Instagram swiftly outgrew its initial impression of being a fun app for kids to become a serious content marketing, network and audience building social media platform for various brands and individuals. Perhaps the 200 million monthly active users sharing approximately 60 million images with billions of likes daily ascertains this.
With such facts, you are definitely certain that it is the best place to grow your channel, especially for brands and businesses. For businesses, it helps in humanizing brands, a source of future employees and perfect platform to showcase your products and company’s culture.
However, there is a catch in this. Unless you are famous, it could be quite hard to amass huge following on this platform without extra hard work. For an average person, it might take much time and attention to increase your Instagram followers. Thankfully, there are some few tweaks of collecting up to 50,000 followers in a month.
There are numerous ways of doing this. This includes dodgy shortcuts such as buying followers and using Instagram bots. However, the main goal of increasing your account following is translate the numbers to sales and purchases. This is probably the best way your Instagram strategy will deliver real business results.
Learn below some of the proven methods of increasing Instagram followers.
Formulate a Clear Instagram Strategy
To succeed in any social media platform, planning should be the first step. Marketing your brand in the social network without a clearly formulated plan results in wasted resources and low returns on investments. That said, ensure that your plan encompasses the following;
Goals on the network – like any other business brand, your goals could be to boost product sales, increase traffic to your website and much more. Ensure that your Instagram marketing strategies align with the broader marketing objectives of the brand.
Identify your target audience – this involves finding out the specifics of your target audience. This includes their age group, location, purchasing habits, how they use Instagram and much more.
What you want your followers to know about you – apart from increasing sales, there are other reasons why you are opting for Instagram marketing. Among them being to satisfy the curiosity of your followers as to the manufacture of your products. You can also use it to share some perspective of employees in a bid to humanize your brand.
Invest In A Curated And Complete Instagram Profile
If you need to attract a huge number of followers, it is only fair that you pay extra attention to what your Instagram profile and feed looks like. This is why creating an aesthetic Instagram profile is of immense importance. It is the first opportunity you have to make a great impression and entice Instagram users to hit that follow button.
By creating a consistent brand story in your feed, you can translate the casual visitors into devoted and engaged followers who may turn to potential clients. Note that the feed is turning to a homepage as many clients are recently turning into Instagram to search for products instead of Google.
This means that you should put in as much effort in the visuals of your Instagram profile as you put in the homepage of your website. Your profile should be a complete reflection of your business brand, products and services. If done right, it will be easy converting your visitors to followers.
Perhaps the best way to lure your followers into your account is through Instagram stories. This new feature is perfect for introducing your potential followers to whatever you are all about. Think of this as a movie trailer outlining your business brand, products and services.
Instagram story highlights give an opportunity for new followers to see the best content and give them a sense of what they should expect from your brand. By optimizing this feature, you can even make sales from your profile, even without the users following you.
The other asset is having an eye-catching Instagram bio. Your bio is perhaps one of the most under-utilized Instagram feature that is very important. To many brands, it might be hard to come up with a perfect description of what you do and why people should follow you. However, instead of focusing on you, you should try to focus on your target customers and how your profile will help or inspire them.
In your bio, outline a clear view of your business brand, products and services. Besides, don’t forget a clear call-to-action, informing your followers and potential customers to shop, subscribe to your email list or buy tickets to a certain event you are hosting.
Hack Your Instagram Stories For More Exposure
Instagram stories have proved beneficial since its inception. Even as organic reach drops for the regular Instagram posts, stories are likely to take up and engage followers more. Interestingly, many people don’t know that Instagram stories can help them get followers. Did you know that?
This is true through. Stories appear on the Instagram explore page. This means that both Instagram users who follow you and those who don’t will find and watch your stories. Certainly, if they like what they see, they might begin by following you.
Apart from appearing in the explore page, Instagram stories also appear in stories for different locations and hashtags, depending on how you use. If you aren’t aware, most Instagram location and hashtagged stories have their own stories attached. The challenge remains with the fact that only a few people know how to get their stories appear in such a public Instagram story.
