How to get more followers on Instagram
Instagram is becoming a focal point for brands looking to use social media to connect with current customers and potential new customers, for good reason.
According to the so-called “king of social interaction” by Forrester Research, the best brands on Instagram are experiencing an interaction rate per follower of 2.3 percent, which far exceeds the interaction rate of these brands on Facebook (0.2 percent) and Twitter (0.02 percent).
With high engagement rates and more than 500 million monthly active users, it’s no surprise then that getting more followers on Instagram is a top priority for any business using the platform.
Unfortunately, there is no magic formula on how to get more followers on Instagram, which in turn, instantly get you thousands of new followers; There are ways to improve your Instagram strategy so that the majority of your potential audience can find and follow you.
1) Create a clear strategy for Instagram
Using any social network without guidance can result in a waste of resources and a low return on investment – and Instagram is no exception. Having an implemented strategy will help you define what you want to achieve so that you can better capture and attract new followers relevant to your business.
Whether you’re starting from scratch, or adjusting your current Instagram efforts, here are three elements to designing a solid Instagram strategy.
Research your competitors
Analyzing what your competitors are doing on Instagram will show you:
- What a realistic group of followers looks like for companies in your niche or business sector.
- The type of content published by other companies in your niche or business – and if it works, or not.
- How often your audience expects you to post content.
- The way other companies interact with your potential audience.
With the Instagram integration in Hootsuite, you can monitor your competitors (along with customers, industry conditions and any other type of Instagram content you want to control) from the same control panel that you use to manage all your other social networks.
An interesting article is 23 Best Places to Buy Instagram Followers (Real & Active) 2020
Decide what story you are going to tell
Regardless of the sector your company is in, you have a story to tell, which is perfectly suitable for a highly visual social network like Instagram. A compelling narrative in your content will give it a sense of purpose, which can inspire word of mouth recommendations in your current community, making your Instagram account more attractive to new followers.
Satisfy their curiosity by showing your followers how the product is made, share an employee’s perspective to humanize or position your brand in an inspiring way, showing your customers’ lifestyle or achievements. You don’t have to limit your Instagram strategy to just one of these groups. Most successful brands will tell all of these stories at once in different ways, and perhaps through different social channels.
Extra: Download a free checklist that reveals the exact steps an adventure photographer took to grow from 0 to 110,000 Instagram followers, with no budget and no expensive gear.
Since your Instagram strategy will only be as effective as the goals for which it was designed, you need to know what you are aiming for. We suggest setting goals for Instagram that fit your overall marketing and business strategy – whether it’s brand awareness, driving traffic to your website, or supporting the goals of a broader marketing campaign.
2) Get more Instagram followers by making your account more visible
If you have a hard time attracting new followers on Instagram, a simple (but often overlooked) solution is to make it easier to find yourself. Increase the number of ways potential new followers can spot your Instagram account. Here are some specific suggestions:
- Advertise your Instagram account to your followers on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or any other social network where you already have followers. Consider boosting these posts with paid advertising to ensure more followers reach your Instagram account.
For example, Sony Mobile brought its Facebook audience to its Instagram account, focusing on a specific product. This gave their audience a clear reason to follow them on Instagram. They also used a custom URL, which allowed them to track them in such a way that they could compare the number of clicks on the link with the number of new followers they got on Instagram.
- Provide links to your Instagram account on your website, in your email signature and in your newsletters, so that more people who are in contact with your brand online can find you on the social networks.
- Follow people and ‘like’ or comment on their photos to increase your visibility on Instagram.
- Use relevant hashtags to help your content appear in searches. (More on this in the next section).
- Incorporate your Instagram photos into your blog posts.
3) Create good Instagram content to grow your number of followers
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it can’t be emphasized enough: the better your content on Instagram, the more likely you are to get more followers. Posting blurry, inconsistent branding, or just plain uninteresting photos doesn’t provide incentives for people to follow you. These are some guidelines to improve your content strategy on Instagram.
Find the best time to post
Use the information you have about your customers to determine the best time to post on Instagram. For example, if your customers are generally people who work all day, chances are they are not checking Instagram between 9 and 11 in the morning as often as first thing in the morning, on the hour of the lunch, or after work. However, if the new followers you hope to gain are stay-at-home parents, then this spike in Instagram usage may change.
The most effective way to determine the best time to post on Instagram is by testing how your photos perform at different times of the day. If you find that photos you post in the morning are consistently getting more likes, comments, or followers than those posted in the afternoon or evening, adjust your content schedule accordingly.
Here at Hootsuite, we found that one of our optimal times to post on Instagram is around 8:00 pm in our time zone (Pacific Standard Time). At that time, our audience in North America checks Instagram before bed, while our followers in Australia and Asia check their news feed on the way to work.
There is no magic number for how often you should post to Instagram, but a recent Simply Measured report noted that “75 percent of the best brands post at least once a week.” Keep in mind that the goal is to ensure that your photos appear in the news section of your followers, so that you can interact with them. This activity will be visible to your followers, which increases your chances of getting new followers. Your followers want to see your content; after all, that’s why they follow you. Don’t keep them waiting by posting inconsistently.
Are you short on time? Schedule Instagram photos (along with captions) in advance with Hootsuite. For more details on how to do it, click here.
