more on meeting that goal instead of getting swept away in your follower count, constant DMs, or how many likes a photo received.
By following these steps, you’ll be on your way to a successful Instagram launch with the results to back up the effort.
No longer is Instagram just a social media platform full of duck faces and X Pro II filters. It’s now also a powerful marketing tool and launching on Instagram can truly take your business to the next level.
Need help developing your Instagram strategy? Check out my new InstaContent course and plan an entire year’s worth of Instagram content in just an hour!