Note that your Instagram story becomes a public Instagram story through two ways. You can do this by adding an hashtag to your story or adding a location to the Instagram story. For instance, if you are attending a live concert, it is your time to brag more followers.
Note that such is the time many people are interested in keeping updated with what’s happening in real time. They will therefore stream into your live feeds through stories like never before. This can turn a casual Instagram user into your follower.
Adding a hashtag into your Instagram stories is quite a breeze. You can simply type the hashtag or use the hashtag sticker to add your hashtag of choice. As you may know, any person searching the hashtag will be able to view it. For location, you can add by clicking the location sticker.
Your followers certainly want to see something from you. This is perhaps the reason they followed you. By interacting with your posts, the activity is visible to other followers, perhaps exposing you to a wider audience. Besides, your followers might be intrigued to share some of the great contents with friends by tagging them in the comments section.
To support this, a study conducted by one of the visual marketing tool Tailwind conducted a study involving more than 100,000 Instagram profiles to understand how frequent posting affects the growth of an account, especially when it comes to increasing followers and engagement rates.
The result was that the often you post, the more the likes and followers you gain. Profiles that posted more than seven times a week gained more likes and followers compared to those that post less frequently.
Consistent posting is a key element in getting your posts seen at the top of the timeline. If you share posts on a regular basis, it picks up good engagement, which automatically translates to more followers.
Use Relevant Hashtags
The use of hashtags is becoming controversial as time goes by. However, they are among the best way of marketing your products and services in Instagram and Twitter. Using the right hashtags can expose your image to a wider and large audience.
Whereas Instagram allows the use of 30 maximum hashtags, a study conducted by TrackMaven concluded that 9 hashtags are the optimal number for creating maximum engagement. Use Instagram free tools such as Display Purpose, Focalmark and Autohash to discover relevant and quality hashtags for your Instagram posts.
To increase your Instagram followers, choose hashtags with purpose. For instance, instead of using general hashtags such as #love, go for hashtags that describe your business, your account objective, your target market and perhaps your location. For instance #SFcoffee.
Write Compelling Captions
Despite Instagram being largely focused on the visuals, captions play a big role in increasing your account’s engagement and helping you get more followers. Some of the key strategies to keep in mind when doing this include:
Start with the most important words – captions in the user’s feed cut off after some lines. Therefore, make sure to utilize the limited space to convey your most compelling information.
Ask some questions – this is an easy way of creating engagement. Asking questions prompts your audience to leave a comment.
How about emojis? – emojis helps in drawing the reader‘s eyes. They are appropriate for Instagram use as it is a visual social platform.
Best Instagram Apps to Get Followers
Undertaking the above could be quite overwhelming. Certainly, creating and managing an Instagram profile for a brand or business is a lot of work. Thankfully, there are several apps that can help with editing photos and getting followers.
To begin, Instagram offers some basic photo editing capabilities. However, they might not be adequate to make a picture appear great. Most photos require that they go through one or two photo editing apps before finding their way to Instagram.
If you need utmost photo editing features, consider Snapseed and VSCO apps. These two apps offer professional editing tools that can help in adjusting your photos’ colour, exposure, white balance and more. They offer additional filters that can’t be found on Instagram.
If you need to create branded marketing photos, you can try Canva and Adobe Spark. These apps turn your basic photos into beautiful designs and graphics. It combines a myriad of features including overlay texts and endless visual elements that help your content stand out.
On the other hand, for an interactive content, you can try Instagram Boomerang, Hyperlapse and Layout apps. These apps uniquely spin your content by creating short, looping videos and time lapses. Similarly, an app like Hootsuite comes in handy when analysing competition. This helps you to identify opportunities to increase engagement.