Including relevant hashtags in captions will help make your posts visible to people who aren’t following you yet, but are looking for photos related to your brand in the industry. Before using hashtags to get more followers on Instagram, be sure to check the following:
Activities to do and activities to avoid when using hashtags on Instagram
DO: Find and use what’s popular.
Use the Trendspottr app on Hootsuite to find the most popular hashtags related to your product, service, or industry. Next, set up a column in Hootsuite to monitor the content posted with that hashtag on Instagram.
DO: create your own hashtag.
Make up your own hashtags that your audience will want to identify with. Herschel Supply uses the hashtag #WellTravelled as part of its social marketing strategy, which also uses its audience to document its travels. This creates a strong sense of community while exposing the Herschel brand to new followers and potential customers.
AVOID: overdoing it, while using hashtags is an effective way to get new followers on Instagram, using too many can be distracting to your audience and dilute your message.
AVOID: do tricks with your hashtags. Using hashtags like #likeporlike, #siguemeytesigo or #follow me can result in a temporary increase in new followers, but these can be spammers or people who are only interested in being followed – neither of which will help you build a community. meaningful and with high levels of interaction on Instagram. Instead, as recommended by Instagram, focus on using specific hashtags for your photo, product, or business.
These are 7 other mistakes on Instagram that you should avoid.
Even though Instagram is a highly visual platform, captions play an important role in helping you get more followers on Instagram. Along with using hashtags, here are some tips to keep in mind when adding captions to your photos:
- Ask questions. This will encourage your audience to leave a comment with their response, and this type of interaction will help make your account visible to more people. In this example, Winners shows their products while interacting with their community, encouraging them to leave a comment on the photo.
- Tag your location. If you work for a business that has a physical location, be sure to tag your photos with that location and encourage your clients to do the same. Users can then click on that spot and see all the photos posted from your store, restaurant, or location, which can help show your brand (and your Instagram account) to more people. Searching for the Starbucks in Pike Place, for example, shows the most recent posts tagged by customers there.
Get creative with videos
Instagram is the perfect place to take advantage of video, a trend that continues to grow and dominate social networks. Brands that are leading the way when it comes to Instagram videos are attracting new followers through user-generated content, fun and innovative videos showcasing their products, DIY tips, tutorials, and content that sparks (and satisfies) curiosity.
4) Get more Instagram followers through contests and campaigns
Hosting contests on Instagram can help you grow your audience even more, drive traffic to your website, and even help you sell your products. To enter the contest, ask people to follow you, like or comment on one of your photos, use a specific hashtag, or repost one of your photos. Promoting user-generated content as part of your contest will help you reach more people. Those who do not follow you will still be visible on your Instagram account through a message created by one of their friends, which is an effective way to build trust with new followers.
Benefit Cosmetics has successfully used Instagram contests to bridge the online and offline experience of its customers. In a recent campaign, Benefit partnered with beauty products company Ulta to host an Instagram contest in which users shared selfies after a visit with an eyebrow expert at a local Ulta store. By following the @BenefitCosmetics account and posting their selfie using the hashtag #browbestie, the customer could compete to win eyebrow services for one year, as well as $ 250 in Benefit products.
This contest did three things: act as an incentive for new followers, show and promote the in-store experience, and reward the community for natural online behavior.
Incorporating Instagram into your overall marketing campaigns can help you gain new followers and connect the online and offline experience for your customers. For example:
- Run an intrigue campaign that is exclusive to Instagram and gradually reveal an ad, such as a new product or service.
Taco Bell announced that they were going to start serving breakfast in a quick Instagram video that was fun, showcased the product, and excited their audience.
- Use Instagram to cover live events, including conferences, community meetings, or in-store promotions.
5) Help others to build their community
Like all social networks, Instagram relies on the communities built within it. Find potential new followers on Instagram by following them first and then getting involved by liking, commenting and sharing their content – many people tend to return the favor.
Create Instagram search columns in Hootsuite to find, monitor and interact with users. If you find someone who is posting relevant content, leave a comment and ask if you can share the photo on your business account (be sure to give credit to the person who originally posted it). Travel Alberta, for example, regularly reposts its audience content. As stated in their bio, users give permission for their photos to be shared on the Travel Alberta Instagram account using the hashtag #ExploreAlberta.
Collaborating with other successful Instagrammers in your industry can help you and these potential followers reach new audiences and gain more followers and exposure. The Trendspottr Instagram app on Hootsuite can help you get detailed information on who these potential followers are and what the most popular content they are sharing on Instagram.
6) Consider advertising on Instagram to get more followers
If you have a budget for social advertising, Instagram ads should be on your radar. A sponsored ad is a powerful way to quickly reach new potential followers on Instagram. Now Instagram allows almost anyone to buy sponsored posts within the platform, using online ad buying tools offered by official Instagram partners. This means that you can now log into one of these third-party sites, in order to create, segment and place ads on Instagram, as a self-service.
In a study by Nielsen Brand Effect of more than 400 ad campaigns on Instagram, the recall of the sponsored message ad was shown to be 2.8 times higher than other types of online advertising. A&W Restaurants saw a 39-point increase in ad recall and a 4-point increase in message association after running their ad campaign on Instagram.
7) Measure and analyze Instagram results
If you’re not getting new Instagram followers at the rate you want, checking your metrics and analytics periodically can help you identify areas where you can possibly adjust your strategy.
For example, you can see a correlation between the time of day you post, certain hashtags or the type of content, and an increase in new followers. Try to focus on repeating these moments to see if you get the same results.