A woman kneels outside of a storefront, using a smartphone to take a picture of a chalkboard sign reading "ABIERTO | OPEN." The woman is wearing a gray apron over khakis and a light pink T-shirt. She has long curly hair and is smiling widely. The chalkboard sign has leafy vines drawn in green chalk around the text, and the I in "abierto" is dotted with a multicolored flower. The inside of the store is filled with potted plants, some hanging from the ceiling.
Your Instagram content calendar is a schedule for posting. When you start your business's Instagram account, map out in advance how often and what kinds of photos you'll post. — Getty Images/ferrantraite

Your Instagram profile can help you increase your website traffic and even bring in more sales. Here are seven ways to grow your Instagram following in 2023.

[Read more: Top Instagram Features to Boost Engagement]

Optimize your profile

The first step to growing your Instagram following is to optimize your profile so you’ll attract the right audience. Start by coming up with a username that reflects your brand — ideally, this will be the name of your business. It should be simple, straightforward, and easy to spell.

From there, you’ll create a bio and utilize keywords that your target market will be searching for. You should also include a link to your website so potential customers can easily learn more about your business.

Come up with a content calendar

Creating a content calendar will help you plan and organize your Instagram posts, ensuring that they fit with your overall content strategy. You should start by identifying three to four content themes for your page that align with your business and appeal to your target audience. This will give structure and variety to your Instagram posts.

You should also identify your posting frequency, which will vary depending on your audience and what you’re willing to commit to. It’s important to choose a posting frequency that you can stick with over the long run.

Use relevant hashtags

Hashtags are one of the best ways to help new people find you on Instagram. It’s a good idea to use a combination of popular and niche hashtags to maximize your potential reach. And if you run a local business, you can use location-specific hashtags to connect with local customers.

Hashtags can be a powerful tool to help your profile get found on Instagram, but it’s important not to overdo it. Instagram will let you use up to 30 hashtags per post, but actually using that many could make your page look spammy or cluttered.

You can use Stories to highlight upcoming events or build anticipation around product launches.

Engage with your audience

Engaging with your audience on Instagram will help you start forming relationships that will lead to customer loyalty and increased sales. Every time a customer comments on one of your posts, make sure you respond thoughtfully. You should also respond to any direct messages you receive.

Running contests or giveaways is a great way to encourage your audience to participate and generate a buzz about your business. And make sure you share any user-generated content created by your audience.

[Read more: How to Host an Instagram Giveaway or Contest]

Track your analytics

Review your Instagram analytics regularly so you understand what type of content resonates the most with your audience. Which topics do your followers seem to engage with more? When are the best days and times to post?

Your analytics will also give you advanced insights about your audience demographics. This information will help you understand what’s going well, and adjust your strategy as needed.

Utilize Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are a great way to connect with your audience and give them a behind-the-scenes look at your brand and create transparency. You can use Stories to highlight upcoming events or build anticipation around product launches.

You can also create tutorials or hacks related to your products and services, which will position you as a trusted expert in your industry. You can also offer exclusive promotions and discounts that are only available to your Stories users.

[Read more: How to Add Music to Instagram Reels and Stories]

Regularly promote your Instagram profile

Promote your Instagram page on any other online platforms you use. For example, you can include a link in your email signature, on your website, and in any blog posts you write.

You can also collaborate with complementary businesses to promote one another’s products and services, giving you access to a whole new potential market. You can also use Instagram ads to create targeted ads that reach a wider audience.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

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