You might already notice that Instagram is a growing platform that lets individuals and brands promote themselves. For brands especially, it’s a step to humanize their business, hire expected employees, showcase their service, product and company culture, reach an audience, and generate leads.
But here’s the deal: Unless you’re popular, it’s tough to amass an enormous following on Instagram without some hard work. For the average individual or business, growing their following takes time and attention on a daily basis.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to collect at least 1k organic followers for your Instagram account. It’s all about knowing where to invest your effort and time — by customizing your Instagram profile,crafting excellent content, using hashtags, and operating with influencers to increase engagement.
Create and customize your profile.
First things first: Customize your profile to make it look better, tell your target followers who you are, what you do and give them a reason to hit the follow button.
How? Start by making sure your username is easily searchable and recognizable — like your brand’s name. If your business name is already taken, try keeping your brands’ name as the first part of your username so that users searching for your brand are more likely to find you.
Next, make sure your Instagram profile is public. To make your profile public:
- open Instagram
- tap “Options.”
- make sure “Private Account” is turned off.
Next, choose a profile photo that’s on-brand with your other social channels, like your brand logo.
Then, fill your bio with fascinating, engaging, and informative information about your brand. Information like this lets people understand what you’re about and gives them a reason to follow you on Instagram. Include who you are and what you do, and be sure to write a hint of personality.
Next, add a link to your Instagram bio to make it easy for visitors to go straight from the platform to your website if they need to. The section assigned for links is valuable real estate because it’s the only place on Instagram where you can put a clickable link, so use it wisely.
Finally, enable notifications so you can notice when users like or comment on your photos. This will let you engage with them faster. To enable your Instagram notifications:
- Tap on “Options.”
- Tap on “Push Notification Settings.”
- Select “From Everyone” for every category.
Create quality content
Post quality matters the most on Instagram. Your Twitter followers will forgive several bad tweets, but a bad picture on Instagram is a big no-no. You have to get familiar with basic photography tips and picture editing apps.
Since Instagram is a mobile platform, chances are, most of the pictures you post to Instagram will be taken on your mobile device. That’s not just okay; it’s expected. While some companies use professional photography for their Instagram pictures, most use smartphones, and that’s the vibe that platform is meant for, anyway.
Here are some quick tips:
- Focus on one subject at a time.
- Contain negative space.
- Find exciting perspectives.
- Look for balance.
- Catch small details.
- Make your followers laugh.
Photo Editing Skills
Instagram has some basic editing abilities, but often, they aren’t enough to make a photo perfect. Most of your pictures must go through at least one or two other photo editing apps on your mobile before you post them on Instagram.
Start posting on Instagram
Once you have created and customized your profile and learned a thing or two about mobile photography and photo editing, it’s time to start posting. It’s a smart idea to have a substantial number of excellent posts up — maybe 14 or so — before you begin actually engaging users and working down this list. That way, when users visit your profile, they will see a full screen of pictures instead of just a handful, so they understand you’ll be posting great content on a regular basis.
Keep your target audience in mind while planning out your content schedule, as that can really change your posting timing and frequency. Optimizing your plan for your target audience might take some time and experimentation. It is said that the best times to post on Instagram are Mondays and Thursdays at any time except between 3:00–4:00 p.m.
Write cool, share-worthy captions
Pictures and videos might be the most valuable part of your Instagram posts, but captions must never be an afterthought. They’re a crucial part of your post. Consistently excellent captions can do wonders for humanizing your business, reaching new followers, making your content more shareable and giving your brand more exposure.
Don’t forget the hashtags!
If you use relevant hashtags on your posts, your posts will get exposure to a broader audience than the users who already follow you or know your brand.
The key to using hashtags efficiently is to use them smartly and sparingly. Make sure to limit the number of hashtags per caption to around four. Similarly, don’t use “like for like” hashtag. This is a lousy tactic that will leave you with a whole bunch of low-quality followers.
Run Instagram contests
Another excellent way to increase your reach while improving engagement on your pictures is to share a post promoting a contest, and then ask users to follow your account and Like or comment on the photo to enter.
You can add a UGC (User-Generated Content) element to the contest, too, where people share a picture of their own and use your branded-hashtags along with following your account.
Interact with your audience
Instagram is a community, and one excellent way to get involved in that community is to find users who post relevant content, follow and interact with them. It’s the most common way to attract attention to your own Instagram account while entering the community and getting inspiration from others’ content.
That does two things for you: For one, when they get notified that you have followed them, they might check your account out and decide whether or not to follow you.(This is where Instagram bots can come handy.) Secondly, it means you will be viewing their recent posts in your feed so you can interact with them if you want to. As you build a following, celebrate your existing followers and show you appreciate to them by replying their comments and even following and engaging with their posts.
So give it a try: create an Instagram account and start posting, experimenting, and promoting your brand. Collecting a following on Instagram won’t happen overnight, but the stronger of a foundation you build on your profile in your niche Instagram community, the higher quality your gained followers will be.
What other tips do you have for gaining followers and Instagram marketing? Share with us in the comments.