Instagram has plenty of opportunities for businesses of all sizes to build their brands. With millions of active daily followers, it is a platform that can no longer be ignored. Over 80 percent of users on this network follow at least one business. More than 120 million meaningful engagements take place every month between brands and followers. This includes website visits, getting in touch by email, direct message or phone or even getting directions to a business location.
Instagram is also continuously developing new tools to help brand engage with their audiences within and outside the app. If you’re not putting in some effort towards actively getting more Instagram followers, you could be missing out on a substantial fan base of people who want to learn more about your brand. Here are a few proven ways to increase your following on Instagram.
1. Use Relevant, Popular Hashtags
Use Webstagram or Google to look for hashtags that are rising in popularity. Instagram uses hashtags to organize photos. You can get more visibility for your photos when you use hashtags that are relevant to you or your industry. This, in turn, will lead to more interactions. Instagram autocomplete is also an excellent way to find hashtags that are popular.
However, it’s important to remind yourself not to go overboard when it comes to hashtags. These are a great way to attract new followers, but your efforts could backfire if you don’t use them correctly. Your best bet is to choose not more than 3 hashtags and post these instead of flooding your post with an entire paragraph of these. Your posts can come across as spammy if you do this.
2. Host Contests
Hosting a content is one of the best ways to gain new followers and boost engagement. This tactic works on most social media platforms. With the rise in popularity of Instagram, it has become the top platform for contests. It couldn’t be easier to get contests up and running on Instagram. It can be as simple as taking a picture and adding a caption that explains the competition to people. Using the hashtag #contest will also make your contest easy to find. Share your post on all your social media platforms to get maximum exposure.
3. Use the Right Filters and Apps
Filters are what made Instagram rise in popularity in the first place. Using these people could personalize their images. People are more prone to like and share your pictures if they are attractive and original. Since there are several filters included in the app, there are plenty to choose from.
Apart from the filters, there are many photo editing apps that you can opt for. These will offer you even more photo touch up options before uploading your images on Instagram.
4. Post Instagram Stories Regularly
Instagram stories were launched last year and have been a huge hit ever since. They are an excellent way to have informal interactions with your audience and foster good connections. Not only are they versatile and fun, but they also improve your chances of being recommended on Instagram’s explore page.
To see this for yourself, take a minute to check out Instagram’s explore page. You will notice a line of stories at the top of the screen. There are selected based on the posts you like and the accounts you follow. You may also notice stories from accounts you follow or those that get a significant amount of follower interaction. However, you will need to put out highly engaging content that is super targeted to be featured on the explore page. The more interesting your stories are, and the more your followers respond positively to them, the more likely they are to be featured in the explore tab.
Having one of your stories features in this section can set off a powerful viral effect that will bring you tons of comments, likes, and new followers. More people will be interested in seeing what you put out next.
5. Create A Community
Creating an engaged community is an excellent way to keep your current followers interested as well as attract new ones. Building a community takes a certain amount of hard work, but it is well worth the effort. The first step towards doing this is to look for common ground. You will need to inspire people to come back to your account. Make the experience interactive by getting followers to submit content that you will share on your account. Ask your audience to tag you or use a particular hashtag in they would like to be featured on your Instagram page.
6. Analyse Your Stats
Once you have implemented some of the methods mentioned above, it is important to step back and see if your efforts are working. There are a number of useful Instagram analytics tools available to help you track which of your posts and images do well. By taking a look at the types of photos, the posting times and the captions you will gain a better understanding of what leads to a successful image.
If you don’t want to use any external tools to track your analytics, you can make use of the information available on Instagram. Simply switch your account to a business profile to get access to some free analytics. You will get information such as profile views, impressions and reach. To do this, go to settings and switch to a business profile. You will then be taken through the steps. Use these facts and analytics to figure out what works and find ways to recreate it.
Lastly, a point to keep in mind is not to go overboard with your attempts to gain more followers. Many marketers and users tend to forget this and post too frequently which can make them come across as spammy. In order to maintain the interest of your Instagram followers, it is important to share only high-quality content. The key is to get people’s attention first and then focus your efforts on maintaining this.