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Instagram is unlike all other social networks. I’ve been recently getting more and more active and LOVE the interaction and connections to be made here. However, it is not as easy to get engagement and to grow your account as it used to be. First, Instagram was purchased by Facebook. Then, the Instagram algorithm was put into place. Lastly, Instagram announced not just that it has 800 million users, 500 million of which log on daily and 200 million who advertise. This means that there is more competition and that you need to be smarter than ever in how you use Instagram.

How to Grow Your Instagram Following

As a brand or local business, you may be a little concerned on how to get started with your Instagram account and how to grow your audience.  But if you take it step by step, you will be just fine.

Steady growth comes from consistent engagement and posting

Understand Your Audience

If you are going to grow your Instagram, you need to know your audience. Instagram’s demographic has changed tons, especially with its rapid growth. Let’s look at who uses Instagram today:

  • 80% of Instagram users are outside the US
  • 31% of American women and 24% of men use Instagram
  • 32% of all people who use the Internet use Instagram
  • 59% of people between the ages of 18 & 29 who use the web use Instagram
  • 33% of people 30-49 years old who use the web use Instagram
  • 38% of women who use the internet use Instagram
  • 26% of men who use the internet use Instagram
  • 17% of teenagers say Instagram is the most important social network

Start by making a user profile. Then begin to think about what other accounts like yours they will like. Check out the followers of those accounts and engage them. This is your audience. One Socialdraft user, Cognac Maniacs, represents the Cognac region. Since this beverage is very popular within the male urban market., Instagram was the perfect platform for them. They were able to grow their account organically on the platform by 5,000 followers in just 3 months by engaging followers of similar accounts.


2. Make Things Personal

Instagram is all about passion…and pictures, of course. Make sure your content expresses that passion, be creative. This is the last place you want to be boring, repetitive, or overly salesy. Keep the 80/20 rule in mind and don’t bore your audience with constant product shots. Instead, highlight your team at work, take pics of your neighborhood, or of silly things that happen. A repost campaign is perfect for this. With a repost campaign, you are publishing other people’s content. They are the ones creating the message, not you. It’s all about rewarding your audience for being loyal. If you use Socialdraft, scheduling these reposts is super easy.

3. Take a Photography Class

Yes, I said that. Instagram is all about visuals, and high-quality photos and videos can make or break your marketing efforts.  Luckily, you have the internet at your fingers and there are tons of great tutorials out there. Start off with learning about the rule of thirds.

Mobile Photo Applications

4. Get Appy

There are tons of apps out there to help you create amazing photos, check out Afterlight, VSCOcam, PicFrame, and PhotoStudio. These are a few of our staff’s favorites photo editing apps to get you started.

5. Post Daily

We polled Socialdraft users, and the overwhelming opinion was that not posting daily can result in lower engagement. This is dangerous, as your fans can lose interest, or your competition could swoop in and steal them from you. Make sure to post on a daily basis, twice a day if possible. Don’t overpost either. Once a day is good for most brands but look at analytics. Your brand is not average, so make use of the info given to you by Instagram’s analytics dashboard to figure out what is best for you.

6. Engage (Lots)

With all the extra competition out there, you can’t rely on hashtags and the algorithm to get people to come to you. The best way to get followers is to get out there and engage them. Find other accounts that are similar to yours (same industry or brand type). Find the people who engage them by checking out their latest images. Click through to their profile and engage them. Comment on their images, but make the comments good. “Great picture” is not going to get you anywhere. Engage them, like their image and comment. You will begin to see them reciprocate.

7. Get Organized

You create a calendar and strategy for Facebook and Twitter, you should do the same for Instagram. Yes, I know you can’t “publish” posts, but with Socialdraft you can schedule your posts. They will go to your phone and you can schedule from there. It is the best way to make sure you publish daily.

8. Repost Community Content

This is especially powerful if you are a brand (as in the cognac example above) or even a local business. Search for content created about you on Instagram (super easy to do on Socialdraft). Then, share this content not just to Instagram, but the rest of your social networks. We recommend that you ask permission before you do. When you do this you are both complimenting the content creator, and starting a conversation. This is a fabulous way to build brand advocates.

9. Measure

A game is no fun if you don’t keep score. This also applies to Instagram. The one issue with Instagram is that it only gives you 7 days worth of analytics, so make sure to keep track of them on Google docs.


