Okay, you have an Instagram account. Wonderful! After all, Instagram continues to be a heavy-hitter in the social space, eclipsing more than 400 million active users. Plus, it captures an active userbase that is younger than Facebook’s.
But now that you have an Instagram account for your business… what do you post to it, and how do you gain followers? Sure, your friends and family are on-board, of course, and you’re starting to generate new followers that can act as sales leads, but you’re new to this and that follower count still seems a bit anemic.
No worries — we’re here to help. Here’s our Top 5 Ways to Gain More Instagram Followers.
1. Know Your Strategy
This may seem like a generalized stipulation, but you can’t just barrel into the world of social media head-first without any kind of forethought. If you lack a strategy on Instagram, your follower count will suffer for it.
Towards this end, you’ll want to to decide on a “brand voice” and a narrative for your business or endeavor. First, ask yourself, “What’s your story?” Put this down on paper, and mull over it. Based upon what your story is, consider what kind of brand voice you should project to your audience. If you’re in the health care field, you’ll likely want to project a voice on Instagram that is authoritative and informative. On the other hand, if you’re running a bar account, you’ll want to develop a laid-back, fun and engaging persona.
Once you pin down your story and develop your voice, you’ll want to check out to see what direct competitors in your industry are posting, and also set realistic short-term and long-term goals for your Instagram account. After all, without knowing your strategy and setting goals in advance, you’ll not likely to accomplish much.
2. Cross-Promote Your Instagram Account
Have other social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook? Fantastic. Let your followers there know about your Instagram account. After all, they may not know it exists despite already following you elsewhere. Also, don’t hesitate to include links to your Instagram account on your business website, in your business email signature, and throughout any newsletters that you may send out. Cross-promotion is critical!
3. Ask Yourself: Do I Have a Budget?
If you have a little coin to spare, those Benjamins can go a long way. Sponsored Instagram posts are widely known to bring back a greater ROI (Return On Investment) than other forms of online advertising. In fact, Nielsen Brand Effect recently showed that sponsored Instagram posts can pull in 2.8 times as much ad recall as other online adverts.
Fortunately, you can create ads on Instagram through a variety of approachable methods, even if you lack any previous experience. Learn more.
4. Use Smart Hashtags
You can use an app like Trendspottr to find the top trending photos and top influencers across the Instagram network, and discover the hashtags related to those top trends. Accordingly, you can then implement those hashtags into the captions of your own photos when appropriate.
Further, don’t be shy about creating your own hashtags to promote your products once you start to build up a nice follower count. A clever hashtag may get shared by some of your followers, thereby extending your post’s reach! However, do be sure not to go overboard with tons of hashtags. This can serve as a distraction to your audience.
5. Post During Key Times, And Post Consistently
And finally, this: Post during key times, and post both often and consistently!
You’ll want to keep in mind your type of audience. If you’re targeting United States followers only, you may wish to post in the early evening or just after 5 p.m., when many folks get off work. Conversely, if you’re going for a worldwide audience, you may want to post later in the night so as to hit Americans as they’re checking their phones before bed, while still grabbing the attention of those in other countries before they head off to work.
Oh, and don’t just post often. Post consistently, too! The top Instagram brands make sure to post several times every week, as it gives followers something to count on and come back for. And once that happens, word will get out, engagement will grow, and so will your follower count. Good luck, Instagrammers!