With Instagram being an up and coming platform – it’s no wonder more, and more businesses are turning to this social media site to try and promote their products and services. The thing is, when you’re starting literally from zero on a platform that’s new to you – how do you get more Instagram followers?
There are lots of growth hacking strategies out there, that have the potential of quickly attracting followers to your account. However, these are not necessarily strategies that will gain you a quality audience. You need to decide what’s most important to you – quality or quantity?
With that in mind, here are a few of the strategies that create good Instagram habits and at the same time, help draw more Instagram followers to your account.
Use your current audience to find more Instagram Followers
Tell them you are now on Instagram! Whether it’s shouting about it on your Facebook page or sending a bulk email to your database via MailChimp, you need to get the word out to your current online audience. Most people use more than one social media platform, and as we continue to see a shift in where different demographics are hanging out online, it makes sense that more of your audience may be making use of Instagram right now.
Research your Instagram hashtags
There are two elements to hashtags. So do your research and identify some hashtags that are relevant to your product or service, and that are also popular and relevant to your target market. Using these hashtags in the following ways is going to draw an audience which you can hopefully convert into more Instagram followers.
Firstly, take some time to create a stock of hashtags you can use on your posts. On each post, you are aiming to add ten hashtags. (That seems crazy when you’re used to following the two or three hashtags max rule on most other social media sites!) Create blocks of six to eight hashtags on a theme and have these set up on a notes page on your mobile phone. You can then easily copy and paste these into the descriptions of each of your posts, and add a couple more post specific hashtags to ensure relevancy. This should then result in your posts being included in search results of each of the hashtags when users search for them.
Which brings me on to the second reason for identifying hashtags you deem to be of high value to you. You need to reflect the behaviour of your target market. So do a search for those hashtags, and go through and add comments to the posts of others who are appearing. Make sure your comments are valuable and engaging – just commenting ‘great post’ isn’t kidding anyone that you are doing anything other than simply pretending to be interested! (As an extra tip while we’re on the subject – You can also follow those hashtags too, so any posts containing them appear within your Instagram feed.)
Seek out more Instagram followers using the Explore tab
The explore tab offers each user an individual experience that is driven by how that individual is using Instagram. What they post, search for, engage with, who they already follow etc. And also where they are geographically. What’s most notable is that the explore tab shows users content from people they don’t already follow. If you know your target market inside out and you are using Instagram in a similar way to them, it stands to reason that the content you see under explore is also going to be relevant to your target audience too. So engage with it! You can also use what you see here as being an indicator of the type of content or possible themes you could try to reflect in your content going forward.
The ultimate goal would be to have your content appear under the explore tab. That is no easy task though. You need to ensure you are consistently posting and maintaining ‘best practice’ in your posts. You also need to make sure you are receiving a level of engagement that means likes and comments are plentiful – that requires ensuring you are taking part and being part of the Instagram community. So while you build your audience, and gathering that level of engagement – use the explore tab as I have described above.
Instagram Followers Can Be Fickle
It is going to be hard, but try not to get too caught up on numbers on Instagram. You’ll find there are days when you put a post out and receive a torrent of notifications that include new followers. Only to find that 48 hours later you have lost more followers than you gained. There are vast numbers of accounts that hit the follow button to try and get the follow back – only to obtain this from you and then unfollow you once they have it!
The above only scratches the surface – and I’ll be honest, I don’t want to give all my tips away in a single blog! Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your Instagram following be, not if it’s going to be of any value to you! If you are going to make it on Instagram, you need to keep posting (ideally daily), use Instagram Stories, and stay consistent. I promise you, your audience will grow, you will gain more Instagram followers, and they will be loyal and of value to you.