Getting People Behind Your List
Once you have amassed quite a good number of following, it is time to pitch your products to your followers to increase sales. This is perhaps the ultimate goal of increasing your Instagram following. Just to mention, succeeding in Instagram marketing isn’t about getting followers and more likes on Instagram.
The best way to grow your business using Instagram is taking your relationship off the platform, into their inbox. That said, even at this stage of massive social media presence, emails remains one of the best way to establish an ongoing relationship with your audience and potential clients.
The obvious reason behind this is that you establish direct contact with your potential clients. In this section, we will discuss about the best hack strategies build your email list to make more money, more sales of your products and service. Below are some of the steps of creating an email list for your brand.
Formulate an irresistible offer
You should think about your ideal client. Obviously, not everyone can easily hand over their email addresses to strangers. Therefore, find some interesting idea or a reason why your Instagram followers should give you their email address. This is called a lead magnet.
Some of the common convincing reasons include winning something, getting a free e-book or getting access to some discounts on products. At this stage, don’t ask them to subscribe to your newsletter. Check out the example below.
Create a landing page for your followers
After deciding on the free offer, you need to create a custom landing page. This is because you are asking your followers to leave the Instagram platform to sign up for something. Make the landing page as easy as possible.
Avoid directing your clients to your homepage as they might get frustrated having to search for the sign up icon. Avoid losing such leads by having a landing page.
The landing page directs your followers to where they should enter their email, perhaps with a clear explanation of what they are getting in return. Check out the example above.
Create and connect an email list
This is the last and relatively simple step. The basic premise of this is that you want to be able to email these people whenever you want to. You can set up a series of automatic welcome emails for new subscribers that builds trust and sends them links to buy something.
Using the list
Having created the list, it is time to make maximum use of it. This is done through product push. In this module, we will discuss the power of product push. It is of immense importance to have balance between getting the people to sign up for an email list and getting account to grow extremely fast.
You should be determined in pushing your products that will be a factor in growing fast. Try to look the Foundr magazine account, you can see the contents, which is quotes, they put the promotional poses, which is called the product push.
Try to do 3-5 product pushes a week but keep in mind to post 6-7 times a day in an Instagram, which consist of share for share and content. The purpose of this module is to teach the power of product push and build your email list.
Power of DM
DM simple refers to direct messaging. Since its introduction to Instagram some years back, it has grown to be an integral feature in helping your online business. This is because you are able to send private messages to users, making it possible to engage with users on a personal level.
This is why direct messaging should be incorporated into your Instagram strategy. Some of the benefits of using Instagram direct for your business include:
Connecting with influencers – using influencers in your businesses’ marketing strategy is becoming a necessity. Regardless of whether you go for huge influencers or micro influencers, the potential of reaching a wider audience is enhanced by contacting these people.
Instagram direct is perhaps the easiest way to reach your potential influencers. Once you have done the necessary research and concluded that they may be the best for you, slide in their DM to establish the first contact. It is from this that you can enhance your contacting platforms to emails or as well maintain it within DM.
Streamlining customer service – this comes in handy when it comes to promoting sales. Your potential clients can contact you if they have a request or need to make an order through this powerful channel.
Making your top followers feel special – everyone, including you, certainly loves rewards. Every fan has a group of super fans or brand ambassadors that like, comment or refers friends to your posts. You can use this channel to deepen such connections and thank them for being there.
Source of feedback – learning from users is important in brand growth. You can use Instagram direct to learn what your followers think of your brand, products and services. It Is a good way to conduct some informal market research to collect feedback on your overall performance.
How to use direct messaging?
- Use silent call to action to get people to contact you to direct messaging.
- You can use S4S for direct messaging.
- You can contact somebody if you want to
Over to You
Increasing your Instagram followers by such numbers within a month is certainly daunting, to say the less. However, following the tips mentioned above with the help of other essential apps will see you started quickly.
Try out by simply making a profile, start posting, do some tweaking and testing to promote your account. For sure, garnering a huge following on Instagram won’t happen overnight. However, a strong foundation could be the key to your success.