11 Best Instagram Strategies for Business Growth

Nivanya M.

June 14, 202410 min read

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Instagram has come a long way. From its early days as a photo-sharing site that only allowed content framed in a square aspect ratio to match the iPhone to a social media giant that is now taking over the way consumers shop.  

Brands have noticed and are now scrambling to refine their Instagram strategy for business growth.  

In this post, we’ll dive into 11 of the best Instagram strategies that can drive business growth for you. Pick and choose or use a combination of all of them — whatever you decide, Instagram virality awaits.  

How can a concrete Instagram strategy drive exponential business growth? 

Instagram has an astonishing 2 billion monthly active users, and in that massive pool, 130 million Instagram users tap on shopping posts every month. Because of its immense business potential, nearly 80% of social media marketers have used Instagram to promote their businesses to varying levels of success.  

Here’s a real-world example of a brand getting its Instagram marketing strategy right:   

Etsy  

Etsy-s Instagram profile page

Source 

Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods, doubles down on visually appealing content on Instagram to showcase its unique and handmade products. High-quality images and a consistent aesthetic help create a strong brand presence. 

Etsy itself has 3.1 million highly engaged and creative followers on Instagram. But it encourages creators to post user-generated content (UGC) on the 'gram that customers can then buy through Etsy.  

Most of Etsy's products carry a warm, community-minded, and authentic aesthetic. This makes Instagram the perfect avenue to showcase them. Etsy reported sales of $2.75 billion in 2023. 

11 Instagram marketing strategies for business growth 

That's the beauty of Instagram. You don't need to go in with an outsized budget and dozens of sharp-eyed social media managers to run a successful marketing campaign. An organic strategy that is inexpensive, consistent and appealing to your target audience can get you the growth results you seek.  

Considering this, here are 11 Instagram strategies for business growth.  

1. Understand your Instagram audience  

Start with understanding your audience on Instagram. This is a fundamental Instagram business strategy because it allows you to tailor your content to their preferences and interests. You can create targeted and relevant posts that resonate with your audience by analyzing demographics, behaviors and engagement patterns. This will help enhance user engagement and build a loyal and active community around your brand. 

For instance, if you're a fitness trainer whose target audience is predominantly young professionals, your content should include workout routines that can be incorporated into a busy schedule, tips on healthy packed lunches that they can carry to work and maybe trendy fitness gear that can double up as innerwear under a business suit. 

Of course, your audience's preferences will evolve over time. Instagram's algorithm also keeps evolving, so be ready to adjust your approach. Flexibility is key. 

Pro tip 💡: Use an AI-powered audience insights tool to analyze billions of real-time digital signals from consumers to understand your customers and what they care about better. Sprinklr offers such a tool, and with it, you can: 

  • Identify critical demographic and behavioral insights in 30+ areas, like preferences in media, sports, products and more  

  • Create custom audience segments off of social signals, audience profiles and engagement metrics (likes, shares and follower counts) 

  • Perform instant audience studies to find potential brands and influencers you can partner with for greater impact

A Sprinklr Audience Insights dashboard showcasing audience engagement details on X (formerly Twitter)

2. Create a complete and effective bio 

This may seem like an afterthought, but creating a compelling Instagram bio is essential for attracting and retaining followers. It serves as an introduction to your brand, reflecting your identity and improving searchability. What does a bio include?  

Bumble-s Instagram profile page

Source 

  • Profile and username: Keep this clear, concise and well-aligned with your brand. This is searchable, so it should be a recognizable depiction of your company name. 
     

  • Profile photo: Use a familiar, high-quality photo or logo representing your brand. 
     

  • Bio statement: Craft an engaging statement that highlights your brand’s value proposition. Use emojis that reflect your brand personality. 
     

  • Website link: This one doesn’t need to be complicated. Simply use a shortened URL to your website. Additionally, you can now add up to 5 links to your bio. So, be sure to direct traffic to destinations like your online store, YouTube channel, blogs, event pages, product pages, other social profiles and so on.   
     

