Instagram Follow Strategy (to Find Your Target Market on IG)

If you are wondering who to follow on your business account you are not alone. Instead of just following who you know and admire, get strategic. This is something I have never taught publicly before.

But there is a wrong way to try and attract more followers. Hint, hint: It’s got a lot to do with randomly following people and spamming their account. Here are the four things you need to know to improve your Instagram follow strategy. Plus, why you need to update your Instagram business category. 

In this blog post:

#1 Instagram Follow Strategy: Explore Accounts in Your Industry

With over one billion people on Instagram, trying to find people randomly takes too much time and energy. Instead, try starting your search by looking for accounts that are in your industry. Then, see who is following their Instagram account. 

For example, Marie Forleo is someone who I’ve followed for a long time and really admire. I know her followers are people who are looking for inspiration and strategies to build a more abundant, happy life. So her followers are people I’d probably want to follow. 

Marie Forleo’s Instagram feed.

That’s how I found Leah’s account. After reading her bio and scrolling through her feed I learned that she’s a wellness coach. As someone who works with a lot of people in the wellness industry, I knew that Leah’s account was really aligned with my business. 

Leah’s Instagram feed for her business the Abundance Attitude.

If you want to get someone’s attention on Instagram, don’t be a passive follower. Instead, comment and engage with their content. Then, they’re more likely come to check out your account and follow back. It’s a win-win. 

#2 Instagram Follow Strategy: Be a Detective

No, I’m not talking about covert operations. This is a lot easier. While you’re exploring accounts you admire, tap in and see who is tagging them in posts. 

Not sure how to see that? Just go to the person’s profile. Then, tap on the person icon at the top of their feed — it’s the last icon on the right. Now you can see all of the accounts that have tagged that individual or business. 

Marie Forleo’s Instagram account with the tab open showing all the accounts that have tagged her in their Instagram feed.

This is really useful if you’re going to an event and want to get to know people ahead of time. For example, I recently spoke at Social Media Marketing World. Before the event kicked off, I tapped through and explored who else was attending the event. 

The hashtag hub for Social Media Marketing World showing all of the accounts that have tagged them in their feed content.

Looking at these tagged photos was an opportunity to discover some amazing sessions. But I was also able to build strong relationships before I even landed in San Diego. 

#3 Instagram Follow Strategy: Think About Your Target Market and Whereabouts

I’ve said it so many times, but it’s worth repeating: You NEED to tag your posts with a location if you want maximum growth on Instagram. It doesn’t matter if your business is totally online. People are actively using geolocation on Instagram to find new businesses and brands. If you’re not using your location sticker, you’re missing out on potential customers. 

It doesn’t have to be complicated or a huge area, start with your neighborhood. Let’s say, for example, you’re a real estate agent in Boston. You might start your search by typing in “Downtown Boston.” Then, you can see all of the other content tagged with that location. 

The geolocation sticker for all of the content tagged with Downtown Boston.

Maybe you’ll find a potential client or other businesses you might want to collaborate with in the future. Either way, if you don’t tag your posts with a location you’re missing out on all of these opportunities to grow. 

#4 Instagram Follow Strategy: Explore Who Your Favorite People are Following

Remember when I told you to act like a detective? Well, that’s not just limited to investigating the followers of your favorite brands and businesses. While you’re conducting your research, take time to explore who your favorite brands, businesses, or influencers are following. 

Chances are that you’ll discover brands and accounts that have similar values to your business. But it’s important to remember that even if you love someone’s account, you’re not making any progress if you’re just scrolling through. You are more likely to build a strong connection with someone on Instagram if you are actively liking, sharing, and leaving substantive comments on their content. 

Why You Need to Update Your Instagram Business Category

So many people set up their Instagram bios, check it off their list, and never go back to update it. This a huge missed opportunity to optimize your Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO. It’s also true for your Instagram business category. 

While many people are tempted to classify their account as “public figure,” that’s not necessarily the best thing for your business. Even if you feel like your brand’s mission is broad, you’re going to reach more people if you tap into an industry niche. 

Here’s how to set it up in a few easy steps:

  • Open your profile and tap on edit profile

Sue B. Zimmerman’s Instagram profile.

  • Scroll to category 

Sue B. Zimmerman’s Instagram profile with the edit menu open.

  • Find the category that is the best fit for you 

Sue B. Zimmerman’s Instagram profile with the menu opened that says “change category for your profile.”

  • Tap done

Discover 3 Visual Secrets to Transform Your Instagram Into a Buyer Magnet

Complex content creation can lead to a lot of Instagram headaches, and not a lot of tangible business results. That’s why I developed this FREE Instagram training. Learn how to leverage your Instagram to attract potential buyers, even if you don’t have a million followers.