How to reach new audiences on Instagram

Gareth Miller - 4th October 2021

Social media has remained at the forefront of communication for some time now, with content becoming the window that allows customers a glimpse into your business. What you choose to post can make or break your brand, especially when you’re inconsistent with your messaging.

However, social media, and Instagram in particular, is also a very powerful tool – no matter what industry you work in. With the introduction of Reels in August 2020, Instagram has begun to change the way we consume creative content.

But more importantly, Reels has allowed Instagram users to reach new audiences in creative, trend-worthy ways. Of course, your social media strategy doesn’t end there.

Here, Carswell Gould’s social media experts explain how to reach new audiences on Instagram and give your strategy a boost.

Seven ways to reach new people on Instagram

Building a community is crucial on Instagram, allowing your brand to connect with new and existing customers by telling stories through your content. But if you feel as though you’ve maxed out your current following, here are seven ways to reach new audiences and get them hooked on your brand.

1. Experiment with different types of content

If Reels has taught us anything it’s that social media is constantly changing, making it more important than ever that we keep up with new technology and trends.

For some time, Instagram was only considered a photo-sharing app, but gone are the days of its users only sharing photos from a weekend away. Now, Instagram has become the go-to for content creators and businesses wanting to share their brand story. If you’re looking for ways to get new eyes on your Instagram content, try to use a mixture of content across single posts, carousels, Stories, Reels, video and IGTV.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and mix up your strategy in order to reach new audiences.

2. Find the perfect time to post (for you)

One of the first questions businesses ask is, “what time shall I post?” and the answer can be somewhat vague: It depends. Since Instagram is used all over the world, there is no specific optimal time to post that works for every account. However, you can find what time your current followers are most active via your account’s Insights.

In order to get your content in front of more accounts, test out new posting times that will target new audiences. Just because your business is based in the UK doesn’t mean you can’t start targeting a different time zone and engage new users there.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to encourage engagement

If you’re unsure what your followers want to see, don’t be afraid to ask them. Start a poll in your Instagram Stories and start conversations with users who engage.

Gaining feedback directly from your following is precious information and will help you to craft your content strategy moving forward – whether they want to see giveaways, interviews, blog content or even more Instagram Lives – there’s nothing quite like hearing it from your fans themselves. By responding to their feedback, you’ll be in a strong position to gain new interest from other accounts.

4. Experiment with new hashtags

Many businesses set up their Instagram account and find a batch of hashtags they can use and use again. The trouble is, after a little while these hashtags can become saturated with other content (some relevant, some not so), with the same users looking for content in these areas.

By experimenting with new hashtags you can start to get your content in front of new eyes, capturing the attention of new accounts that may not have otherwise seen your work.

5. Reach out and start conversations

It’s easy to forget that the whole intention of social media is to be sociable. When you’re engaging with your followers, take some time to reach out to new accounts and engage with their content too. Leave thoughtful, value-packed comments which can strike up conversations with the account itself and its followers, too.

Top tip: Around the time you plan to post, head back through your Stories and respond thoughtfully to those that connect with you. Be sure to respond to any comments (with more than just an emoji, or ‘thank you!’).

6. Be genuine with new followers and accounts

When you start thinking of your followers as ‘fans’ that are a part of a community, your relationship between them and your brand starts to grow. Be genuine with new followers and accounts you’re looking to engage with by sending them a thoughtful direct message showing your appreciation.

If a person were to leave a comment on five of your posts with no reply, the chances are they won’t comment next time. When you start genuinely appreciating your new followers (and existing ones) you’ll quickly start to build a strong community.

7. Create shareable content

It’s incredibly easy to gain a few likes on a post from those that are mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, however, there are more important metrics you should be measuring if you’re looking to reach new eyes – shares.

Creating funny, relatable and shareable content can help you to reach new accounts pretty quickly. While you may not want to fill your grid with memes that are totally off-brand, something that speaks your audience’s language will be quickly picked up on and shared when they can relate to it. If the user tags you in their Story, why not share it on your own as a way of saying thank you?

Reaching new audiences on Instagram may not happen overnight, but with the right strategy, you can begin to grow a valuable community that connects with your content. Carswell Gould is skilled at helping businesses with their social media content, from strategy to creation and scheduling. Get in touch today to see how our team can help you.

This insight feature was discussed, written and presented by Carswell Gould’s Managing Director Gareth Miller and Account Manager Hannah Bergman-Brown. If you have a view or a question about Instagram please feel free to get in touch.

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