In April 2012, Facebook took a gamble on an otherwise nondescript photo sharing app for $1 billion. Instagram then had only 30 million users but the gamble has paid off. Today, the social media network boasts over 500 million monthly active users. 30% of internet users today are on Instagram and the numbers are growing. While the app was first popular for individuals sharing moments with family and friends, businesses are now cashing in on the platform for branding purposes.
If you already have an Instagram account for your company, you will concur that getting followers is not easy. Without followers liking and sharing your photos, your branding campaign will not pick up. To grow your Instagram following, you must start with a clear strategy. Your Instagram profile must relate to your brand, as this will make it easier for your target audience to get the message.
Here are some other ideas that will help you grow your Instagram following:
1. Engage with Your Niche
One of the toughest tasks in growing your Instagram following has to be engagement. It is understandable you are already tied up with the business, but if you want to grow your following then you have to like, comment, tag and follow others. It is important to pick out the accounts to follow based on your target market. If you have a vintage car dealership for instance, following car clubs and car dealers in your city would be a great start. Instagram is largely a reciprocal social network where you have to show some love in order to get some. You can invest in Instagram follow software like instagram dm online and instagram bot, which will keep your account active. However, genuine comments also come in handy as those you are targeting will notice.
2. Shout Your Handle On all Your Merchandise
Digital marketing today works hand in hand with traditional merchandise. You can easily market your Instagram handle by including it in all your promotional items and products. If you are a restaurant owner, for instance, your coffee cups must come with a logo and your handle. People love sharing food and drink photos and as they do this, your handle will go out there. This is an ingenious way to make your customers increase your Instagram followers. The idea is to reach out to your target market as opposed to having customers searching for you.
3. Leverage Influencers in Your Niche
This idea is very important especially when starting out. You can opt for non-paid shout outs or if you have a budget, pay influencers in order to get them to post your content. The photos you send must be custom made to increase the probability of getting followed by viewers. Promo codes are perfect if you want to quickly bring followers to your account. You will pay influencers per use in case they accept to post your custom code.
4. Hold a Contest
Internet lovers adore giveaways and it is no wonder websites are always using promotional codes to convert. On Instagram, a contest where users repost an image and tag you will easily increase your brand’s visibility. If you already have a good following, you can give away freebies to your followers by requesting them to tag a friend in the comment. The idea here is to turn creativity into numbers. The more the fun, the higher the number of followers you will receive.
5. Give a Good Reason to be Followed
There are millions of Instagram accounts in your niche. To grow your following, there must be a good reason your account stands out. Take for instance the number of fashion designers on Instagram. While some thrive, others barely get any attention. The secret lies in giving a good reason why anyone should follow you. Your content should inspire and give an emotional uplift. If you are a fashion designer for instance, talk about your fabrics being eco-friendly and go on to show photos of the same. People will not just follow you for the products but because your business is green.
6. Unique and Innovative Hashtags
Choosing the right quality hashtags will determine how rapidly your content will be liked and the number of followers. Hashtags will expose your brand to a large targeted audience and it is important to put a lot of thought into the ones you choose. Power users such as Jeff Sieh are big on hashtag use and their popularity seems to keep growing on Instagram. Start with a few obvious choices and then check what other users in your niche are using. Just like keyword research plays a big role in SEO, make hashtag research a part of your Instagram campaign. When Samsung rolled out its Galaxy Note, it realized the importance of hashtags and went on to get a few influencers to use #benoteworthy and the rest, as they say is history. Over 2,500 photos tagged with the hashtag and the device became one of the brand’s best sellers.
7. Share User Generated Content (UGC)
Brands across the globe have promoted their businesses by sharing user generated content from their online interactions. On Instagram, you can easily use UGC with your hashtags to reach out to more followers. This can be in form of user experiences when using your products or services. A CTA on such content is also a clever way to drive traffic to your account.
8. Talk to Your Other Followers
Before Instagram stole the limelight, most brands already had a big presence on Facebook. It was the ideal sharing platform and if your brand already has a strong Facebook following, transform these into Instagram followers by telling them about your platform. You can share a sneak preview of your content and encourage them to follow you on Instagram.
Well, over 59% of Top 100 Brands are already using Instagram to meet their objectives. Whatever the size of your business, this is a platform you can’t ignore. There is a lot of potential to convert on Instagram and this will also give you a competitive edge.