Instagram is the secret to increasing engagement, sales, brand loyalty, and brand credibility. With more than a billion active users every single day, you have an incredible pool from which to target your specific audience. However, Instagram can’t offer you any benefits if you don’t have a good following. Your content won’t do your brand good if it’s not seen by enough people. Therefore, building your Instagram followers is one of the best places to start with your marketing efforts. Here are a few easy tactics to employ.
1. Use Automation
If you’re in the market for fast, effortless followers, automation is the answer. Using bots and real-time analytics, automation allows you to schedule posts, comment on or like hundreds of posts per day, and more without you having to lift a finger. This can lead to incredible engagement and real Instagram followers in a short amount of time.
You’ve probably heard mixed reviews about this shortcut, but if you use a respected, quality tool like SocialCaptain, you won’t have any problems. It’s best to do your research before using automation software to make sure you’re employing the right tactics for success.
2. Perfect Your Hashtags
Originally a creation of Twitter, hashtags are becoming more commonly associated with Instagram. A strong hashtag strategy will help followers who are interested in your content and brand find you. “Hashtags are arguably Instagram’s primary method of sorting and filtering content,” explains an article from InfluencerMarketingHub.
It goes on to discuss how Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags, but you don’t have to use that many to be successful.
“Just because you can use 30 hashtags in a post does not mean that you should,” the article warns. “There is no value in using irrelevant hashtags just to make up a hashtag quota. The key to Instagram hashtag usage is to include plenty of relevant hashtags that will help your fellow Instagrammers. If you use unrelated hashtags, you are spamming the system and placing yourself in danger of receiving an Instagram shadowban.”
Relevance is the key, as is using popular hashtags that generate a lot of traffic. If you want to include extra hashtags, consider putting the excess in the comments section so that they don’t make your content look spammy.
3. Network with Influencers
Instagram is one of the best platforms for connecting with influencers, and influencers are one of the best tools for increasing the reach of your brand, and thus, your followers. A successful influencer campaign will involve endorsements from other Instagram accounts with more followers than your own. To start out with, network with micro-influencers. This group will have between 1,000 and 10,000 followers, and their following tends to be more niche-specific and loyal.
If you can find an influencer in your niche who will sponsor you, it can lead to a significant increase in your following almost instantly. When discussing the power of micro-influencers, expert marketer Jeff Bullas says: “Their followers trust them and engage with them at a much higher rate than other Instagram accounts. Indeed, micro-influencers have been found to be among the most effective sellers on the market.”
4. Post in Instagram Stories
If you haven’t already, you need to make Instagram Stories a bigger part of your marketing efforts. “Instagram Stories is one of those special channels that’s equally attractive to both regular people and businesses,” says Benjamin Chacon of Later. “And it offers features for both!”
Create compelling videos, images, and captioned photos that will show up in between your followers’ friends’ and families’ stories. It’s a great way to seamlessly catch the attention of half of Instagram’s one billion followers who engage with the stories feature on a daily basis. It’s also the perfect place to put a paid advertisement. Instagram shows increased engagement in this sector, and you can garner a lot of new attention from potential followers.
5. Develop Your Bio
Instagrammers with the most followers in your industry probably started with a strong bio. Every time a consumer wants to directly engage with your brand, they’ll be directed to your bio. Naturally, it’s important to make this part of your Instagram presence stand out. Start with a strong Instagram username. It should be somewhat catchy, but more importantly, it should connect your Instagram account with your brand, so there’s consistency in your entire online presence.
You’ll also need a great photo and descriptive headline to catch followers’ attention and entice them to click the “follow” button. Include keywords and interesting descriptors so there’s no question about what your brand does and stands for. Finally, include a strong link to your website. You might take visitors directly to a landing page or to your shop so that they can buy products. Try to switch up the link every few weeks to keep followers engaged.
6. Improve Your Photography
Instagram is a platform that was developed on images, so it follows that you should focus a little more on this. Average photography will get lost in the sea of photos being posted on Instagram daily. “When you walk into a high-end clothing boutique, you expect to find well-made (and likely expensive) clothing items. It’s exactly what you went there for,” explains Kat Boogaard of SkedSocial. “Similarly, users on Instagram are there for beautiful, high-quality images—not lackluster snapshots with zero thought or quality.”
But if you improve your skills, you’ll catch the eyes of more individuals and get more followers. Boogaard recommends investing in a high-quality camera, taking a simple photography class, learning to edit, and using appropriate filters. “You don’t need to be an expert photographer to land some quality snapshots,” she says. “However, those camera tricks, hacks, and features are really only going to take you so far.”
7. Post Regularly and at the Right Time
Every good Instagram account is filled with content. This doesn’t happen overnight. You’ll need a consistent schedule of posting regularly so that followers can connect with you and look back on what you’ve posted in the past. According to research from SocialBuddy, you should be posting at least once per day, but no more than three times per day. The largest brands have an average posting schedule of 1.5 timers per day, so that’s a good objective for you.
SocialBuddy also points out the importance of posting at the right times per day. Get onto your Instagram analytics and check out when your followers are most active. For most users, it will be afternoons and evenings in the middle of the week. Weekends and Mondays will show little engagement.
If you want to make a good impression on followers and increase the number of people daily engaging with your brand, posting when they’re online is one of the best things you can do.