A business’s legitimacy is often decided by potential customers on how big of a following the brand has – the more followers, the more trustworthy the brand…sometimes!
Instagram is fast becoming one of the best platforms for a company to build its following and advertise its products and services. But how do you get that follower count from 0 to 100, to 100,000?! Here’s our best strategy for you to grow your Instagram followers:
Why build a following on Instagram?
Instagram has over one billion users, which should make it one of your top choices as a platform alongside Facebook. It has a huge pool of potential clients or customers for you to reach and interact with.
Instagram gives you a way to connect with your audience that no other social media platform does, because of the different and more insider approach it provides to a company’s image. You can be professional while being fun and friendly. Forrester found that Instagram was still the best when it came to social engagement across the board, with a higher percentage of user interactions than the other social media sites like Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn.
To make sure you’re reaching as many people as possible, include hashtags in your post. Post them into your comments, to keep your content looking neat and tidy. The more people that you’re reaching, the more people that could potentially follow your page. Make sure you’re researching what hashtags work and what ones do not. Search what people are interacting with and make sure you’re using your full allowed thirty hashtags too! Build a hashtag strategy and make sure you’re changing it up daily until you get something that works. Create your own hashtag and encourage users to use it too – this is a great, alternative way for other individuals to find your brand.
The social media platform state that advertising can help with awareness (through reach, reach and frequency, brand awareness and local awareness), consideration (through website clicks, video views and reach and frequency) and conversion (through website conversions, dynamic ads on Instagram, mobile app installs and mobile app engagement). You can use all these tools to help you grow your audience – the more you’re reaching, the more people are clicking through to your profile and hopefully clicking that ‘Follow’ button!
Do Use Instagram Stories
Take advantage of one of Instagram’s most popular features and start posting Instagram Stories. Use the tool to share new products, news about your business and any FAQs about your business. It makes your business fun, current and modern. It also puts your brand at the top of users’ Instagram feeds, so for twenty-four hours your post will be visible right in front of your (and your potential) audience’s eyes. Post daily and ensure your content is interesting and fun. Use the features that come with Stories like polls, questions and sliders to make your posts even more interactive! You can use the tools to see who’s viewing and interacting with your Story, so you can follow up and engage with the profiles at a later date.
Do Run a Competition
To grow your audience, you can run a competition on Instagram that encourages users to like your post, tag a friend in the comments and follow your page. You can offer a great discount or something free that will get people to follow you and pick the winner through a prize draw. You could even pair up with a company in a similar industry and run the competition together. You’ll both benefit from the other account’s following.
Do Check In
Ensure all your posts have a location. This not only allows people to know where you’re based, but also gets more people seeing your posts if they search for that location. You don’t always have to input where you actually are, so vary up your geo-locations and see what areas gets you the most interaction.
Don’t Buy a Following
It was once an acceptable practice to buy your following on social media, just so you have a big number next to your profile picture. However, social media sites have started coming down to bots and fake accounts, so it’s likely your account following will drop over the next few months if all you’ve got is bought likes. Also, buying your following doesn’t give you high engagement levels. If you’ve got a following of 100,000, but no-one likes or comments on your posts, then real, potential followers may be put off and deem your profile untrustworthy altogether. Having a real audience mean users are more likely to interact and engage with your content and brand, compared to fake profiles which just add to a number.
Don’t Post Low Quality Images
Your audience do not want boring, repetitive images shared to their feeds every day, and they definitely do not want blurry, poor quality pictures. Ensure every image you share and promote is high resolution, relevant and hasn’t been posted a thousand times before. It’s also vital you have great photos if you want to have a feed that people want to follow.
Also, Instagram follows the same 20% text rule as Facebook, so make sure your image doesn’t have too much text in if you’re promoting it and run it through the overlay tool if you’re worried it does have a lot of writing.
Don’t Leave It Up to Others
Make sure you’re actively looking for people that could be interested in your brand and interacting with them on their Instagram profile. You could like a few of their photos, or even comment on their latest posts. Make sure the interactions aren’t too salesy, and ensure you’re sounding as personal and as human as possible. Give them a follow also if you think they could potentially be a candidate for your brand.
Don’t Get Spammy
It’s important to stay active on Instagram by posting regularly, but make sure you’re not posting too much. You’ll end up spamming your current users and getting unfollowed faster than followed. Users won’t want to follow an account that posts five times a day and let’s face it, when you’re posting that much, you’ll run out of things to talk about and end up sounding dull and repetitive.