14 ways to grow your Instagram following
Want to grow your instagram following? Instagram is one of the most lucrative marketing opportunities for brands and businesses. However, sometimes it can seem difficult to build your Instagram audience or generate decent engagement.
Here are my 14 top ways to get more followers on Instagram:
Optimise your Instagram profile
Instagram profile optimisation is super important. Good optimisation means people who land on your profile will be able to see what they want immediately. It will also help you show up in searches, which means your audience will be finding YOU, rather than you spending hours tracking them down.
Making a good impression is important. The main things you need to ensure are optimised on your profile are:
- Username – does it reflect your brand or business? Make sure we know it’s you!
- Profile photo – is this in keeping with your brand?
- Bio – Who are you? Why should we follow you? Try adding some keywords that people might search for here.
- Website URL – make sure it’s working!
Post consistently to grow your Instagram following
Put simply; the more consistently you post, the more likes and follows you are going to get.
In short, try to post at least once a day and stick to it!
Plan ahead to make it easier for yourself
If you’re going to try and post every day, it will become a bit of a burden to try and do this off the cuff. Create a social media calendar and schedule some posts in advance using a tool like Buffer or Hootsuite.
Leave yourself some wiggle room though, just in case you have a great photo opportunity. If you’ve scheduled too far in advance, you may not be able to squeeze it in!
Tag other users to engage them
Tagging other users is a great way to get your posts out there. The person you tag will get a notification and chances are they may share the photo and tag you back – as long as it’s relevant and good quality!
Think about who might benefit from seeing and sharing your post. Try influencers in your niche, non-competing businesess in your industry or other brands or suppliers that you work with.
Don’t tag people who aren’t going to be interested just because they have lots of followers. You will become too spammy and it won’t get you anywhere.
Tag your location
Geotags on Instagram are just like checking in on Facebook.
If your business has a physical premises, then definitely check yourself in! Are you visting another business? Check yourself in there. Have you taken your photo in a cool location? You guessed it… add the location to the post!
Use call to actions to get people taking
If you want people to start commenting on your posts, you need to give them something to talk to you about.
When you’re writing your caption, think about what you want people to do or think after they have finished reading your post. What might your audience respond to?
Give them something to interact with and the conversation will flow.
Videos, live videos & stories
Without a doubt, video is the highest performing content type across the board on social media . Instagram gives so many options to incorporate video. You can post videos to your feed, go live or post videos or boomerangs to your story.
When you go live, you will appear right at the front of the stories feed and the average engagement for videos is growing faster than for images.
With all of that in mind, why don’t you try posting a video today?
Research the best hashtags for you
Using the right hashtags can get your posts and your brand in front of a large targeted audience. Posts with hashtags and geotags get the highest average engagement, so make sure you’re using them.
Look for hashtags that are relevant and popular. Instagrams ‘follow hashtag’ feature, now means that if you’re using a hashtag, then your image could show up in the feed of people who don’t follow you, just because they are following the hashtag.
You’ve got a maximum of 30 hashtags available to use. While you are initially trying to grow your Instagram following, I would suggest using as many as possible that are relevant. Don’t just fill the 30 hashtag slots with anything and look spammy. Spend some time taking a look and following various hashtags to see the kind of content that gets good results. If your content fits in with the best performing posts, you should definitely try that hashtag!
Share user generated content
Sharing user generated content is a fantastic way to boost your content calendar and get some incredible engagement opportunities.
Try starting your own hashtag, and encouraging people to share under this hashtag. If something excellent pops up, reshare this post and caption, tagging the original user. You can even share posts to your story too.
Collaborate with others to reach their audience
Collaborations are fantastic ways to grow your Instagram following. You can collaborate in two ways:
Partnerships are great for people who having something of value to share. For example, you could collaborate with a non-competing business or entrepreneur in your industry and share knowledge, tips or information to their audience. Making sure you are tagging yourself in the post, this is a great way to encourage people to visit your profile and follow. IF you allow the other business to do the same on your profile, you’re not only helping each other out, but you’re also giving your existing audience something extra!
Some collaboration ideas include:
- Taking over Instagram stories for a day
- Run a competition together
- Appear in each other’s photos
- Make a video together
- Run an Instagram challenge together
If you have the budget, you could also consider sponsorships. This is where you pay an influencer to promote your services or information. Influencer marketing is an effective way to reach new and already engaged audiences, but it can be a pricey strategy to take on.
Post at the right time FOR YOU
Unfortunately, there really isn’t a universal ‘best time’ to post on Instagram, each profile will have their own. Also, as your instagram following grows, you may find that this will change.
Want to find out your best time to post on Instagram?
- Go to your Instagram Insights
- Tap Audience
- Scroll down to ‘followers’
At the bottom, you will see which day and time your followers are most active.
Use Instagram Insights
Instagram insights give you all the analytics for your posts and stories.
Keep track of the posts that get the most engagement and impressions, because this is clearly what your followers want to see, and try to create more content like this.
Engage with your audience
The more engagements, such as likes and comments, your post receives, the better it will do in the current Instagram algorithm. You may even find that you make it to the top post in a hashtag!
A great habit to get into is to like and reply to all comments left on your posts. Doing so makes your fans feel like they can really connect with you, while also making sure your post shows up more in feeds.
Host a competition
Competitions are sure-fire ways to get people liking and engaging with posts on your Instagram feed.
Invite users to comment or tag a friend on the post to enter. This way, you will be reaching people who might not have heard of your brand before.
There is a great post from Social Media Examiner talking all about the different ways to run an Instagram competition.