Instagram has become a serious content marketing platform where businesses can engage, network, and sell to their audience.
Nowadays, it is one of the most popular social networking sites in the world, with over 1 billion monthly users and ultra smart algorithms.
This is why a lot of the businesses are choosing it as their primary social platform to increase their social presence and trying to increase brand awareness and sales.
There are many marketing, brand awareness, and customer engagement strategies that you can use on your Instagram profile, but for all of that, you need the most important ingredient- followers.
I am aware that getting more Instagram followers can be a challenging task for many brands, especially small brands that don’t have big budgets.
But, in another way, this is the beauty of the internet and social media platforms – that anyone can become big as long as they offer good things to the users of the platform.
In this article, I will mention all the things that will help you with getting more Instagram followers and getting your brand to the next level.
1. Define your audience
Let’s start with the basics. You have to know your audience before you try to pursue new followers.
Those followers will be the most relevant to you if they are a part of the people you’re trying to sell your products/services to.
If you haven’t done this before, then try to do it now.
Think about who are the people you want to reach and understand their characteristics.
Find out how they are, their location, occupation, challenges they face, what they prefer and how active or inactive they are on Instagram.
Relevant: Also read how you can make money with Instagram here.
2. Optimize your profile
Once you know who you’re targeting, make sure that your Instagram profile is clear and well-optimized.
Start with the bio. Consider it to be the “homepage” of your Instagram profile.
Make sure that it is clear to which brand the Instagram profile belongs to.
When writing the bio, you want to keep it as clear and as short as possible. Also, add links in the bio that lead to a landing page.
You can add a link to your website homepage, to your webshop, or whatever else you’d prefer.
It is a good way for the followers that are more interested in the brand to learn more about it.
You can also change the bio link according to your ongoing campaigns and the news that you have to share with people.
Other things you can add in the bio are specific keywords or hashtags that are relevant to your business. This would work best if you have your own hashtag.
Another thing you have to pay attention to is your image and your username.
The username should be something that most of your customers know. If it’s too long, you can shorten it but make sure that the audience is familiar with the short version too.
This way, when people search for your brand they can actually find it easier than if you use a name that is quite new to them or too complex.
Relevant: Get verified on Instagram
3. Be consistent with your posting
This is an absolute must.
It is simple – the more you post, the more likes and followers you get.
This is shown in a study by TailwindApp, that studied more than 100,000 Instagram profiles in 2017 and came to the following conclusion.
Profiles that posted at least once per day, every day got more likes and followers than those who posted less frequently.
And when you think about it, it totally makes sense.
So don’t be afraid to post every day, or even multiple times a day. Come up with a great strategy for content and hit the gas.
Consistency seems like a key element in Instagram algorithms that makes your post to be seen more and to appear near the top of the timeline.
It’s not only important to be consistent, but it’s also important to have relevant content for your target audience.
People like good content. Especially nowadays when there is so much going on on social media and you have to fight for people’s attention.
Giving your followers content that is very helpful and relevant to them will make them more engaged with the brand through liking, commenting, and sharing your posts.
And that will give you a boost through Instagram algorithms and help you get more followers and reach new people.
Keep in touch with what’s trendy at the moment in your industry and try to fill out your audiences’ needs as much as you can.
Participate in talks that are massively popular at the moment and use hashtags that are general in addition to your tailored hashtags.
For example, hashtags like #tbt, #instagood, or #photooftheday are generally some of the most popular hashtags used on Instagram.
Adding them will only make your content reach more people of the general audience that might fit in your target audience or maybe not but will anyway like your content.
The visuals have to be compelling and the captions with them have to be informative and well-written.
5. Do collaborations
A very good way to reach new people and to increase your brand awareness is through Instagram collaborations.
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There are quite a few ways that you could collaborate on Instagram:
- Product collaborations: a great way to collaborate with another business is through product collaborations. Choose a business that sells products to your audience, and that would make sense to make product bundles together. You can offer both of the products in a limited offer, and they will be featured on both of your profiles which is a good way to add some variety and reach new people.
- Story takeovers: a generally quite easy way to make Instagram collaborations. The idea behind this is to give your profile (for a day) to some expert that would provide relevant content for your audience. A lot of businesses use celebrities or influential people for this purpose, but it can also be done with genuine experts.
- Giveaways by influencers: a very common way to increase brand awareness and advertise your products to new audiences. It is done very often, and it works. Find an expert or an influencer with a good following, and let them do a giveaway with some of your products or services. What’s even better, organize a day for the winner with the influencer/blogger. For example, if you sell gym supplies, you can organize a giveaway with some work-out influencer and the prize can be personal training for the person who wins for a week/month.
There are other ways beyond this, but this is just to give you an idea.
You should be as creative as possible with your collaborations, keeping in mind the needs and relevant content for your customers.
6. Control content posted by others
Making sure that you don’t have unnecessary images related to your brand through tagging.
You have to be the best version that you can be as a business and that can be achieved by controlling what others are posting about you.
You can remove your tags from pictures that do not fit your brand image by choosing the option “edit tags”.
Another thing you can do to have more control over your content is adjusting your profile’s settings to people that want to tag you will need your approval first.
This way, you can choose only the images that you like to be displayed on your profile.
