Organically growing on Instagram and finding your ideal audience is a process that involves several important steps. The key to success is a clear understanding of your brand
and your target audience, creating valuable content and executing your social media strategy efficiently and effectively.
In this blog, we'll provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to do just that.
Step 1: Determine Your Brand
The first step in growing on Instagram is to determine your brand. This involves defining your mission, vision, values, and "why", as well as your brand voice, colors, logo, typography, and templates for social media posts. Having a consistent look and feel across all platforms (including your website) is essential to differentiate yourself from your competitors and for your audience to be able to identify your brand.
Step 2: Identify Your Ideal Audience
Once you have a clear understanding of your brand, the next step is to identify your ideal audience. This involves making a list of the specific characteristics and personalities of the people you want to reach. Knowing this information will help you create content that resonates with your ideal audience and attracts their attention.
Finding your ideal audience on Instagram can be done in several ways. Start by searching through hashtags to conduct a broad search and then begin to narrow it down. You can search for general hashtags, like #entrepreneur or #personaltrainer (something relevant to your industry), and then begin to look for specific hashtags that your target audience uses or might search through. You can also check businesses that you admire and see what hashtags they follow and engage with.
Next, use the data from your insights, under the "Audience" section, to understand the age range, gender, and location of the people that currently follow you. In addition, utilizing features such as polls and questionnaires on Instagram Stories can also help you get a better understanding of your current/existing audience.
Finally, focus on creating content that is valuable to your ideal audience. Understanding what interests and engages them allows you to create content that truly resonates with them and will begin to attract their attention.
If you need help identifying your target audience, download our free guide, Identifying Target Market for Small Business.
Should you pay for followers?
While it may seem tempting to buy followers to boost your numbers, it's important to remember that this is not a sustainable business solution.
The main reasons people buy followers is to appear more credible, influential, or popular, but in reality, it only hurts your engagement and overall growth. The followers you buy are usually bots or ‘ghost’ followers, which do not interact with your content and do not help improve your engagement. Not to mention, they aren't going to be interested in what you have to offer.
In fact, when Instagram's algorithm calculates your engagement, a high follower count with very little interaction will result in a low ranking, making it harder for your content to reach your ideal audience. Therefore, it’s much more advantageous to focus on organically finding your ideal audience and engaging with them for more sustainable and meaningful growth.
Step 3: Establish Content Pillars
The next step is to establish content pillars. These are the main topics or themes that form the foundation of your overall content strategy. These pillars should align with your business and address the problems and goals of your ideal audience. To provide a variety of engaging content, choose categories that align with your business and cycle through them to highlight different aspects of your business and industry, as well as provide valuable content to your ideal audience.
Step 4: Create Valuable Content
Creating valuable content is one of the most important steps in the process. You want to create content that makes your audience want to engage with it, whether that's through comments, shares, or saves. Consider things like FAQs, providing your own expertise and/or perspective on relevant topics, offering tips in your industry, showing customer reviews and testimonials, and more.
Learn more about creating quality content in our course SEO Made Simple the Sequel.
Step 5: Execute Your Social Media Strategy
To achieve success on Instagram, it's important to execute your social media strategy efficiently and effectively. Start by optimizing your Instagram bio and feed, and then create content that helps you achieve your goals. For example, if you want to grow your account, consider including a call-to-action that encourages sharing.
Determine your post frequency based on your goals and lifestyle and use platforms like Later to help you organize and schedule your content.
Step 6: Reflect and Review
Finally, it's important to reflect and review your strategy to improve it over time. Your insights are there for a reason, use them!
Insights and analytics are a great way to understand who your audience is, what times they are most active, and the type of content that they engage with or enjoy the most.
This information is extremely valuable because knowing your insights makes it easier to compare your content to understand which posts your audience enjoys, what they engage with most, and what content drives traffic to your feed and/or your website.
You can utilize insights to determine which posts have performed the best, and then use this information to determine how you can plan future content to continue to create content that resonates with your audience.
Tips and Reminders
Show up consistently: Social media success requires consistency, so make sure to show up and engage with your audience. However, it's also important to create a strategy for consistency that works realistically with your lifestyle. Keep in mind that consistency and frequency are two totally different things. Frequency means how often you post. Some people choose to post more frequently than others, which may work better for their lifestyle. Consistency does not mean you must post every single day. It means finding a consistent schedule that does work for you, for example, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and consistently showing up on those days.
Get comfortable being uncomfortable: Growth often requires stepping outside of your comfort zone, so be prepared to face challenges and overcome them (like going Live!). It sounds obvious, but it's the same with most things in life: when we're first learning how to drive a car or ride a bike or doing anything new and unfamiliar for the first time on our own -- none of these things are easy or comfortable the first time we attempt them; but as with anything, practice really does make progress.
Show love to the people who follow you: You have people who are already following you, and they chose to follow you! Continue to engage with them, create connections and build relationships. Instagram (and social media in general) is all about engagement. Therefore, it’s important to take the time to genuinely engage with your current following. You will see growth in time with both your followers and your business.
Losing followers can be a good thing. This means that you’re attracting your ideal audience. If someone decides to unfollow you - they are simply not your ideal client and more than likely were never going to buy from you or inquire to work with you. Rather than being upset about people choosing to unfollow you – try and find gratitude in the fact that you are filtering the right people who see value in what you offer!
Utilize tools like Canva and/or Adobe. Canva and/or Adobe will make your life so much easier when it comes to creating your content for social media. It creates consistency by providing tools that allow you to easily create branded templates to cycle throughout your feed to create consistent, cohesive, and on-brand content.
Growing organically on social media and finding your ideal audience requires a well-thought-out strategy and consistent effort, but by following these steps and tips, you'll be well on your way to success. For additional help in identifying your ideal client or help with social media in general, schedule a Clarity Call with us today!
Chief Creative Officer