Whether you are just starting out on Instagram or have been on the platform for a while, having a big, loyal follower base on the platform is essential. No matter what your social media goals are, a larger audience ensures better engagement and improves website traffic and lead generation.
What are the factors that push you to follow another account?
Probably, when the content is very appealing and visually pleasing and you want to keep following their content. If their content is adding value or is informative. You may also want to follow another account when it is in the same niche as yours. Keeping in mind these factors, you too can create a strategy that can help you grow Instagram followers. To make it easier for you, we have compiled a set of best practices that you can follow for increasing Instagram followers.
So, here’s how you can boost your Instagram growth:
1: Generating brand awareness through other media
If you are just starting out on Instagram, it might be a little difficult to gain followers on the platform without much awareness about your brand. Use your customer email database to good use. Send out newsletters or a simple invite email with a call to action leading your existing customers to your Instagram account.
You can also add the Instagram button on your website that will inform website visitors of your Instagram presence. At the same time, it will also take them directly to your Instagram business profile by clicking on the Instagram icon.
You can use other social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to inform your audience about your new account on Instagram. You can push out content posts with catchy captions such as ‘We are thrilled to inform you that we are now on Instagram. Follow us now to catch the latest action at *brand name*’. The idea is to increase the thrill and excitement among your audience so that they are compelled to follow you and check out your content.
At the nascent stages of your Instagram marketing, you can also ask your friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances to follow you.
2: Polishing your Instagram business profile
Polish your Instagram profile with all the details about your brand. Your Instagram profile is representative of your brand. It is important to put out your best possible version for your audience on the platform.
When someone opens up your Instagram profile, the first thing that they see is your profile picture, Instagram bio and a part of your Instagram feed. Add a nice profile picture for your account. It could be your logo or any other photos relevant to your brand. It is important to leave a good impression, by putting out an Instagram bio, furnished with all the details about your brand.
Firstly, you need to add a category for your business, which will appear below your username on your profile. Create a compelling Instagram bio to draw your audience’s attention. You can add a caption of as much as 150 characters in your Instagram bio. Choose your words wisely and make sure that your bio clearly speaks about your brand’s expertise. Add the ‘Call’, ‘Email’, ‘Get directions’ and ‘Share’ buttons on your Instagram profile as well.
You can gain a significant number of followers if you state your niche, contact details and other important details about your brand clearly.
3: Reflect brand voice through your feed
You need to craft your Instagram feed in a way that it reflects your brand voice. Especially if you are in the nascent stages of Instagram marketing, you need to create content that reflects your brand story.
Use your Instagram feed to spin a story around your brand. This will help increase brand awareness. Many Instagram users create a panoramic feed using different content posts. You too can do that and fulfill the dual purpose of generating brand awareness and offering visually appealing and engaging content. The idea is to compel your audience to engage with your brand. This will help in word-of-mouth marketing on Instagram, especially when users are compelled to tag friends/family on your content.
Make your feed as attractive as you can and increase your Instagram following in the process.
4: Follow Relevant Instagram Accounts
One very important thing you need to do for growing Instagram account is to follow your competitors and some other accounts from their audience.
It has been found that at least 20% of the accounts that you follow on Instagram follow you back. As such, following relevant Instagram accounts is an integral part of your Instagram growth strategy. Following your Instagram competitors will not only help you increase followers, but it will also allow you to keep an eye on their Instagram strategy. Similarly, following your competitors’ Instagram followers will help you increase your followers and also will help you understand the kind of audience that you will be catering to. After all, as competitors, your audience segments are more or less going to be the same.
In this sense, following competitors as well as their audience helps you increase your followers. At the same time, it also feeds into your content creation strategy by offering you access to the type of content your target audience likes.
5: Avoid using third-party apps for increasing your followers
Avoid using third-party automated apps that follow and then unfollow other Instagram accounts. Many users and brands have resorted to using such tools and apps to enhance their Instagram growth. But recently, Instagram made an announcement about action against any such accounts putting these apps to use for increasing their followers. Instagram will now improve all the inauthentic follows, likes and comments that were generated using a third-party app.
Instagram is all about authentic marketing efforts. Relying on third-party apps for increasing your followers will not be helpful for your brand.
6: Use hashtags for Instagram growth
Hashtags are discoverability tools on Instagram. When used rightly, these tools will help you increase your following on the platform.
When you add hashtags to your content posts, these become a part of a huge content pool with the same hashtags. In order to grow Instagram followers, first, you need to make sure that your content gets discovered. This is what hashtags will help you do.
It is recommended that you should use a general hashtag that aligns with your niche or business. Apart from that, you can use brand-focused hashtags, campaign-based hashtags and other narrowly focused hashtags that go with your brand.
You can use hashtags for not only your Instagram posts, but your stories as well.
7: Regularly and consistently posting content on your Instagram profile
This one is a no-brainer. If you are not even populating your feed with content on a regular and consistent basis, then how will you increase your followers on the platform?
The more consistently you post your content, the better your Instagram reach. As more people look at your content, the more chances you have at compelling them to follow your account.
8: Interacting with your audience
It is very important to build a relationship with your Instagram audience for you to further expand it. Brands that respond to comments and direct messages will always be appreciated by the audience.
Like and respond to all the comments on your posts. Reply back to all your Instagram inbox messages. Encourage people to comment by asking for feedback or opinion either through the Instagram copy or through typography in Instagram posts and/or stories.
The better your relationship with your audience, the better your engagement and reach, which will compel new follows on your Instagram account.
9: Tag relevant accounts in your posts
This is another tactic to improve discoverability for your Instagram account. Tag accounts that are relevant to your brand, product (s) or niche, especially the ones with a huge follower base. All the tagged Instagram posts can be found in the tagged section of a profile,
By tagging other accounts in your content posts, you are inviting not just those popular accounts, to check out your content. In the process, you are also letting in all their followers and profile visitors to your content.
Leverage the follower base of popular Instagram accounts by tagging them in your photos. As more and more people see your content, there is an increase in the number of profile visitors. With more people looking at your Instagram feed, there are more chances of your Instagram follower numbers going up.
10: Paid promotions
Paid promotions are a sure-shot way at reaching out to your target audience, especially those who don’t follow you. With Instagram Ads and sponsored content, you can put your content in front of your target audience. Make your content powerful enough to convince the audience that following your account will allow them access to valuable and informative content.
11: Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is another smart way to grow Instagram followers. Influencers, whether macro, micro or nano Influencers, have big follower bases. By bringing Influencers on board, you get access to their huge followings and their content creation skills as well. This increases your visibility and also your Instagram follower base.
If you want to know which Influencers fall within your niche, you can use a tool such as Unbox Social. With this tool, you can track Influencer activity and identify which Influencer fits with your brand.
If you want to grow Instagram followers you need to follow inculcate certain practices in your Instagram strategy. Here is a snapshot of the best practices to follow for increasing your Instagram follower base:
- Reach out to existing customers/audience as well as friends and family through email and other social media platforms
- Furnish your Instagram profile with all your details
- Make your Instagram feed relevant to your niche and brand, so that those who are interested in knowing more about this niche can follow you
- Follow your competitors (especially those with a big follower base) and their followers
- Do not rely on third-party apps for growing Instagram followers as Instagram will remove all inauthentic activity from the platform
- Use hashtags for better visibility for your content
- Be active and consistent on the platform
- Interact with your audience on a regular basis and build a bond with them
- Tag relevant accounts, also to improve visibility for your brand
- Use Instagram Ads and sponsored posts as a sure shot way to reach out to your target audience
- Bring Influencers on board, to leverage their huge follower base