Each month, over one billion people use Instagram, according to Hootsuite. So, there’s plenty of room to grow your following on the image-sharing platform. You can’t expect people to simply flock to your account though. Whether you’re a brand or an influencer, you’ll need to put in the effort to let fans know you’re online and introduce yourself to new audiences. Follow these tips to help you get more followers on Instagram.
Reels, Reels, Reels!
Right now, creating Instagram Reels is one of the best and easiest ways to grow your following. Reels have the potential to be featured on the “Explore” page, and they also have the potential to go viral. Focus on creating original content and use trending music to help amplify your reach.
Like any social media platform, it’s really important to be consistent. This is especially true on Instagram. Create and stick to a posting schedule that works for you. If that means posting three times a week including one Reel, then focus on that! You don’t necessarily need to post every day, it’s more about quality than quality, but you do need to consistently show up.
Use relevant hashtags
Hashtags are still an excellent way to grow your reach. You can explore hashtags using a number of tools, or do a search right within Instagram. The best hashtags to target will depend on your following. As a general rule, if you’re a newer account you’ll want to stay away from hashtags that are too popular as your goal with hashtags is to show up on the explore page for that tag.
It’s no longer about how many hashtags you use but how relevant they are to your content.
Optimize your bio
Your Instagram page should be instantly recognizable that it’s yours to fans who may be visiting from other platforms. Here are three quick tips for accomplishing this:
- Fill out your bio section rather than leaving it blank. Make it easy to find your account by including relevant hashtags and keywords that are related to your niche.
- Select a username that best matches your actual brand name or matches your other social media handles. Again, this makes it easy for people to find your specific page, and visitors should have no doubt that this is your official account.
- Include your brand’s official logo or find a way to integrate your colors and style into your posts. You want this account to be aesthetically cohesive with your other accounts.
Focus on your captions
Imagery is the main draw to Instagram, but captions are vital too. Use short captions to add context to images. Use long captions for intriguing brand storytelling. Use questions to encourage followers to engage with your content. Use emojis to add personality.
Captions are also important for search purposes. The Instagram algorithm will consider captions when bringing up search results, according to Search Engine Journal.
Fill out the visual descriptions on your posts to make sure they are not only accessible but also SEO-friendly.
Ride the trends
Right now, the best way to grow on Instagram is through Instagram Reels. When the next new thing comes out, you’ll want to ride the trend and focus on that. Participate in trends for videos and posts as well by applying them to your niche.
If you have other platforms, use them to direct traffic to your Instagram. The most simple way to do this is to add a link to your Instagram account in the profile section of your other social media accounts. You can do this on pretty much any channel, including Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Twitch, LinkedIn and YouTube.
Don’t feel the need to limit your cross-promoting efforts to social networks though. Try embedding Instagram images in blog posts, on websites and in newsletters and emails. The images will add visual appeal and also make it easy for customers to find your Instagram account. Another option is to add a link to your account in your email signature. Have a podcast? Be sure to advertise your account on there too.
Create shareable content
Have you ever come across a post that’s so entertaining or informative that you immediately share it with friends? To gain engaged followers, focus on creating content that others will find worth sharing. Post content that’s authentic but appeals to your followers’ emotions. This might involve an inspirational story or funny meme. When it comes to humor, make sure you’re avoiding content that might turn away your audience.
Another option is to create content that’s as useful as possible to your followers. A fitness brand might share a how-to post for a new workout routine or a recipe for a healthy breakfast shake. A gardening shop could share an infographic about houseplant care. These kinds of posts are more valuable to your followers than content that simply pitches your brand’s products.
Practice your timing
Create a content calendar and use automated posting tools to ensure your posts appear at a consistent time. What time should you schedule your posts to appear? That depends on your target audience. This will require a little research on your part, but doing so will help your posts appear at times in which potential followers are most active on Instagram.
Analyze your analytics
Many influencers overlook this simple step: Use your analytics to learn and grow! There are built-in analytics tools right within Instagram if you have a Business account. From there, you can learn the best times to post, what’s resonating with your audience and who your account is reaching. Use this knowledge to help you learn what’s working and adapt accordingly.
Working with popular influencers and other brands can help expose you to a broader audience within your niche. Influencers are trusted by their followers. So, if an influencer endorses your brand or mentions your account, you might benefit from a wave of new followers. The same goes for certain brands.
Before collaboration can begin, you’ll need to be willing to pitch a partnership. Here are just a few collaboration ideas:
- Co-host a contest over social media.
- Use Instagram Live to host a Q&A session or interview with an industry expert.
- Work together to conduct research or create infographics.
Tease your collaboration with an Instagram Reel. This helps build the audience’s anticipation for the upcoming event.
Use location tags and local hashtags
When you’re trying to reach an audience in your local community, add location tags to your photos. A location tag will improve your visibility with people who are looking for content related to that area. In addition, when you’re collaborating or partnering with influencers or brands, be sure to tag those accounts.
Use UGC to expand your reach
You can use your existing audience to broaden your reach even further. To do this, you’ll need to encourage your followers to create content that somehow relates to your account. A food brand might encourage followers to create food art with its products and share pictures of it.
You should also ask your followers to add a branded hashtag to user-generated content (UGC) for quick searchability. A branded hashtag is just what it sounds like — a specific hashtag that relates to your business or personal brand.
If you’re an influencer, provide examples of your UGC content to inspire others and tag the brands.
Don’t buy followers
Some Instagram accounts try to artificially inflate their audience size by buying fake followers. Although this tactic will increase your number of followers, it won’t boost your actual engagement. It also comes with two major consequences. The first is that it’s a violation of Instagram’s community guidelines, and moderators could penalize your account. The other is that you may lose trust with both potential and existing followers when they realize you’re relying on deceptive practices.
Rather than turn to fake followers for a quick “popularity” boost, use the aforementioned tips to grow your audience. Be patient and persistent, and keep an eye on your analytics to determine which tactics are paying off.
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