Having a healthy social media presence for any brand is no joke! With everyone’s ever-increasing scroll time, you have to make sure you secure a safe and a sturdy place for your brand on the Internet. Be it Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or Youtube. But we can all agree that Instagram is currently way ahead in the Social Media race than all the other horses!
It’s no surprise that Instagram has over 1 billion monthly users already and has pretty much taken over the Internet in the past decade. It plays a huge role in driving sales to your business so maintaining a successful Instagram page is not an option anymore but a necessity. Even if your brand is not very ‘photo-centric’ you can always find ways around it to post good visual content. A great example would be Dell (https://www.instagram.com/dell/?hl=en). The point being, you absolutely need to have a well-rounded and a consistently growing Instagram account for your brand’s success. We will be discussing the 10 actionable steps you can take to flood your account with new followers and grow it quickly!
- Post consistently and at the right time!
When it comes to Instagram, consistency is key. To keep it simple, the more you post, the more outreach you get. Tailwind conducted detailed research which shows that the accounts which posted more often, often received a lot of engagement. However, do not take this advice so seriously that it reaches the spam zone. Posting one picture every day should do the trick! Posting every day might not be enough, the time at which your post is also very important. We suggest, you experiment with different times and see what works best for you. But there are 3 solid ways you can figure out a golden posting hour for your business:
- According to research conducted by Sprout Social, you should prefer posting on Thursday to get the most engagement. The ideal time to post would be at 5am, 11am, and from 3pm to 4pm. Seems odd right? But statistics cannot lie! Try it yourself.
- If you don’t want to trust the stats, we suggest you look at your target customer persona. You will find answers to all the doubts you ever have by looking at that. What time do you think your target consumer is free and has time to scroll on their Instagram feed? Do a little trial and error, and you shall find the perfect posting time for your business.
- Another way you can find this is by going to your Instagram insights, click on ‘Followers’ and you will get all the data about when your followers are the most active during each day of the week. Isn’t that smooth? You can also check out tools like Postcron and Hootsuite which let you schedule your posts in advance.
- Use Geo-Tagging & Location Sticker
Geotagging basically means tagging the location to your photos. It gives you direct exposure from everyone who has been to the same place or is interested in that place. It can be a new city or a new cafe you’ve gone to. Especially when it comes to tourist-y locations, a lot of people usually first check out Instagram pictures from that location before planning a vacation.
You wouldn’t want to miss out on like-minded and relevant followers that may come to you through geo-tags! These aren’t necessarily limited to just posts, you can even add location stickers to your stories as well! It is in fact more real time, so there’s a chance you won’t just get new followers but also new friends!
- Like Photos in Your Niche
This is one of the most underrated tricks out there to grow your Instagram account. Find accounts whose values match yours. It doesn’t have to be a competitor but even if it is, so what! For example, if your business is about a bakery, find accounts dedicated to cakes, baking, cooking, desserts, etc. I’m sure there are pages out there who are only related to pancakes and nothing else.
Find all of those, and start liking their images. Like at least 5 images per account and you’ll see the response kicking in through your own eyes. You can even leave a comment here and there, but let it be genuine. Please avoid writing things like ‘nice pic’ and ‘great stuff’ if you genuinely want to compliment them, do it. This way you get attention from a lot of their followers and they get some validation, it’s a win-win.
- Correct Use of Hashtags
Oh! Didn’t you see this point coming already? Hashtags are the core of Instagram. But you gotta do it the right way! Just because they are important and free to use, doesn’t mean you put a million of them in your caption. It just doesn’t work that way. The correct use of hashtags is an art unknown to many.
The point is to be precise and relevant. If your post is about baking competition, you can add hashtags like #MasterChefAustralia or #desserts, instead of hashtagging every single element present in the image itself like #icing, #cake or #strawberry.
Before using a hashtag, also check out the search volume for it. Your choice of hashtags shouldn’t be so generic that it gets lost in a million posts, and it shouldn’t even be so unique that nobody searches for it. Make sure it’s a perfect blend.
- Post Quality Content
This is keeping in mind our first point where we talked about posting at least one picture every day. Make sure to do that, you don’t compromise on the quality of the post. The engagement on your post totally depends on the quality of it. And if your post is getting enough engagement, Instagram will push it ahead to more new users. Make sure your image looks professional and doesn’t look like something you whipped up in the last minute. Here’s a bonus tip: Make sure your posts follow a theme. You can do this by using a signature element in all your posts, it could be a simple white border. Or you can even achieve that by only using a particular set of colors. If you have certain Brand Guidelines for your business, then this part becomes much easier. It will help increase brand recollection and your followers will familiarize with your posts more.
