By David Gould, Staff Editor
Having a large and growing number of Instagram followers is a worthy goal, although you’ll also help your cause by upping user engagement. You can do that by posting content that draws comments, likes, DMs and shares in good quantity. In fact, strong engagement will in turn act as an audience builder, adding additional followers to your total.
A larger, more responsive audience means more customers in your sales funnel, which sets you up to meet or exceed your revenue goals and burnish the reputation of your coaching business generally.
As you take steps to grow your following, make sure to track other metrics that matter to your business—such as engagement and clicks—so you can make measurable progress toward all of your goals.
Many golf coaches who are active on Instagram jumped into it without first optimizing their profile. If you’re one of them, review your account profile and look for ways to optimize it—that will help it show up in search. It could then inspire your target audience to follow you, based on what they see.
Start by fine-tuning your Instagram display name. Consider adding a short tagline or a brief description of what your instruction practice is all about. Use keywords your audience is likely to search—just be sure and use them in a natural-sounding way. Next, use your Instagram bio to add more keyword-driven information about your business. Your bio is a great place to share news of an award you’ve won, the number of happy customers you’ve served, or names of notable organizations you do business with.
At least some of the time, your Instagram posts should be staged out to run as a series. This is particularly true for coaches who are just getting started on the platform. Posting in a planned sequence will result in a “grid” that has both variety and consistency, which will make a strong early impression with visitors.
Don’t worry too much about the timing of these posts. Choose a time during business hours and publish to your Instagram profile. Once you attract followers and post regularly, your Instagram account insights can help you pinpoint when your audience goes online and the best time to post.
Hashtags aren’t a magic solution for exponential reach or follower growth, but they can help increase visibility. That’s because hashtags add context to your posts and help Instagram understand what your content is about. This allows the platform to deliver your content to a more relevant audience.
When you add hashtags to Instagram content, you also have a chance to get your posts and reels to appear in related hashtag feeds or on related hashtag pages. For best results, follow Instagram’s official recommendation to use three to five hashtags per post or reel and a branded hashtag, and then measure the results.
Because golf instruction is nearly always marketed to a geographically local audience, Instagram geotags can help get you on the radar of the right potential customers. Start by researching local geotags. Type the name of your region, town, or neighborhood into Instagram’s search bar to find the best one to use—in other words, one that shows relevant recent activity.
The more recognizable your brand is, the easier it is for customers to remember—and the more it stands out in a busy Instagram feed. To make your aesthetic memorable, create a style guide for your Instagram content. Make note of the overall tone, color schemes, fonts, and filters to use for your content, as well as the templates to use for reels and stories.
No matter how much Instagram users like your content or your brand, they may not press the Follow button without seeing a specific prompt. Use calls to action (C2As) in captions, creatives, and dialog to encourage viewers to follow your account.
If you’ve already established a presence on other marketing channels, use them to attract followers on Instagram. For example, you can share a link to your Instagram account on Facebook or in an email. Include a CTA and give people a reason to follow you—perhaps to see unique content or access exclusive insights.
IMPORTANT: There are good reasons why you may be tempted to buy followers on Instagram, but don’t do it: Artificially collecting followers and engagement is against the Instagram Community Guidelines. For that reason, buying followers can cause you to get your account banned. In which case all the work you put into developing your presence on the platform will go for naught.