Build an Instagram Audience: A How-To

Building the right audience on any online platform is not an easy task. It takes a great deal of hard work, patience and skill. In our previous Instagram post, we covered tips for creating pictures for a stand-out Instagram page. Another equally important part is strategic planning for building an ideal Instagram audience for those beautiful posts. 

Who is your ideal audience?

To answer this question, think about who your ideal customer is (based on market research) and who your existing customers are. Your "ideal audience" is a combination of the two. From there, understand this ideal customer's demographics, behavior patterns, motivations and goals. The more specific information you can find, the better. Here's a template from HubSpot for more information about how to gather and use this information for your business. 

1. Use Geotags

A geotag is added to an Instagram post when you tag your location before posting a picture. The geotag/location is then added, with a link, underneath your profile name. 

Another option is to add a specific geotag using the Instagram Photo Map. This allows users to see exactly where each picture was taken on a map. This will allow users to find your business based on their location and build your credibility among the local population. 

2. Encourage followers to turn on notifications

Instagram has a feature called "post notifications" that allows dedicated followers to more easily find your Instagram posts when using the Instagram app on their mobile devices. To turn this on:

  1. Go to the Instagram profile
  2. Click the three circles in the top right corner
  3. Select "notifications" in the pop up menu

It is also in your best interest to turn on your own notifications for your colleagues in your niche as well as influencers you want to connect with so you can more easily like and comment on their posts. Social media is all about building reciprocal relationships. Take the initiative and start building those key relationships today!

3. Invite people to follow your Instagram account

Be sure to share your Instagram account and build your network on and offline. You can advertise your Instagram account on your blog, Facebook page, website, email signature and in person and print media in your business! 

4. Use hashtags to engage in converstation

Use a trending hashtag (that is related to your post) in order to reach new users and engage in the current conversation. This is a great way to find users who are interested in interior design, home decor and classes in Minnesota. Talk about reaching your target demographic! Instagram hashtags are a marketer's dream!

You can use up to 30 hashtags per post. Only post a few in the original post. You can add much more in a comment on the same post -- this will keep your post looking clean but still bring up your picture in searches for all the hashtags included in your comment. And lastly, be consistent and intentional with your hashtag use. 

Consistency and an intentional strategy for promoting your Instagram page will pay dividends. If you are serious about upping your game, consider taking a class or hiring an expert. Hopefully this post has given you a solid foundation to work from!