  • User-generated content (UGC) hashtags: Another optional but fun addition is hashtags in the bio. Relevant and branded hashtags, like #BumbleLove, #BumbleBFF, and #BumbleBizz for the image example above, could be easy ways to spotlight and collect user-generated content. For a better understanding, check out this article on how to use hashtags
     

  • Updates in the bio: Regularly update your bio to reflect current promotions, events or new offerings. For instance, Bumble often updates its bio when running specific campaigns.  
     

  • Branded Story Highlights: Make your Instagram Stories searchable by creating a Story Highlight with a branded cover. For instance, Bumble has a Story Highlight called “Safety,” where they’ve partnered with Bloom to provide a free online trauma support program. The highlight focuses on helping Bumble users when it comes to psychological well-being. 

3. Post regularly

Posting regularly on Instagram is a powerful growth strategy with several notable advantages. One key benefit is the heightened visibility that comes with consistent content sharing. For instance, a fashion brand that posts daily outfit inspiration ensures its content frequently appears in followers' feeds, maintaining a strong and consistent brand presence. 

Moreover, regular posting contributes to increased audience engagement. A skincare influencer who shares daily skincare routines and tips experiences a higher level of engagement as followers are prompted to interact with the content and share their own skin journeys. This dynamic interaction fosters a vibrant and engaged community around the influencer. Additionally, posting regularly allows for swift adaptation to trends.  

Pro tip 💡: Use a social media planner to streamline content planning across multiple social channels in one place. With it, you can get a unified view of your social posts, events and campaigns. This way, you can easily organize content, collaborate with global teams and personalize your workspace for maximum efficiency. 

Related Read: Comprehensive Guide on Social Media Content Creation 

4. Experiment with different formats 

The best part about Instagram is that it has a variety of content formats to keep things fresh. You can post a Reel with a trending audio sample, an Instagram Story with a poll or even just a quick update on your Broadcast Channel. It doesn’t matter what format you choose — just reach out with your authentic content and engage with your audience more frequently.  

An Instagram Story with a poll asking which dish among four options is the audience-s favorite

Source

5. Keep an eye on the competition 

Like any growth strategy, growing your presence on Instagram is a race. Analyzing how your competitors are performing on Instagram can provide valuable insights that shape your Instagram marketing strategy. Here are some steps you can follow:  

  • Identify competitors: Identify key competitors in your niche on Instagram. Look for accounts with a similar target audience and those who excel in engagement and growth. 
     

  • Examine their content strategy: Analyze the types of social media content your competitors post. Look for patterns in the content themes, formats and posting frequency. Identify what resonates most with their audience for ideas on how to build your own content. 
     

  • Evaluate engagement metrics: Examine the social media engagement metrics on their posts, including likes, comments and shares. Identify which posts generate the most engagement and try to understand why. Consider the time of posting and the use of specific hashtags. 
     

  • Follower analysis: Study their follower demographics. Look at the age groups, locations and interests of their followers. This can help you understand the preferences of your shared audience and tailor your content accordingly. Check out the top social media demographics for audience analysis. 
     

  • Hashtag strategy: Analyze the hashtags your competitors are using. Identify both general and niche hashtags. This can help you discover trending tags and understand which ones resonate well within your industry. 
     

  • Explore stories and reels: Investigate how competitors use Instagram Stories and Reels. Pay attention to the content format, frequency and engagement. Identify any unique strategies they employ to connect with their audience. 
     

  • Monitor growth patterns: Track your competitors' follower growth over time. Observe if some specific events or campaigns coincide with spikes in their follower count. This can provide insights into effective growth tactics.  
     

  • Engagement with followers: Evaluate how your competitors engage with their followers. Look at how they respond to comments and see if there are lessons to be learnt or warnings of what to steer clear of. Engaging with your audience is crucial for building a loyal community. 
     

