In this post, we’ll show you exactly how to best use Instagram to grow your business, build a loyal following, and engage with potential customers.

Millions of businesses have been built, or improved upon through Instagram, so why not yours?

What you’ll learn:

  • How to create the perfect Instagram feed in less than one minute
  • How to stand out on Instagram
  • What to post on Instagram
  • How often should you post on Instagram?
  • How To Grow Your Followers On Instagram
  • Engaging with your Instagram Followers
  • Using Hashtags to grow your Instagram followers
  • How to use Instagram Stories to engage with your followers
  • Using IGTV, IG Live, and Reels
  • How To Get Discovered On Instagram Maps
  • Additional Instagram Conversion Tips

Important Things To Note About Instagram:

  • The more time you spend on Instagram, the more trends you’ll see.
  • Instagram is big on using features – Always use a feature that IG has available to you, it’s free to use, and they made it for a reason.
  • If IG really wants a feature to succeed, they will help you succeed with it. These are typically the newest features released on the platform.

How to create the perfect Instagram feed in less than one minute

You’re here because you want to improve the quality of your IG feed but aren’t quite sure where to start. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.

Take a look at the screenshot below. What makes this a great feed?

Do you give up?

It’s the consistency in the aesthetic. They all match!

If you were following this account, you would know if a new post in your feed was from them; within a fraction of a second. They have a unique style and content, with consistency between the two.

Don’t worry if you’re not a professional photographer; this isn’t rocket surgery.

How to stand out on Instagram

They maintain their consistency by using filters, but not the regular filters that everyone else is using on Instagram & VSCO. They’re either using Lightroom presets, or doing additional editing in Lightroom, Photoshop, or using some other editing software.

If they’re using Lightroom presets, they usually start with a pack they’ve bought online and alter them slightly to create their own unique style.

Lightroom Presets are just as easy to use as Instagram’s built-in presets, VSCO, or any other app, but they give you better-looking photos and a unique style.

The best part about our Lightroom Preset is that you can edit your photos directly on your phone. You do NOT need a computer!

To help you out, we’ve put together about 20 packs of Lightroom presets that you can download for free! Each pack includes 10 Lightroom presets to help you navigate a variety of lighting scenarios!

What to post on Instagram

Your content should reflect what your target audience is looking for and what Instagram executives would most likely amplify.

When creating your content, it is essential to be creative and consistent. Having a unique style will make your posts stand out against others and draw attention from people. Once you have found a style, stick to it, creating your brand, and giving your feed a unique look.

Regular photos don’t necessarily receive as much engagement or push as they used to. You’ll need to be creative with your posts to encourage more engagement. Post videos, albums, reels, stories, IGTV, photos, and get on an IG Live.

Captions are just as important as the content you’re posting!

Some people love reading captions, while others only look at the photo/video, so you must cater to both of these types of people. Make sure that your caption is thoughtful and engaging and paired with a relevant, high-quality image.

One way to make your captions more engaging is to include a question and encourage people to leave their answers in the comments.

When to post on Instagram

“When should I post on Instagram” may be one of the most asked questions online.

The secret time to post is there is no secret!

If you follow the guidelines in this post, your follower will very likely see your content regardless of when you decide to post. Just don’t post at 2 AM when everyone is sleeping!

How often should you post on Instagram?

Post regularly to keep your feed active. (This can be twice a day, once per day, every two days, three times a week- Just keep it consistent.)

Don’t worry about posting too much content; if fewer people are engaging with your content, that may be a sign that you’re posting too often or that your content isn’t “click-worthy.”

If you run into this scenario, try posting less frequently. At that point, if your posts receive more engagement, that means you’re posting too much. If your posts continue to lack any notable engagement, it’s a content problem. Go back to the drawing board and try something new.

How much time should you spend on Instagram Every Day?

You should be spending as much time as you can engaging with and growing your community. The more time you spend, the quicker you’ll grow your following.

Engaging with your Instagram Followers

Don’t just scroll through your feed; this isn’t leisure time!

If you’re using Instagram to grow your business and earn potential customers, you should be proactive and reactive when it comes to engagement.

