5 Steps to Grow Your Customer Base on Instagram
Download our free eBook, “7 Pro Tips Farmers are Using on Instagram” to master the essentials. In the meantime, we’ve jotted down five simple tips to start growing your Instagram following below.
Many Farmers avoid using Instagram because it feels overwhelming to them. Or, the idea of additional phone time (especially in their busy season) feels like just another chore on an already long list of to-dos. But with more than 500 million active users each day, and 80% of those users following a business, Instagram is a powerful platform to drive sales.
It’s an ideal “place” to connect with customers, promote your brand, and stay top-of-mind. It takes only a few minutes to get started on Instagram. And believe it or not, it only takes a few minutes a week to keep it going! Here’s what you need to know to get started.
1. FILL OUT YOUR BIO
You only get a small amount of space under your profile picture to write a brief bio, but make sure you do write something. Don’t leave it blank! This is your first opportunity to engage your audience and potential customers. Here is where they gain a quick insight into your mission or story, and how to get to your website and online store. Keep it simple but informative.
Having trouble? Start with the basics: Who are you? What are you doing? Where are you located? Why are you doing it?
2. BEST POSTING PRACTICES
Instagram is a visual experience so of course, the quality of your photos is of utmost importance. You have to take care to have great Farm photos. Whereas Facebook allows for text-only posts, the whole point of Instagram is to have a compelling “feed” of photos.
Try to post a few times a week or at the very minimum, once a week. Otherwise, your followers will see your account as being inactive and will possibly stop following you. That being said, you won’t benefit from posting more than once a day. Too many posts will feel like spam to your followers. It’s all a balance!
3. FOLLOW ALONG
When you “follow” or “like” other Instagram pictures, the owner of that account will get a notification. Most of the time they will go into your profile to check out your photos, and they may either start following you or “like” some of your images, too.
Don’t be surprised if you gain a couple of followers before you even put up a photo. You’ll often find that once you have followed them in return. Be sure to engage with those accounts you do choose to follow to build rapport and a sense of community. Did you know there is an entire Instagram community available at your fingertips, ready to support your business and get to know your Farm brand?
4. USE #HASHTAGS
A hashtag is a just “topic” or “subject” that anyone on Instagram can choose to follow. Let’s look at an example. Following “#ShopLocalAustin” is a way for people to learn more about local businesses in Austin, TX, of course. The people who follow that hashtag clearly care to educate themselves on their local buying options. If you are a Farm about an hour outside of Austin, TX, using this hashtag could contribute toward your Farm’s visibility. It’s a matter of being strategic. Do some research and find out what hashtags competitors or accounts that you love are using. Hashtags generally help your Farm reach more people, spur more engagement or likes on your post.
5. BE SOCIAL
To attract more followers, be social. It’s just like real life. If you stand against the wall at a party and say nothing you will not make new friends. You have to put yourself out there on social media, too. Best practice for “liking” is to go through and “like” 3-5 posts on an account you enjoy. Perhaps it’s a restaurant in the area or a popular food blogger or maybe it’s someone who frequents your local Farmers Market. If you really enjoy someone's post and have something to say, leave a genuine comment. This helps to get your Farm’s name noticed and allows other accounts to discover you.
Remember, it takes time and consistency to gain an Instagram following. Be patient with yourself because it won’t happen overnight! With just 15 minutes a few times per week, though, you can build the audience you want.
We hosted a Facebook Live to teach “Instagram 101” to Farmers—you can watch the recording here. We look forward to supporting your Farm business. If you are already signed up with Barn2Door, feel free to ask your Farm Success Manager any questions you might have about Instagram. If you are interested in chatting with us to learn more, request a demo today.