  • Check Instagram ads: Check if your competitors are running Instagram ads. Analyze the type of content they promote, their targeting strategies and the engagement on their paid content. 
     

  • Learn from their mistakes: Analyze any negative feedback or mistakes your competitors may have made. Understanding their challenges can help you avoid similar issues. 

Pro tip 💡: Use Sprinklr’s Competitive Insights and Benchmarking tool to get a 360-degree view of your competitors across 8 social channels. With it, you can benchmark your brand based on KPIs (like engagement, reach and follower count) as well as identify and compare your competitors’ top posts, customer sentiments, audience behaviors and more. 

The Sprinklr Competitive Insights dashboard showcasing a summary of top metrics and the distribution of mentions

6. Schedule your posts in advance 

For several reasons, scheduling Instagram posts in advance is a crucial component of an Instagram strategy. Firstly, it ensures consistency in posting, keeping your audience engaged with a regular flow of content. Secondly, it saves time by allowing you to plan and create content in batches rather than daily. Thirdly, scheduling enables you to reach a global audience effectively.  

You can engage followers from various regions by posting at optimal times for different time zones. Strategic timing is pivotal, as posting during peak engagement hours can increase visibility and interactions. 

Furthermore, scheduling promotes content planning within your marketing team, where members can build a pre-planned, well-thought-out and cohesive content strategy that’s aligned with your brand's goals.  

Pro tip 💡: Use a social media scheduler and publisher tool to manage your Instagram handles and other social accounts from a single dashboard, create content ideas instantly and publish your social posts at AI-recommended times for greater engagement. 

7. Engage with 'high-value accounts' in your industry 

Instagram's in-feed suggestions rely on various signals to determine content relevance. An easy one to focus on is the "other people they follow” section. Actively following and engaging with high-profile, reputed accounts within your niche signals to the algorithm that you’re actively engaged. 
 
What’s more, successfully capturing the attention of these high-value and influential accounts by making them follow you back indicates to their algorithm that their followers may also find your content interesting.  

8. Build a community

Post a static post, post a Reel, look for that trending audio, be in the know of pop culture references — it never ends. Keeping up with your content calendar for social media can get quite overwhelming. But, during this madness, don’t forget to engage with the people who matter most to your brand: the community you’ve built. Some ways to do that are:  

  • Respond to comments: Regularly monitor and respond to comments on your posts. Acknowledge all comments, express gratitude and swiftly address any questions or concerns. 
      

  • Ask questions in captions: Encourage interaction by including questions in your captions. This encourages your followers to share their thoughts, experiences or opinions, fostering community and conversation. 
     

  • Host Q&A sessions: Periodically host Q&As using Instagram Stories or live sessions. This allows your audience to ask you questions directly, providing an opportunity for real-time interaction. 
     

  • Run giveaways: Organize contests or giveaways that require clear participation, such as liking, commenting or sharing your content. This boosts engagement and helps expand your reach, as active participants often involve their followers in their fun. 
     

  • Use Instagram polls and surveys: Leverage features like polls and surveys in Instagram Stories to gather feedback and opinions from your audience. This not only engages them but also provides valuable insights for your business. 
     

  • Share user-generated content: Showcase content created by your followers and customers. This provides two unique benefits:  

    • You have more “free” content that you can add to your content roster 

    • Doing so encourages other users to share their experiences  
       

  • Go live: Host live sessions to connect with your audience in real time. Use this opportunity to share updates, answer questions or provide behind-the-scenes glimpses of the brand to create a more authentic, real connection. 
     

  • Utilize Direct Messages (DMs): Encourage followers to reach out via direct messages for inquiries, feedback or customer support. Respond promptly and personally to foster a direct and meaningful connection. Try not to use cookie-cutter responses.  
     

  • Collaborate with influencers: Partner with influencers or other businesses in your niche for joint campaigns or takeovers. This cross-promotion can introduce your brand to new audiences and increase engagement. 