Instagram Engagement Tips:

  1. On your posts & stories, make sure you respond to every comment. This lets people know that you are paying attention to what is happening on your posts, and if they know you are going to look and respond to comments, they may be more likely to leave one.
  2. Engage with content from hashtags you use by going through posts that use the hashtag, liking and commenting on their photos. For example: If you’re a restaurant in Hamilton, Ontario, you should be using and engaging with hashtags like “#HamiltonEats” “#hamiltonontario” “#hamiltonontarioCanada”. The higher the use of the hashtag, the better.
  3. DM users telling them you like their feed/style or a specific photo. Be specific. Generic DMs will come off as spam. You can also ask them where they purchased a specific item in one of their posts or that you love their art.
  4. If you have your own signature hashtag like “MYRESTAURANTHamilton”, then engage with anyone that uses that hashtag by replying, liking, and even sending them a DM.

Using Hashtags to grow your Instagram followers

Hashtags will help your photos reach people who are not following you and give them a chance to discover you/your account.

Here are a few tips you can use to increase your Instagram followers:

  • Leave your hashtags as the first comment in your post and not in the caption itself. This will look cleaner and bury your hashtag comment if you get enough comments.
  • Include 30 hashtags on each post, using 10 hashtags from each of the following “tiers”:
    • Small hashtags: less than 50K posts
    • Medium hashtags: 50K-250K posts
    • Large hashtags: over 250K posts

If you’re a local business and it doesn’t make sense to use “Large” or “Medium” hashtags, use your best judgment when using “small” hashtags. 

  • When choosing your hashtags, make sure you do your research and choose ones that will help to grow your account. These should be relevant to your industry/area.
    • Make sure the hashtags you are using are still active! Some hashtags are dead and don’t have posts being made on them anymore.
    • Create three different sets of hashtags to use (for each tier) on your posts. (See the next bullet point for more information about “hashtag sets”)
  • Create shortcuts on your phone for each tier. Ex. Typing the text “H1” will load your first set of 10 hashtags. H2, your second set. Etc. You can be creative with your shortcut names to identify your hashtag tiers/sets, just keep them short! – And remember, use up to 30 hashtags on every single post!

How to use Instagram Stories to engage with your followers

Posting stories can be a great way to boost your ranking because it is bonus content to what you have already posted on your feed. Stories can be a great way to interact with your audience as well.

Below are a few tips you can use:

  • Followers can’t actually “like” your stories, but there are ways you can get engagement on your stories and see who really likes them! Make use of the stickers and other features that Instagram gives you when you go to make a story. Post polls, use sliders, make quizzes, and ask questions! When people engage with what you are posting on your story, this will tell you that they really like the content and are actually paying attention to your stories. And it may also increase your organic content reach.
  • You can also use your stories to direct traffic to your posts. Some people won’t see your feed posts but see all of your stories. To get these people to view your post, add your latest post to your story and cover it with a sticker that says “Tap Here” or “New Post” that hides enough of the post to give them a reason to click on it.
  • You can also add hashtags to your stories, just like you can on posts. You can add up to 10 hashtags to each story, so create a few sets of hashtags to use on your stories. When you post your stories, you can hide these hashtags either behind the post you added to your story or by pushing them off the side of the screen! (You don’t want to clutter your stories!)
  • When appropriate, mention other profiles in your story as well. This will give them a notification about your post and increase the potential that they may share your photo or add it to their story, which will direct their followers to your account. TIP: If you’re a business, like a restaurant, and you’re constantly getting tagged in user photos, repost those photos and shout out to the user who uploaded them.

Using IGTV, IG Live, and Reels

Using every feature that Instagram has available will allow you to reach more of your followers and, with the use of hashtags, allow your posts to show up in the feeds of users who are not following your account.

A healthy mix of content will exponentially help you reach more potential customers.

Remember, your content should be engaging. If you’re not getting a great response, it may be time to rethink your IGTV, IG Live, and Reels strategy.

Additional Instagram Conversion Tips:

If you’re doing all of the above and you’re not seeing great results, there are a few things you may be missing.

  1. Make sure your IG @ username is representative of your business. Users should know which account is engaging with them or posting without having to do any guessing.
  2. Your profile picture should be clear and concise. A photo of something unrelated to your business might confuse users.
  3. Having a short bio on your account will allow users to learn more about your business. If you’re not using a bio, this is your sign to add one!
  4. Include a link to your website or booking page! Make things so easy for users that they can book an appointment, hire a service, etc., without overthinking it. There’s a reason why Amazon has “One-click Checkout”.

If you’re doing everything mentioned in this post and still not having any luck, you may need to reach out to an Instagram Advertising Specialist!

Originally published . Last updated .


Don’t forget to share this post!