Many business owners, especially those that don’t have a full grasp on social media, don’t understand why they should add Instagram to their strategy. The fact is that with over 1 billion active monthly users, 80% of which say they follow at least one business, small business owners are missing out if they aren’t active on Instagram.

Thankfully, it’s possible to buy engaged Instagram followers to get you started on the path to success, but you’ll also need to use these tips to get there.

1. Make Sure You’re Using a Business Account

By default, when you create an Instagram account, it’s a personal account. And while that works, it doesn’t give you access to the built-in free analytics tools that can help you learn how to adjust your strategy in the future. It’s really easy to convert your account from within the app, and all you have to do is link it to your business Facebook page.

Plus, if you want to use any kind of Instagram automation tools to grow your following or schedule your posts in advance, a business profile makes it easier to do these things.

2. Build a Targeted Following

Instagram followers are great, but will only do your business good if they are interested in what it is you have to offer. If you’re a fashion business, you don’t necessarily want a bunch of people who are into pets.

To start building a targeted following of your own, it’s best to take a look at your competition. Who is following them? Go through their list of followers, and start following them on your own. As long as you don’t follow too many users at once (the Instagram algorithm looks at things like that to make sure you’re a legit account) you’ll be fine. Chances are, those people will look at your profile and decide to follow you back.

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The good news is, many Instagram automation tools make it easy to build a targeted following since you can choose certain accounts and hashtags to target. And while the automation tools are doing their thing, you can focus on other things, such as content creation.

3. Post Content They Love

It won’t matter how many followers you have if you don’t post the high-quality content that they crave. If you’re not the best photographer in the world, that’s okay – you can learn some tricks to help you take better photos with your phone. If you don’t have physical products you can use for inspiration, you can also use a graphic design program to create graphics to post in lieu of actual photos.

If you want to get some idea of content your audience will love, it’s time to go back to the competition and spy on them again.

Scroll through the feeds of a couple of your competitors. Pay close attention (and take notes!) about the types of photos that get the most engagement. What do they have in common? How you can mimic that with your own content, without running into any copyright issues?

4. Engage Followers with Contests

One way to get the followers you have excited, while building brand awareness and earning more followers, is with well-orchestrated Instagram contests. Research the types of contests, develop a theme, create a hashtag, choose a prize that’s relevant to your business and audience, promote it, and go.

5. Post Consistently

You don’t have to, though you can post multiple times a day. (Too much posting will annoy people, though, so limit it to two or three posts per day if you decide one isn’t enough.) What matters is that you consistently post content, especially when the profile is new. This keeps your account fresh and at the top of people’s minds – and lets new followers see that you are active.

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To help make sure you’re posting consistently, you can use a Instagram scheduler that allows you to batch your content process from your desktop. All you have to do is connect your account, upload the photos or graphics you want to include, and drag the media to a time slot on whatever date you want to post.

You’ll be able to enter a caption and hashtags for each one. Some services will automatically post for you, but some will require you to post it yourself – and will send a push notification to your device so all you have to do is click “post.” You’ll want to experiment with times you post, aiming to post when most of your audience is active to engage with it right away. Keep an eye on your analytics and adjust your posting times based on what the data reveals about your audience since it’s different for every niche. Tempted to use an Instagram automation tool? If so, start by doing some research into some of the different tools out there like this Instazood alternative. The more different tools you can discover, the better your chances of finding one that works for your needs.

6. Promote Your Profile

Take the time to promote your profile, especially if you have a following on other platforms. Include a link to your Instagram profile on your website and all your other social media channels.

Announce your new account on your other social channels and encourage your followers to engage with you there, too. Include the link in your email signature. If you have an email list, send them a quick note to let them know you’re now on Instagram.

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When you consider that some Instagrammers have high levels of disposable income (to spend on your products and services), it suddenly becomes clear as to why you should try to be successful with the platform.

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