When it comes to Instagram, many social media marketers encounter a common problem – lack of followers.
Why are they concerned about this problem?
The larger your audience, the wider your reach will be. So your online supporters play a very vital role in expanding your horizons and moreover reaching out to more followers. Don’t think of your follower count as just a number, consider it the size of your brand’s community.
So how do you attain Instagram followers? A dedicated strategy for Instagram and robust efforts can work magic on Instagram numbers and the size of your community. We’ve devised the following guide to help you put together winning Instagram strategies.
#1 Use Hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to engage your audience and improve your exposure. But, many become hashtag-abusers by not understanding how to use them. This might have an opposite effect on your community. So how do you devise the perfect hashtag?
- Be very specific while using hashtags
- Create hashtags that cater efficiently to the respective social networks
- Use unbranded and relevant hashtags
- It should not be too long or complicated
- Never hashtag everything
#2 Build A Community
(Building communities are pivotal in attracting Instagram followers)
With hundreds of millions of users, the probability is extremely high that you will be able to locate an audience belonging to your niche. So do identify communities which are relevant to your industry. Pay attention to the following:
- Influencers in the niche community
- Hashtags used
- Style of posts and subjects
- Popular engagement strategies implemented within the niche community
#3 Work With Brand Ambassadors
Brand ambassadors are an excellent way to widen your reach and enrich your corporate outlook. Having brand ambassadors are extremely beneficial on social media especially Instagram. They help in:
- Broadening your social media reach
- Humanizing your company or the social media account
- Upholding your reputation online
- Increasing your website’s overall traffic
- Attaining a positive image through excellent word-of-mouth
- Laying the foundation in the markets or regions where your brand is not present.
#4 Host A Takeover
(Example of an Instagram takeover)
How do you connect with your community differently? What about an Instagram takeover? You can invite an ambassador, influencer or an active member to take over your Instagram feed for a day. This move can help you achieve many important goals on social media. It helps in boosting the engagement of the audience, increasing the number of followers and at the end of the day, building a brand voice which is authentic.
While hosting a takeover, it is important always to review the brand language. Work closely with the team or the individual. Do look into the candidate’s followers and whether they are a good fit for your brand. If you feel that the influencer doesn’t align with the brand values, feel free to reject.
#5 Hold Contests
How do you explain something that everybody loves within two words? Free stuff. If you hate the idea of giving something for free, give it a second thought. Because it will cost you less when compared to marketing or advertising costs. The best part? One contest has the potential to create an increase in engagement and followers than many pieces of content. Contests are an excellent way to reward your current audience or fans as well. Here are some ideas
Liking contests – Candidates enter the contest by liking your posts
Comment to win – Participants need to comment to enter the contest
Photo adventure – Participants goes through a series of your posts to find a particular winning post.
User generated content is also of paramount importance. Ask your followers to post relevant pictures along with your contest hashtag. This way you are hosting a game and engaging a community at the same time.
#6 Post Strategically
Many factors concerning a business are dependent on time. This applies to Instagram posting as well. It will be difficult to gain followers if you post your prime content when they are offline.
So what is the first thing you need to look into? The timezone of your target audience. If you reside in Vancouver, and your core community lives in Toronto, there is a 3-hour difference in time.
It makes a substantial difference in catching your followers’ eye as they scroll through their newsfeed in the morning. This is because they are already 3 hours into their daily work schedule.
If you find that the pictures you post in the evenings are getting more engagement than mornings or afternoons, then alter your content strategy accordingly.
#7 Like And Comment On Photos
Even though this strategy may seem obvious; it’s a sure shot. Commenting or liking on anybody else’s images or videos might help you earn valuable connections. It just takes a second to like a photo, but this action of yours can get your brand into the forefront of your followers’ minds. Everybody appreciates the fact that their post is being endorsed.
This doesn’t mean that you have to like random photos. Engage with content that is relevant to your brand or the industry. Look through the ‘explore’ page and double-tap on photos that align with your brand values. This way your content will feature on the ‘explore’ page of your target audience and in the long run can yield an increase in followers.
#8 Share Video
(Instagram videos are a game changer in getting the attention of users)
If you want to expand your horizons and gain more attention for your brand, then videos are a safe bet. Videos let you narrate the stories in a dynamic fashion. Do you know that videos on Instagram gain twice the number of engagement when compared to photos? Make videos which are bright, engaging and fun at the same time. Let people tag their followers or friends. Here are some tips to create the perfect video for Instagram
- Make it shareable
- Use storytelling as a weapon
- Use a customer centric approach (earn their engagement)
- Understand your audience’s emotions
In short, videos let you engage your target audience, build an engaging community and boost your creativity.
#9 Ask Questions
Do you want to make your audience active? Ask them questions. It’s that simple. For example – If you are a yogurt company, post a picture which contains different variety or flavored yogurts and ask them which one they like the most. This way they try your product offline and is engaging with your brand online. You also get to see your audience share valuable insights which will help you in understanding them better.
Learning how to gain a lot of Instagram followers is not just about the numbers. Instead, it should focus on building and developing your brand’s niche community. With significant effort and unique engagement strategies, you can witness your Instagram profile growing as the principal voice of your brand.