7. Use IGTV
IGTV is one of the more recent features on Instagram and since it was released many brands are taking advantage of it.
You can do the same, by making an IGTV series of videos.
Some predictions say that in the following year or so, IGTV will be even more relevant. People will be able to browse new content and choose things that they like.
A cool way to both entertain your viewers and make them motivated to follow your next videos is to make some type of IGTV series.
Make up a segment that would be on IGTV every week at the same time and engage with your viewers.
For example, if you have a brand that sells hair-related products, you can do a series on haircare. Within that, you can have a specific topic every week and even invite influencers or experts.
Think about what your audience genuinely wants to know and get creative with it.
This way, your budget won’t suffer too much either.
Yes, Instagram is an image-sharing social platform and the accent is definitely on pictures.
But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t produce some great content there as well.
In the past, the accent was more towards aesthetics, but nowadays people appreciate authenticity.
This means that you have to get creative in the way you’re writing your captions.
Write long, thorough, and touching captions for getting the attention of the viewers.
Brands are also starting to follow this by now. Especially this applies to posts that are connected to what the brand stands for or subjects that they’re passionate about.
Some other things you can use in your captions are:
- Use the most relevant words in the beginning. In cases where people just start reading and give up, they should first read the most important or intriguing thing, so they might be motivated to continue reading or like the picture.
- Asking a specific question. This is how you get your audience to engage with you. Ask a related question and reply to their responses.
- Add emoji. This can make the plain text look more appealing and draw the attention of the readers.
In the end, you don’t need to do the long, meaningful captions on every single post. But it would be good from time to time to mix it up and leave more space for connecting with the audience.
9. Pay attention to the suggestions on Instagram
There is a feature on Instagram that gives you suggested profiles as a result of your personal interests and activity on your profile.
The algorithms of Instagram can predict what you’d like based on the relationship you have with some brands.
If you look in your suggested profiles, you’re likely to see some of your competitors or people in the same or similar category.
The reason being using the same keywords in your bio as they are.
Now, there is no exact science as to how you can appear in people’s suggested profiles, and it takes a bit of profile tuning and experimenting to see what is working.
What you can do is optimize your bio and Instagram name (not username) with the right keywords.
Another thing you can do is engage with businesses and brands that are similar as yours .
In the end, Instagram is a social platform, so be social.
Comment, like, and engage with these brands to let the algorithms know that you have a relationship with these products.
10. Be interactive with Instagram Live option
The same things that I mentioned in story collaborations apply here as well. Videos cannot be ignored when trying to reach more people.
Live videos are a trend that is still growing on Instagram, so you can make something very creative and interesting.
Being interactive also with questions, polls, quizzes in addition to this, can engage your viewers and potentially help you boost the reach.
A good option with live videos is that you can choose whether they shall disappear after they are finished, or they can stay as a 24-hour story and can be replayed.
11. Create memes
Memes are the content that goes viral the fastest at this time, and businesses are not blind to this information.
Clever use of memes can be extremely helpful for businesses, especially when it comes to businesses that want to build brand awareness, product interest, and more Instagram followers.
Memes are funny images or videos, that usually target a subject that is happening right now or it’s highly relatable with people.
This can be used to your advantage a lot, in fact, a lot of big brands do it.
It works, and people are very accepting of brands that act like the rest of “us”. It just shows them that there are literal people working behind the brand name similar to themselves.
The only problem with memes is that you need to figure out how to fit them into your feed.
But this is not impossible. You can use the right colors and details to make them fit into the overall style of your feed.
12. Discover what’s good for you
Everything doesn’t work for everyone, no matter what’s the subject.
Some of this advice might work extremely well for you, and some of it might not make a difference in how many followers you’re gaining.
You need to try a few of them and see what works best for your business.
Then invest efforts and time into implementing that to your posts, and you will inevitably face success.
The most important thing that you can’t forget is to make your followers happy.
In the race of getting new followers and shifting your focus there, you can fail the followers that you already have and have been loyal to your brand.
Have this in mind, and divide your attention properly.
13. Promote your account
The Instagram profile is a part of your overall marketing strategy and it should be included in your wider marketing efforts.
This means that you should promote your account through other marketing channels like your website, Facebook profile, Twitter profile, Youtube, Pinterest, Newsletters or whatever else you may have.
Make a good cross-promoting strategy so that your followers from all the other platforms can have an easy guide to your Instagram profile.
Some ways that you can do that are:
- Integrate the feed of your profile with your website design
- Invite people on other social media profiles to “Find out more” on Instagram
- Add your Instagram profile to your email marketing campaigns
Growing your Instagram following is certainly not an easy job, even if you are a well-known business in your industry.
It is not an exact science for sure. If it was, all the brands and people would have lots of followers.
You have to come up with the right strategies to keep your followers engaged and make them want to like, comment, share your messages, etc.
Experiment with the suggestions in this article and see which ones are the best fit for your preferred audience.
It requires a lot of time and effort to gain new people that like your brand, so you might need a social media specialist who will only be in charge of your Instagram profile.
If you liked this post, check my other posts related to social media:
- Tips on doing twitter marketing
- Instagram support for your account problems
- Instagram Revenue Stats and Facts
Leave a comment below letting me know what more you’d like to know about Instagram.