Building a community on Instagram takes time, but consistent and meaningful engagement will create a loyal and supportive audience. 

Must Read: Community Management on Social Media: The Ultimate Guide 

9. Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate

There are two main social media collaborations: influencer and brand.  

Influencers bring a sense of credibility and trust to brand collaborations. Their established authority within specific niches lends authenticity to the partnership, positively influencing their followers' perceptions. This credibility is a valuable asset, contributing to the overall trustworthiness of the brand. 

On average, for every $1 invested in influencer marketing, brands can make up to $5.78. With such incredible ROI, it makes sense to double down on these collaborations.  

A great example of influencer marketing done right is Chrissy Teigan's collaboration with Becca Cosmetics.  

Chrissy Teigan promoting a collaboration with Becca Cosmetics through an Instagram post

Source 

Chrissy Teigen, a social media darling, supermodel and wife of singer John Legend, has more than 42M followers on Instagram. Her personal brand is built on her irreverent charm and her unfiltered, humorous opinions. Becca cosmetics collaborated with Teigen to create a brand-new makeup palette, which Teigen launched in an Instagram video that generated nearly 5 million organic views. 

Beyond numbers and credibility, influencer collaborations foster a unique level of authenticity and engagement. Collaborating with an influencer means gaining access to their carefully cultivated fanbase, and this, in turn, translates to higher engagement and even the creation of more user-generated content, which further enhances your brand's authenticity. 

Explore: 25 influencer marketing statistics and their implications for your brand 

Beyond influencer collaborations, brands can benefit from partnerships with other businesses as well. Collaborations between brands offer a range of advantages, starting with cross-promotion. By joining forces, brands can tap into each other's audiences, creating a reciprocal arrangement that amplifies brand visibility and reach. 

Moreover, collaborative efforts between brands often lead to the creation of innovative marketing campaigns. These campaigns, born from the synergy of different brand identities, have the potential to help you stand out in a crowded digital landscape, capturing the attention of a broader audience. 

One such collaboration was between Louis Vuitton and Supreme. It brought together the underground skater brand, which pioneered the product drop trend, and one of the oldest and most esteemed European luxury brands. Together, they created a collection that included everything from leather jackets, denim jackets and hoodies to bags, sneakers and belts.  

A promo of Louis Vuitton-s collab with Supreme

Source

The success of the product drop was immediate, with items selling out almost as soon as they hit the shelves. The high demand led to resale markets flourishing, with items commanding prices double their retail value within a day. This era-defining collaboration defied expectations and showcased the powerful convergence of streetwear and high fashion, leaving an indelible mark on fashion drops. 

Make it easy: Use an influencer marketing platform to find the right influencer so your brand can create high-performing content and increase the reach, engagement and ROI of your marketing campaigns. 

10. Track success metrics

Don't bother with a strategy unless you're prepared to put hard numbers to it. To measure how your social media strategy on Instagram is performing, you need to track various metrics to assess engagement, reach and overall impact.  

1. Follower growth 

  • What it means: The number of followers. 

  • Why it matters: A growing follower count indicates an expanding audience and the potential reach of your content. 

2. Engagement rate 

  • What it means: The likes, comments and shares relative to your follower count. 

  • Why it matters: High engagement rates signify that your content resonates with your audience and triggers reactions and interactions. 

3. Reach and impressions 

  • What it means: Reach represents the unique users who saw your content, while impressions denote the total number of views. 

  • Why they matter: Tracking reach and impressions provides insights into how visible your content is and how much of the world is viewing your content.  

4. Click-through rate (CTR) 

  • What it means: The number of clicks on links in your bio or swipe-up links (for accounts with over 10K followers). 

  • Why it matters: CTR measures how effectively your calls-to-action drive traffic to your website or other external links. 

5. Hashtag performance 

  • What it means: The performance of branded or campaign-specific hashtags. 

