How to boost your Instagram following
Six in ten online adults now have an Instagram account and the platform has a total of 700 million users (400 million of which are active daily). It has taken the online photo sharing world by storm and is only growing.
It’s therefore no surprise that brands are heading to Instagram in swarms to promote their product or service. Some key players (and great sources of inspiration) are Starbucks, Sephora, American Express and Nike. If you want to build an audience that’s loyal and genuinely interested in your brand then you have to provide them with the content they want to see. Here’s our top tips on how to boost your Instagram following.
1. Start with a strategy
It’s so important that you have a clear purpose on Instagram. People buy into your story and your unique offering be it a product, service or yourself. It’s no good taking a scattergun approach with this and posting everything and anything. Sit down and think about the story that you want to tell and deliver it in a consistent way.
When planning your strategy, you should also look at what the competition are doing. That’s not to say copy but get a feel for what works well for them. Look at how regularly they post, the hashtags they use and what type of content works. This will help to give you a good steer on how users interact with your industry.
Key to any strategy once you have a clear plan is to set goals. This will help concentrate your efforts and reflect on what works. Make sure you are realistic however as unachievable goals can be really demoralising.
2. Post consistently
People follow you for a reason and that reason is to see your content, so make sure you post regularly. There’s no proven ‘magic number’ here but posting once a day has been proven to be more successful than posting weekly. If you post daily, you’ll get more interaction which ultimately leads to greater brand exposure. Users may even share your content which will be visible to their followers, again exposing you to another audience.
Time wise, there’s no definitive ‘magic number’ for when you should post – this article breaks down some helpful key trends. Once you’ve worked out the times that work for you, use a scheduling app like Later or Buffer to ensure you never miss those times.
3. Concentrate on captions
Yes, Instagram is pretty much all about the photo. However, a great way to boost your following is to use engaging captions. This is something many brands are guilty of neglecting and it could be a key reason for losing out on followers. Remember that your audience want to hear your story and providing informative captions can really help. Why not ask a question to engage people. Using emojis is also said to increase interaction as they catch the eye more. Always be sure to keep the key information at the start and you should see an increase in interaction.
4. Hashtags – use them wisely
There are plenty of dos and don’ts when it comes to hashtags and it’s important to make sure you get them right:
Don’t fall down the trap of going overboard – it can be overbearing and weaken your message.
Don’t use hashtags such as ‘likeforlike’ or ‘followme.’ Yes, this may give a short term boost to your following but it won’t be a meaningful audience that are genuinely interested in your brand.
Do work out what’s popular – use a hashtag app to work out what’s trending in your industry
Do make your own – brands have done well with their own hashtag such as Coca Cola’s #ShareACoke or Red Bull’s #PutACanOnIt
5. Fine tune your profile
When users land on your profile they want to be hit with a strong brand message. Getting this right can really impact a person’s decision to follow you. Be sure to make your bio clear and compelling. Think about the people you want to attract and the type of message that will make them hit follow. Check out this guide on creating a business bio for Instagram.
If you always keep in mind what your followers want to see then you’ll attract and engaging fan base. Get your strategy right and think about timings and the following will come.