Everyone’s favorite photo-sharing app, Instagram boasts over 800 million monthly active users worldwide. Of course, this means a huge portion of your prospects are hanging out on the platform, ready to be marketed to!
The hitch? There are over 8 million business profiles currently active on Instagram as well. In this right, it’s become increasingly important to not only have a presence on the platform, but working with an ironclad strategy that’s ready to go is crucial as well.
Using a successful Instagram strategy for your business will allow you to increase your exposure and gain new and high quality followers.
But the question here is: how to get more Instagram followers?
Here are some effective ways you can do that:
You have only an incredibly short amount of time to get your vision across to users online. As such, it is crucial that you make a good first impression with the content of your profile and your bio.
In short, it should explain what you do, appeal to the target audience, and do it all while using your brand's voice.
Here’s an example of a good bio:
You will also want to use a recognizable profile picture, this can mean a logo, or a mascot, or any other iconic branding images your business uses.
The Instagram story is your canvas, and the stickers, filters, and emojis are your paint brushes.
Use filters in order to make your photos more appealing on Instagram and increase the likelihood for your prospects to follow you and engage with your brand.
Explore the various features at your disposal, and decide what kind of style and voice you would like your story to portray.
To give you an idea of the different options, see an example of VBOUT’s story below:
The latest trend in Instagram stories (for businesses especially) is the ‘live’ function. This is a good opportunity to showcase and personalize your brand.
Adding a very intimate element to your audience engagement, your followers will see what you are seeing in real time. Are you at an exclusive event? Is this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that few will be able to see? Go live, and watch the followers roll in.
Hashtags are a wonderful way for you to index your content, make yourself discoverable to users, and garner more engagement. Using hashtags must be done in a way that helps you not only reach your existing followers, but also gain new ones as well.
For instance, it is advisable for you to venture beyond basic hashtags like #marketing or #branding and use more specific hashtags that are relevant to your business. As of right now, there are 15,018,855 posts tagged with the word #marketing.
Niche hashtags refer to hashtags that are borne of niche internet culture. In this case, a niche hashtag would be #marketingvibes or #marketerlife. This will allow your content to appear in a smaller pool. It also means having less competition over other brands -- boosting your visibility.
One of the most important practices to encourage others to follow your business is to engage with them and provide interesting content. Turn on push notifications to find out all comments and shares on your photos.
Replying to comments made on your stories, and regularly responding to others are great ways to engage with your Instagram audience. And now that you are able to see when a follower (or potential lead) has taken a screenshot of your story, you have further ways to develop an in-depth look at Instagram Story analytics.
To make your profile easier for users to follow, place an Instagram follow button on your homepage, blog pages as well as other pages of your website.
You can also promote your Instagram page on other channels to reach your existing followers on other social media channels who might not have followed you on Instagram yet. For instance, you can include a link to your Instagram account in the bios and posts on Facebook or Twitter.
Determining the best times to publish posts depends on your buyer personas and previous experiments run.
You can A/B test your posts and publish them at different times and based on the engagement results, you will find out the most appropriate times to publish your posts.
According to later’s recent poll of social media managers, the ideal times to post on Instagram are lunchtime (between 11 AM and 1 PM) and evenings (between 7 and 9 PM). The slowest hours to post are between 3 - 4 PM on any given day. And with a post lifespan of 21 hours, timing is crucial.
Partnering with influencers will not only amass you a huge amount of followers but can also boost your sales.
Identify influencers that are relevant to your business and start following them. Enable post notifications to be alerted each time they share a new post and engage with their content continuously in order to become one of their favorite people or brands.
Instagram contests are a great way to boost your exposure and increase the engagement with your posts. It allows you to reach new followers by encouraging them to follow your Instagram page, like and comment on one of your posts in order to win a specific prize.
You can also use a specific hashtag to promote that contest; Here’s a successful example:
You can use ads to advertise on Instagram stories as well. Given that the app itself is free, funneling in a bit of revenue into Instagram stories will pay off exponentially in the long run - especially if your stories appear on Instagram’s “Explore” homepage.
Instagram insights will allow you to learn more about your followers, their gender, age and location. Moreover, you can monitor which posts and stories your audience sees and engages with the most. These insights will also include paid activities.
Use these stats to your advantage in order to build a better following.
Getting new and high quality Instagram followers is an easy practice once you know what to do.
Although gaining a significant following won’t happen overnight, but when the above practices will be applied effectively, you will start to notice positive results soon.