Are you hearing that Instagram is a great way to get more followers and customers but just confused as all heck on how to use it? Maybe you started using it but have no idea how you can convert your time and energy in the platform into tangible success? Do you just blindly post without a strategy and see little engagement from local pet owners? Is your follower based more other businesses instead of pet owners?
If any of these questions resonate with you, then you’ll definitely want to tune in to this episode as Erika and I break down exactly how you can organically grow your following on Instagram for your pet sitting or dog walking business.
Biggest Takeaways You Don’t Want To Miss
How Do I Get More Instagram Followers?
- The number one question that business owners ask is how do I get more followers? Before we can get into that, it’s important that we make the distinction between relevant and irrelevant followers. It is much better to have just 250 followers of local pet owners following your account rather than 1,000 random accounts from around the world that will never use your service. Therefore, it’s not the quantity of followers that is most important, but the quality!
How Do I Grow My Local Audience On Instagram?
- First and foremost, you want to make sure you are using a business profile that is set up and optimized. This means using a professional username (tip: try to keep it as close to your URL as possible), linking your website, and using a high-quality logo as your profile photo.
- Next, you want to start following local pet owners – like and comment on their photos! Although it will take time, eventually they will start to notice you and will remember you when they need your service. But, don’t be annoying! You can also follow local hashtags that your prospective clients follow and search location tags in your area to look for pet owners. Search for nearby businesses, parks, etc. and follow/engage with their followers who are pet owners. Also be sure to see what your current clients post and the hashtags that they use.
- Use this same technique by partnering with local businesses that share the same target audience. You can run contests that will help boost engagement!
- On your own profile, you have to put time and effort into consistent posting and be engaging. You can extend your reach with Instagram ads when you have a promotion.
- Lastly, you can check out Instagram accounts for a local business that’s a competitor. Try to study what they’re posting and see what’s working for them. It doesn’t hurt to follow their ideas, but perhaps you can think of even better ideas. Brainstorm with your employees as well! Also, if your competitors have followers, they might be more likely to follow you back since they already like the same type of business.
What Hashtags Should I Use?
- First, you’ll need to find the hashtags that your clients are following so you can appear in their feed when they are browsing. Leverage these local hashtags and ask engaging questions!
- You can use the notepad on your phone to save a few groups of hashtags to copy and paste into the comments section easily.
- Once you’re following a good amount of Instagram users in your area, be sure to like their photos! Continue to like their photos and comment. Eventually, the local Instagram users you follow will follow you back and interact with you. It does take time and you need to be persistent. But don’t act desperate or pushy!
Should I Buy Followers Or Use An Engagement Bot?
- Absolutely, NOT! Scheduling software is okay but never, ever, ever buy followers or use an engagement bot that auto-likes or auto-comments.
How Can I Get People To Actually Contact Me On Instagram?
- The number one way is to publish relevant, interesting content that affects prospective clients emotionally. You don’t want to sell and you don’t want to overpost either. Avoid unthoughtful comments that might be mistaken for a bot.
- Engage with local pet owners. Be human and be genuine! Interact and respond to comments, messages etc.
- Lastly, create a pattern and use Instagram stories!
How Can We Use Instagram Stories To Generate Leads?
- Show your business! Have your staff record videos of playing with pets, walking dogs etc. Show off what makes you AWESOME!
- Be sure to touch on pain points your are solving (think trust and security).
- Make people want to care about what you are saying by sharing valuable information. Show people you are trustworthy, reliable, and knowledgeable!
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