10. Shorten URLS

Since you can’t add links to pictures on Instagram, you can use a URL shortener (like Bit.ly) to create easy to remember URLs that will help point people to where you want them to go. This will also allow you to measure if people are actually going outside of Instagram to your website. If you can get them to do this, then you’re an Instagram success.

Got questions about Instagram? Need help with Social Media? Ask for an invite to our Facebook group. We’re there to help!



If you aren’t taking advantage of everything that Instagram has to offer as far as marketing is concerned, you are seriously handicapping your business.

With more than 300k+ monthly users logging into Instagram on a regular basis, this is a tremendous source of targeted traffic and a great way to reach your market without having to blow open your budget.

To really leverage everything that Instagram has to offer we are going to share with you the following 20 Instagram marketing secrets. Hopefully you’ll be able to maximize the secrets to really boost your profits!

Take advantage of everything that hashtags have to offer with these 20 Instagram Marketing Tips

One of the most important Instagram marketing tips for business that you’re going to want to commit to memory is the value of using hashtags.

World-famous on Twitter, hashtags on Instagram work much in the same way – and allow you to be the laser target all of the content that you post and share on this platform. You’ll want to make sure that your Instagram hashtags are dovetailed to your market and your ideal prospect, and you’ll want to make sure that day really help support your branding and advertising campaigns in general.

A couple of Instagram marketing secrets that have to deal with hashtags include:

  • Make sure that you are hashtags are relevant AND descriptive (you can use these tools to find the perfect hashtags for your post)
  • The max amount of hashtags you can use is 30 – utilize all these as they will help you get found
  • Don’t use hashtags on your bio page, but make sure that every piece of content out the door includes at least three hashtags
  • Use hashtag research tools (available online) to laser target the hashtags you are including with every piece of content
  • Track your hashtag marketing success to adjust on the fly and optimize all of your efforts
  • Use numbers and emojis in hashtags, these can help brand you and catch people’s eyes
  • Use hashtags that are kinda in the middle, you don’t want something too broad or you will get lost in the feed, but if you’re too specific, nobody will find you

Leverage Technology that Socialdraft offers to boost your Instagram marketing efforts

It is critically important to remember that Instagram is one of the most involved social media platforms out there to market and advertise on. You can’t just create content, you gotta engage. The only way you are going to have any real success on this platform is if you take advantage of all the different tools, tricks, and secrets available – including those provided by Socialdraft.

These are the tools we offer:

  • Use the “Photos” area to follow people in your industry or potential customers
  • Use the “Photos” area to engage those people by liking their images
  • Use the “Photos” area to repost not just to Instagram, but to multiple social networks (Facebook pages, Facebook groups, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn).
  • Schedule to multiple Instagram accounts using the drag & drop calendar
  • Allow multiple people to create and publish content to Instagram

Create better Instagram pieces of content in the first place

One of the most simple and straightforward of all the Instagram marketing secrets out there is probably also the most overlooked – the value in creating better Instagram pieces of content to be shared on the platform to begin with.

A lot of people are under the impression that you have to market and advertise on Instagram through brute force and bulk uploads, but nothing could be further from the truth. You’re going to want to post relevant, interesting, and engaging piece of content that have been specifically tailored to your market.

We are talking about creating content that is:

  • Consumable – exciting, interesting, and engaging at a glance
  • Shareable – the kind of content that people WANT to share all on their own without any poking or prodding
  • Unique – people are going to get sick of the same old, same old on Instagram so you’ll want to shake things up
  • Consistent – you need to make sure that your Instagram page and your brand stands for something
  • Measurable – you need to pay close attention to the statistics and analytics on all of the pieces of content that you upload

Speaking of measuring your efforts…

Another important one of the Instagram marketing tips for business you need to commit to memory is the value in measuring all of your efforts on the platform.

Take advantage of as many tools as possible to track all of your efforts online, but especially on a platform like Instagram.

You’re going to want to track:

  • Total traffic figures
  • Total engagement figures (take your last post, add the likes & comments on the post. Divide by your total followers & multiply by 100).
  • Sales that originate from your Instagram content
  • Your Instagram uploading frequency and schedule
  • The amount of people that each upload brings into your sales and marketing funnels

Post on a Daily Basis


On Instagram you need to be constantly present. If you’re just starting out, posting once a day will do, but if you really want to succeed, posting 2-3 times a day (as long as you are posting great content), will get you much better results. You can schedule to multiple Instagram accounts using Socialdraft, so we make this easy on you.

As long as you stick to those Instagram marketing secrets you’re going to enjoy a lot of success!