Instagram is a targeted visual marketing social channel that can work enchantingly for your products and brand besides providing an opportunity to grow a loyal audience for your business. With over 500 million users logging into the app daily, you will never go wrong with Instagram marketing, provided you handle it right.
Like other social media networks, there are right, wrong and clever ways of using this app. With the basic instagram tips for beginners, you get to learn how to open an account and get it running. However, you will need more than that to increase your following.
Well, some of the common strategies you can employ include the following.
- Use the right hashtags
The main goal on Instagram is to engage your audience as you grow your following. Therefore, posting new, intriguing and engaging photos satisfies the first requirement. To reach many fans, consider using various hashtags. This makes it easy for people to find photos.
Which hashtags should you use? Well, like Twitter and other social media sites, Instagram users have several hashtags. Incorporating the right hashtags increases the chances of reaching new users who could start following you.
The top hashtags according to Websta include; #love, #photooftheday, #fashion, #happy, #instagood, #followme, #picoftheday, #tbt among many others. All you need to do is to find the relevant hashtags for your post. This requires that you do appropriate research.
To find relevant hashtags, you can use some of the common free Instagram tools such as Websta or IconoSquare.
- Use the right filters
Using relevant hashtags, despite being crucial, is not the only thing to consider for an increased following. Instagram community as a whole respond to certain photo filters favorably than others. Using such filters has a direct impact on your engagement. According to recent statistics, some of the most common filters on Instagram currently include;
- Normal or no filter
- Post at the right time
After finding the relevant hashtags for your post and identifying your followers’ favorite filter, it is time to consider your posting schedule. Always consider the timing of your posts. To find this, use the targeted approach, that basically involves analyzing what has and has not worked for you.
From the various tools, you can also identify the best times and specific days of the week where your previous posts got high engagement. Use any social media scheduling tool to help you schedule and publish your posts automatically when your audience is engaged.
- “Steal” your competitors following
Perhaps the best way of attracting a new following is by seeking out followers from your closest competitors. You can do this by engaging with their audience in their Instagram accounts or other platforms. You can engage with Instagram users of your competitor through several ways.
The three common types of engagement with competitor’s audience include the following;
- Follow a user
- Like their photo
- Comment on the photo
Note that these users have shown interest in your products by the mere fact that they have followed your competitors’ account. Therefore, marketing your products to such an audience is quite easy.
- Use Geotags for local discoverability
Apart from hashtags, you can make your Instagram stories and posts discoverable by tagging your location onto the post or story. You can tag the city or venue where the photo was taken, or the post was made. Locations not only has its own feed on Instagram but also has its own story like hashtags that contributes immensely when used appropriately.
Local businesses should take advantage of this. They can post their products regularly to capture the attention of interested local population. Doing this will not only increase your following but also increase your clients who are physically within the vicinity.
- Organize your stories into highlights
Any time a potential follower clicks on your profile, you have very few seconds to convince them to follow you. An effective way of doing this is by using the “highlights” feature on your profile. This feature organizes your Instagram stories in an easy way that communicates what your account is all about.
As you may know, stories have a lifespan of 24 hours only. Therefore, you can incorporate the use of highlights to give them a second life. This entices others to follow you, with the hope that they won’t miss out on your stories in future.
- Ask for their following
This may sound very obvious but needs to be said. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask your audience for more followers occasionally. Just like YouTuber’s ask their viewers to subscribe to their channels at the end of their videos, you can also ask your viewers to follow your account for more content.
Many people might be enjoying what you are putting up on Instagram but need a little nudge before they follow you. With others, you just need to remind them that they can follow you to get more in the comments section. Do this as you hint out at content that’s coming up, assuring them that they won’t miss anything if they follow your account.
- Run a giveaway to attract followers
The best comments on any social media posts are where the follower tags another user in the comments section. This not only contributes to an overall surge in the post’s engagement but also makes it among the most favorable post according to Instagram algorithm. Each tag brings along a new audience who can potentially turn into a follower.
The best way of doing this is by posting relatable content where your followers are asked to tag their friends. For instance, a gym business may put up a post asking their followers to tag friends who skip leg days. The other reliable way of asking followers to tag their friends is by giving runaway concerns. This encourages followers to tag their friends who may, in turn, follow your account.
- Be consistent with your posts
Instagram users won’t follow your account because of what you posted in the past but for what you promise to post in future. Your audience wants to know what they will get if they hit that follow button.
Therefore, having a feed with consistent updates can have as much impact in the growing of your followers as other strategies mentioned above. Ensure that your posts have all it takes to impress someone who just followed your account as well as those who intend to follow the account.
- Get featured on Instagram
One of the effective ways of increasing your followers and promoting your account isn’t through the Instagram app. Apart from trying the several algorithm hacking ways and optimizing your content, spend some time trying to promote your Instagram account on other sites online.
This involves being featured in press releases, podcast interviews and guest posting on other people’s blogs. This will get people searching you from Google even before they find your Instagram account.
Instagram can be a great home to market your product and overall brand that can lead to a healthy stream of revenue if you focus on engagement and not just followers. In this post, we have outlined just a few effective ways of building your targeted following.
Sagar is HR at techssocial.net. He has been writing last 3 years on different blogging sites. He has also helped small businesses to gain their ranking.