8 Instagram Growth Hacks for Small Business Owners

Looking to grow your small business’ Instagram in 2021? Check out our top 8 Instagram growth hacks specifically for small business owners. We’ve covered it all from a few small, simple changes you can make to your Instagram strategy, such as hashtag secrets, content ideas and engagement tips, to bigger changes like utilizing ‘secret’ Instagram features, creating video content and knowing how to use the Instagram algorithm to boost growth. 

1. Create Reels Reels is Instagram’s short-form video feature (similar to TikTok) and is one of our top tips for small business owners to grow their Instagram accounts in 2021. There are SO many types of video content small businesses can create for Reels (get inspired here!) and your customers will love engaging with this type of content. You can create Reels directly within the Instagram app or you can create high-quality marketing videos in just a few minutes with a video-making app like Boosted. Read Next: “The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Instagram Reels.”

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2. Utilize Hashtags Strategically If growth on Instagram is one of your goals in 2021, hashtags are a key Instagram growth hacking strategy. You might already be using hashtags, but are you using the best ones to help your small business grow? Don’t just use hashtags with millions of tags look for more niche hashtags for better reach and to connect with your target audience.

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3. Create Shareable Content Shares are now more valued within the Instagram algorithm, so creating shareable content is more important than ever. A great example of shareable content are simple quote graphics that your community can relate to or find inspiring. Need some help brainstorming content for your small business? We’ve put together a complete content creation guide for small business owners: “Brainstorm 20+ Social Media Content Ideas for Your Business in Less Than an Hour”.


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4. Encourage Saves Just like shares are more valued now within the algorithm, so are saves. Be sure to encourage engagement and don’t be afraid to give specific calls-to-action at the end of your Instagram posts. For example, you can host a giveaway with a requirement to save the post to be entered to win. Or you can even include a small arrow and a CTA to save this post in the bottom right corner of your post.

5. Instagram Guides Instagram launched ‘Guides’ this past Spring and they’ve recently expanded the feature to everyone. Instagram Guides allow you to curate posts and videos alongside helpful tips and advice. Not only is this great content to share via your Stories, but your Product Guides might even be featured in Instagram Shop, Instagram’s new shopping destination within the Instagram app that helps customers discover new products from brands and businesses like you.

6. Send More DMs If you want to grow your Instagram account AND make more sales this year, your small business needs to get active in the DMs. Instagram Direct Messages allow you to communicate more personally with your customers, answer questions and build stronger relationships. Here’s everything you need to know about how to utilize Instagram DMs. Read Next: “8 Easy Ways to Get More Instagram DMs From Customers

7. Engage Before & After Posting In order for your content to keep showing up prominently in your followers’ feeds and Stories, it’s important to engage with your audience especially right before and right after you post. Before posting, comment on several posts within your community and after posting, respond to DMs, like old comments, etc to help your account stay relevant in your followers’ newsfeeds!

8. Post to Stories Daily And last but definitely not least, one of the most important elements to successfully growing your small business’ Instagram account is consistency! You don’t need to post to your Instagram feed every single day, but we definitely recommend posting to your Instagram Stories on a daily basis. This can be something simple like sharing one of your past posts, something you are working on or a quick hello message to your followers. Posting daily to your Instagram Stories lets customers know you’re active on Instagram and will help your content stay relevant in their newsfeeds so they don’t miss any of your posts. Read Next: “7 Secrets For Entrepreneurs to Get The Most Out of Instagram Stories

We hope that these Instagram growth hacks help you boost your small business’ Instagram followers, engagement and drive more sales! Looking for a few more ideas to improve your Instagram strategy in 2021? Check out our 21 Ideas to Revamp Your Social Media for 2021 article next.

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