Instagram is now used by over a billion people. A billion! A staggering number, and the opportunities the app provides as a result are too much to ignore in your social media marketing considerations. Instagram is becoming an even bigger focus for social media marketers, with an increasing number of brands and businesses looking to tap into the rapid growth of the image-focused social platform.
Having a larger Instagram following means more sales for your business, more views on your blog, and a stronger community for your brand. So, how do you gain Instagram followers? We’ve made a list of the best tips for (organic) growth and more engagement in 2020.
13 Tips for organic growth on Instagram
Write a compelling bio Write a compelling Instagram bio that encourages people to follow you. Apart from the basics like adding your contact details and website link, you should also convey your brand’s story in a concise, engaging way. Your story will make you stand out and give people a reason to connect with your brand and follow you.
Inspire people Don’t use social media to impress people; use it to impact people. Post content your audience actually wants to read and finds valuable! Spend some time thinking about what your audience would like to know, what their needs and issues are and how you can answer their questions. Providing inspiring and valuable content may take some time but it will also establish credibility and trust.
Create a consistent feed with beautiful photos Your feed should match your brand’s personality and be clear about how you inspire followers. The impression that people get by looking at your feed is important in determining whether they like your brand and will follow you. Develop and maintain a unique Instagram brand personality and maintain consistency in colours, types of posts, tone of voice, etc. Create a theme or style guide for your Instagram photos in order to make people associate your posts with your brand. Last but not least: at its most basic, Instagram is a social networking app made for sharing photos and videos from a smartphone. Therefore, post beautiful quality photos, use filters and be creative!
Develop a content strategy When you’re using Instagram as part of your business’s marketing strategy, consistency is key! Decide when and how often to post on Instagram. This will heavily depend on what your followers want and how much time you have to dedicate to your Instagram marketing strategy. You can use tools like Preview or Hootsuite to schedule your Instagram posts.
Optimize your captions Optimizing your captions by adding CTA’s & questions will increase engagement. Gaining more followers is only valuable if they’re engaged and if, ultimately, you can get your audience to take the desired action (buy your product, service or advice). Increase interaction by adding CTA’s (call-to-action), questions and contests. If nothing else, you can add a CTA to your captions by requesting that people share your content, visit your profile, or whatever action you want them to take.
Like, share, comment — Socialize! Remember, you’re on SOCIAL media! Social media is full of lurkers and ghost followers…don’t be one of them. Interact! Follow people who inspire you, go through their feed, like some of their photos and leave genuine comments on their posts. This helps to get your name out there and allows other users to discover you. Engage with your followers, respond to the comments you receive. Try to leave adequate replies and authentic questions that encourages them to engage more.
Hashtag like crazy #########
Research which hashtags are trending in your industry and niche and which are relevant for your brand and content. Then use a mix of these hashtags for all your Instagram content to reach people who follow those hashtags. Use popular industry-level hashtags, as well as niche and local ones for which you can actually stand out. Instagram allows you to add up to 30 hashtags for each post, so utilise this feature to your advantage.
You can also create and promote your own branded or campaign-specific hashtag. A great example is #ShareACoke, which became a viral hashtag campaign and redefined Coca-Cola’s social media image. Encourage people to use these specific hashtags in their Instagram content. This gets you free user-generated content as well as publicity, which can help you reach more people and get more followers.
Tag locations Add locations to your posts and get featured when someone searches for Instagram content using a location search. Geotagging is similar to local SEO, but for Instagram. Adding geotags and local hashtags to your Instagram content helps you attract local followers.
Run a contest If you have a giveaway, try running a contest. For example, ask users to follow you, repost a specific post or story and tag you in the caption. Or invite them to use your hashtag on their own posts. You could even try a loop giveaway, if you want to collaborate with other Instagrammers.
Use Instagram Stories Instagram Stories are viewed by 500 million users per day! Many users even report they love watching Stories more than the endless “scroll” of their feed. Stories enable you to be very creative, take people behind the scenes and interact (Read this blog to improve your Stories). Ask questions. Use polls, quirky GIFs, (geo)#, mentions, and music. Play with filters and Boomerangs. It’s an excellent way to connect with your followers in a very authentic way.
Influencer marketing Broaden your reach by leveraging influencers that are from your niche and relevant to your brand. Get access to their loyal followers and convert them into your own followers. Additionally, think of fun, creative ways to collaborate with other popular users. For example, ask another Instagrammer in your niche if you can “take over their account” for the day as a guest contributor (on Stories).
Utilize Instagram Ads Unlike your posts and Stories, which are visible only to your current audience, Instagram ads are shown to a much broader, relevant audience. You can reach a large number of people of a certain demographic or target segment by investing in ads. Also, in June 2019, Instagram gave brands an easy way to turn influencer posts into ads. The ‘paid partnership’ tool helps influencer content reach larger audiences.
Link your accounts Share a quick tweet or Facebook post encouraging people to follow you on Instagram. This will help your followers on other networks discover your Instagram account and proceed to follow you there, too!
When it comes to Instagram for your business or brand, organic is the way to grow. It may take a little longer than buying followers, but rest assured, organic growth will yield better results in the long run. To really help foster organic growth, remember these key points:
Have a distinct brand identity A clear profile photo, bio, and a distinct style in your feed will all help get you noticed and gain followers.
Connect & interact Engaging with your followers and other accounts in your niche is one of the most effective ways to grow organically.
Help people find you Using hashtags and adding your location to posts can help Instagram users find your account.
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