  • Why it matters: Monitoring hashtag performance helps evaluate the success of specific campaigns or initiatives. 

6. Instagram Stories metrics 

  • What it means: Views and interactions (replies, taps and sticker interactions). 

  • Why they matter: Stories’ engagement provides real-time insights into user interactions and interest in your content. 

7. Instagram Reels metrics 

  • What it means: Views, likes, comments and shares. 

  • Why they matter: Reel metrics indicate the success of your short-form video content. 

8. Profile visits 

  • What it means: How often is your profile viewed. 

  • Why they matter: A higher number indicates your content is compelling enough to prompt users to explore more about your brand. 

9. Post performance by time 

  • What it means: Engagement metrics for posts at different times. 

  • Why it matters: Identifying peak engagement times helps optimize your posting schedule. 

10. Conversion tracking 

  • What it means: Number of conversions (e.g., purchases and sign-ups) from Instagram. 

  • Why it matters: Tracking conversions helps measure the direct impact of your Instagram strategy on business goals. 

11. Influencer collaboration impact 

  • What it means: Engagement, follower growth and brand mentions during and after influencer collaborations. 

  • Why it matters: Evaluating the impact of influencer partnerships on key metrics helps assess the effectiveness of collaborations. 

Regularly analyzing these metrics will allow you to measure the success and failure of your Instagram strategies for business growth.  

Pro tip 💡: Uncovering engagement insights from tons of unstructured data can seem impossible, but that’s where a social listening tool comes into the picture. You can use it to monitor real-time social media data across multiple channels, conduct sentiment analysis, identify trends, track relevant keywords and more. 

A Sprinklr product insights dashboard displaying a social media conversation stream, share of voice details and a mentions summary

11. Use hashtags (but don’t go crazy with them)

We’ve all heard about how hashtags improve the searchability and discoverability of your content. But how do they do that?  

  • Your post may feature on the relevant hashtag page, allowing anyone who clicks on it to view your post, even if they aren't following you. 

  • Hashtags enhance the visibility of your post in Instagram search results. 

  • Since users can follow hashtags aligned with their interests, your post might surface in the main feed of individuals interested in your niche because these potential followers have chosen to see content similar to yours. 

Determining the optimal number of hashtags for Instagram growth can be challenging. While Instagram permits up to 30 hashtags per post and 10 per story, it's advisable not to saturate your content with hashtags. 

Instagram suggests, "For feed posts, use three or more hashtags that describe your business, product or service to reach people who may be interested in your business but haven't yet discovered it."  

However, they've also gone on to recommend "keeping the number of hashtags between 3 and 5.

Contrary to popular belief, the most effective hashtags for Instagram growth are not necessarily the largest or most popular ones. Instead, strategically choosing highly targeted and niche hashtags, even with fewer posts and less competition, can send stronger signals to the algorithm by clearly defining your content's focus. Additionally, these hashtags ensure that your content reaches precisely the right audience rather than a more casual, disinterested viewer. 
 
Read More: How to Find the Hashtags That Actually Work 

Final Thoughts 

In conclusion, Instagram for business growth requires a strategic and multifaceted approach. The 11 strategies explored in this blog serve as a comprehensive guide for businesses aiming to establish a robust presence on Instagram and foster sustainable growth.  
 
Businesses looking to grow through Instagram must understand that a social media platform's algorithms will evolve almost as much as their customers do. This means consistency, creativity and adaptability are your best friends. 

Whether it's harnessing the potential of user-generated content, capitalizing on the appeal of Instagram Reels or deciphering the nuances of hashtag usage, the key lies in understanding the platform's unique strengths and aligning them with what your audience’s wants and the goals of your business. 

To do so, you can use a unified social media management solution like Sprinklr Social. With its comprehensive channel coverage, in-depth listening, enterprise-grade governance and industry-defining AI, it can help you in fine-tuning your Instagram strategies for greater results and more successful outcomes. Want to see how it can give you that winning edge? 

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