It is common knowledge that a lot of people use Instagram. Back in September of 2017, the company said it had 800 million active monthly users. What is more, 500 million of them logged in daily. Fast forward to June of 2018, and the number of monthly users had grown to one billion. The company still hasn’t released any newer data about its daily users, but it is safe to assume that figure has followed the same rising trend. With such a wide audience, it is only natural that quite a few Instagram regulars are entrepreneurs (check out this blog post to see which five are, in our opinion, definitely worth following).
However, there is more to the link between Instagram and entrepreneurship than mere coincidence. Although not everyone would have been able to predict it when Instagram launched in 2010, the platform has turned out to be an extremely powerful marketing medium. In large part, this is because it can provide a very personal experience to its users. This is also why so many successful entrepreneurs have taken a shine to it – it’s a great way to express both the personal and business sides of their life.
So, when you consider the nature and popularity of Instagram, it’s not difficult to see why entrepreneurs use it. But that still leaves the question of how. One can’t help but wonder if there is some sort of a trick that popular entrepreneurs use to reach that status on Instagram. And when you analyze the profiles of certain people who definitely fit that description, the results are interesting.
Things to Keep in Mind
On the one hand, you can’t come to any specific numbers through such an analysis. So, you can’t say that posting three times per day is how you become a successful Instagram entrepreneur. But, if you look at the broader picture, some general trends will start to emerge. And these are the things this article will highlight.
Of course, not all of them will apply to every situation. Each Instagram success story is different, and all those popular entrepreneurs had to find their own strategy. But if you look hard enough, some common ground will appear every so often.
Therefore, if you are an entrepreneur who’s hoping to build a sizeable following on Instagram, here are some of the things done by those who have already succeeded at it – whenever possible, try the same.
1. They aren’t too Focused on the Business
As an entrepreneur, time is often at a premium. You want to dedicate as much of it as possible to furthering your business, so it’s normal you want to use Instagram for that purpose. But, it is very important how you go about doing this.
As mentioned, Instagram is supposed to feel personal. Successful entrepreneurs know and utilize this. So, make sure to show the person behind it all. You’ll still promote your business, but less directly. Take Richard Branson as an example. He doesn’t need to mention Virgin in every other post. Instead, he is showcasing his personality.
The point is to show people you are relatable. Once they get to know you as a person, they’ll want to learn more about your work. In essence, don’t think of Instagram as the place where you have to make the sale – that’s what your website is for. Here, you are primarily drumming up enthusiasm.
Of course, this does not mean you should completely disregard the business side of the equation. Take a look at a popular entrepreneur’s Instagram bio (we already mentioned our previous post which contains five excellent examples). You are unlikely to find long-winded descriptions of their business accomplishments. But you will find all the relevant business links. Furthermore, it’s okay to make business-related posts. You’ll attend industry events, talk about new products, etc. The point is – find the right balance between the two.
2. The Photo/Video Quality Isn’t Their Primary Concern
This is actually closely connected to the previous item. On Instagram, you want to be spontaneous. So, there is really no need to organize a professional photo shoot whenever you want to post something. Successful entrepreneurs don’t. Most of the time, you can just take out your phone, and you’ll be set.
Of course, you still need to be careful about what you post. But, it’s more about the content than the technical aspect. Still, a good way to get the right photo is to take as many as you can. When you see something you like, don’t snap one picture. Snap 10 and choose the best one – you’ll easily delete the rest.
Naturally, there is nothing wrong with a professional photo. They are great under the right circumstances, but don’t overdo them.
3. They Have a Consistent Posting Rhythm
You can have the best Instagram post in the world, but it won’t do you much good if there’s no other activity for a month. As mentioned, we can’t tell you a specific number of posts that successful entrepreneurs strive for. But we can tell you that they are consistent.
Maybe they’ll post a couple of times a day or a few times a week. But, their followers know what to expect – that keeps them engaged and coming back for more. So, find a rhythm that allows you to create interesting posts and stick to it.
4. They Use Hashtags Well
One of the main ways for new people on Instagram to discover you is through hashtags. For entrepreneurs hoping to grow their business, this is vital. That is why successful ones have learned to make the most of this feature.
As of the time of writing, the maximum number of tags for an individual post is 30. But, you should avoid spamming them. Still, well-chosen tags are invaluable for Instagram entrepreneurs, and they are one of the keys to finding success on this platform.
5. They Add Charm to Industries which Aren’t Flashy
If you’re in the fashion, beauty, or a similar industry, it’s easy to find nice pictures to put on Instagram. But, what if you’re an accountant? That field isn’t exactly brimming with photo ops.
In these cases, successful entrepreneurs will use Instagram to humanize their business. They’ll show behind-the-scenes footage and satisfied customers. The very nature of Instagram allows you to easily do this and boost engagement in that way.
There isn’t a single road to Instagram popularity for entrepreneurs to take. The things we mentioned have contributed to the success of others, but it’s up to you to find the exact formula that’ll work for your specific case. Still, it always helps to learn from those who have made it.