4 Easy Steps for Instagram Growth
Recently, Instagram surpassed over 700 million users, making it the ideal hub for all brands to market their products and services. Now, more than ever, users are using Instagram to not just browse photos online of their favourite products, but they’re also engaging with brands, and purchasing items directly off the social media platform. (Research shows that 65% of Instagram posts advertise a product or service!). All this data is great to hear, but for many business owners and marketers, one question still remains.
“How do I build my Instagram following in the first place?”
Below, we have listed 4 key aspects to follow in order to build a loyal following.
Target Your Customers
There’s nothing more discouraging than a follower count that seems stuck with little engagement. Relax! Building up your community takes time, patience, and a top-notch strategic plan (which is our speciality!). The best place to begin is tapping into your existing base of customers. For example, start by curating new followers via your email list. After all, your past customers represent your most qualified leads. These users are much more likely to engage with your content than someone who is unfamiliar with you or your brand, who discovered your account randomly. Social media invite emails represent a straightforward way to encourage current subscribers to become followers. Since 58% of people follow brands on social because they’re interested in promotions, it never hurts to add some sort of incentive for your email subscribers to hit the “follow” button. In fact, 42% of people followed a brand specifically because they were offered an incentive. Whether through discounts, deals or exclusive content, providing that extra push to turn your customers into followers is crucial for a bigger following.
Include Specific Calls to Action
If you’re blindly posting photos on Instagram in hopes of making any traction, you’re doing it wrong. Each and every post must serve a purpose and have value. For this reason, both Instagram bios and captions are so important for businesses. Creating valuable and exciting content that will keep your audience interested is key! Research has shown that these are the most popular types of Instagram posts:
- Customer-centric photos
- Employee-centric photos
- Instagram contest posts
- Product-centric photos
- Blogger-centric photos
Given the above data, you should make it a point to highlight your buzzworthy posts such as giveaways and contests, and any photo accompanied by a branded hashtag that you want to spread. Not only do these posts grab the attention of followers through an awesome giveaway, but it also provides specific action steps for those looking to enter and win. If you think that asking your followers to take action is a waste of time or too much work on their part, think again.
Make Sure to Follow Others
Justin Bieber may be the only person alive who is able to get away with following only 70 people, while achieving almost 100 million followers himself. Since you are not Justin Bieber, this means you will have to follow, follow, follow! You can’t expect followers to flood to you out of nowhere. Beyond creating content that your audience loves, brands are expected to reach out and find new followers themselves. Take advantage of hashtags and popular posts to discover users who are likely to engage with your content. As an example, let’s say you sell luxury fashion. What better place to look for both content inspiration and new followers than through the top posts of a relevant hashtag such as #luxe #luxury #luxelife #fashion and #luxefashion – to name just a few! In addition, you should research your competitors, and follow them as well, to track their social activity and learn which of their posts are performing the best. Learn from example!
Take Advantage of Shoutouts
In an era of Instagram dominated by user-generated content, one of the best ways to boost your follower count is by showing your current followers some serious love and acknowledgement. Giving your followers a shoutout through regrams and tagging isn’t just fluff, either. In fact, 87% of today’s brands are taking advantage of user-generated content which signals the power of engaging followers on a regular basis. Followers want and expect brands to get on their level. Giving your followers a shoutout lets them know that you’re listening to them and willing to boost their posts too. Tagging followers and encouraging the tagging of your own posts is a win-win situation for brands. Not only do you create a steady stream of new posts on behalf of your followers but you also create a more engaged base of fans.
What do you think of our list? We’d love to hear from you!