- Ask your Followers to Promote your Brand for you
You need to be really smart here. Nobody is going to promote your business for you if they don’t have any gain from it for themselves. The trick here is to make it about them. It should give them an opportunity to boast but also have them promote your product indirectly. For example, if your business is selling online courses like Eduonix, you can ask your followers to click pictures with the certificates they get after completion of the course and put it under a common hashtag like #MilestonesWithEduonix. This way they can boast about an achievement they worked hard for and you get some solid exposure from a lot of people from your target group. Another win-win!
- Cross Posting
Make sure all your followers from other social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc, know you exist on Instagram. Cross Posting is great to let them know. Whatever you post on Instagram, occasionally post it on other social media channels too, but directly from Instagram. While you’re posting on Instagram, you get an option to post it on other channels as well. Do that, turn your followers into one big social family. You want another research proof? A study conducted by Buzzsumo says that 1 out of 3 billion posts on Facebook done via Instagram receive more engagement than normally posted pictures.
- Run Contests And Giveaways
This is a surefire way to gain new followers and quickly. Run a contest and have a giveaway. People love free stuff. They will definitely do what it takes to win it. And then comes the golden rule of the contest: Tag 3 of your friends and combine that with another generic question. Something like, ‘Tell us which is your favorite pizza’ or ‘what was your Pepsi moment.’ Don’t make them work too hard though. The golden trick here is the tagging. More people know about your brand, more people will participate, and again, even more people will know about your brand. It’s a beautiful loop. So whip up a Contest soon!
Just one word, cannot put it better. After all, it is a ‘Social’ Media site. Socializing is key when it comes to increasing your Instagram outreach. It can be done through a lot of different ways:
- Join Instagram Pods
This is a fairly new concept where a lot of bloggers, and famous Instagrammers, who have more or less the same set of followers come together and form a pod. It is a very positive space where people support each other, and help each other in increasing the engagement of their pages.
- Engage with your followers
This one’s an important one. It is very important to engage with your already existing followers and maintain a good rapport with them. Reply to anyone who comments on your pictures or messages you.
- Go Live!
Do not take this feature for granted. Whenever you can, go live and interact with your audience. If your page is very business and product oriented, the followers will feel nice to know that there is a face associated with the brand, it makes them feel more connected to the brand. You can also upload stories regularly to maintain a continuous presence online.
- Participate in trending conversations
One thing you should always do is follow all the ultra-famous accounts which even fall remotely in your category of expertise and keep a track of whatever is happening there. If a particular comment thread of a picture is trending make sure you mark your presence there with a comment. It is very probable that you get a lot of potential follower attention from that.
- Use tags from already famous accounts
I’m sure you have heard of famous hashtags campaigns like #DoUsAFlavor by Lays, or #ShareACoke by CocaCola. A lot of companies have these signature hashtags, which if you use them right, there’s a high chance they may showcase your picture on their feed. This is a classic overnight success scenario. You might be flooded with hundreds of followers any morning. You have to be extremely smart while using it though because you have to make sure the image is not just about their brand, it should express the core of your brand as well.
Another way you can socialize and in turn gain, a bunch of followers is by doing collaborations. Collaborations are usually done with people on the platform similar to yours who will endorse you and in turn, you will be promoting their work as well. You can also opt for Influencer Marketing, where a really famous Instagrammer in your niche can market your product/service for you to their audience in return for a specific fee.
- Paid Ads
Last but not least, Paid Promotion. Instagram Advertising can never go wrong. You have four options to post ads, it can be a Photo Ad, a Video Ad, a Carousel Ad, or a SlideShow Ad. You can even post your ads on stories these days. The best part about Instagram Ads is that they look just like every other Instagram post, so people won’t run from your ad like they do on other platforms. Ad Promotion will work pretty well for your business if you want quick results. There we go. If you seriously adopt only half of these tricks and apply it consistently to your Instagram account, you will start noticing the difference yourself. Instagram is being used more than any other social media channel out there and it has become extremely important to have a strong presence on Instagram. We hope these tricks help you skyrocket your Instagram account. Happy Gramming!
- Join Instagram Pods
- Use Geo-Tagging & Location Sticker