Instagram is one of the best social media sites to promote your business. The site boasts 1 billion monthly active users, produces ten times higher engagement rates than Facebook, and 60 percent of users discover new products specifically on Instagram. But after everything is said and done, you still must face the challenge of getting more Instagram followers. It can be very difficult if you don’t have many resources but there are many things you can do to grow your following.
1. Leverage Blog and Website Visitors
The first thing you want to do is to leverage your visitors by announcing your Instagram profile on your blog, website, email newsletter, and other social media channels. You want to follow up by adding social sharing buttons on your pages so that users can share your content on Instagram and other social media sites. There are also plugins that allow you to integrate Instagram posts on your site. Finally, you can incentivize your visitors to follow you on Instagram in return for a free gift.
2. Cross Promote Content with Other Influencers
A free way to grow your following is to cross promote content with other Instagrammers. You want to specifically look for influencers that have a similarly sized following and covers topics that are related to you but not in direct competition with you. You may even go the extra mile and collaborate by creating something like a video together. This strategy is a great way to build followers when you’re just starting out.
3. Optimize Your Posts
A big part of your success will rely on how optimized your posts are. Since Instagram is a visual social media site, you need to start by posting high quality photos. In your posts, you want to write descriptive captions that add context and value to your post. If you want to elicit engagement, post an important comment and pin it to the top. Finally, you want to include the right hashtags. Tools like Hashtagify can help you find the best hashtags to include in your posts.
4. Post the Right Kind of Content
A big part of your success will rely on posting the right kind of content. To gather some ideas, follow the top influencers for your topic and look at their past posts to see which ones have generated the most engagement. You want to follow up by testing different types of content and using Instagram Insights to see which posts are performing the best.
5. Run Giveaways and Contests
When you start to get some traction, you may want to run a giveaway or contest to promote your profile. You want your followers to promote your hashtag, mention your profile, and possibly generate content for you to enter your giveaway or contest. Make sure that your prize is something very specific to your topic or you will attract a lot of freebie seekers that have no interest in you other than to enter your giveaway or contest.
6. User Generated Content
One of the best ways to get more exposure and followers on Instagram is to get your followers to post user generated content. In the above example, running a giveaway and contests offers an incentive for followers to post their own content that is connected to your business. But you can always do things like creating an Instagram event, asking your followers to share how they use your product/service, asking for their vote or opinion, and more.
7. Get Creative with Different Types of Content
Instagram is not just about photos anymore. There are other types of content you can post including videos, live video streams, boomerangs, and stories. All of these forms of content are incredibly engaging and gets your followers hooked to your profile. They are also more prone to getting shared than regular photos, so you want to invest a lot of time into creating different types of content to grow a larger following.
8. Get Your Profile Featured on Related Blogs
There are so many blog these days that showcase the top Instagrammers for a specific topic. For example, a cooking blog may feature a list of the top ten vegan Instagrammers readers should follow. Look for blogs related to your topic and ask if they’re planning a list of any kind or if they’d be interested in featuring your Instagram account. You may even go the content marketing route and create a list for them so that they can publish it for their readers.
These are just some of the ways you can get more followers on Instagram. These ideas will serve you very well in the beginning but don’t forget that there are many more creative ways to grow your following. Keep experimenting and track your campaigns to see what works. You’ll soon figure out a strategy that can really ramp up your Instagram following.