Increasing your number of Instagram followers is important to increasing your audience and number of potential customers that you are able to reach. While you definitely shouldn’t forget about all of your other Instagram goals and objectives, your number of followers can reflect the success of your other efforts. It’s always nice to know that your message is being well-received and resonating with your audience, and a follower count is one way of measuring this.
7 Instagram marketing tactics
1. Use hashtags
A hashtag is a great way of increasing your exposure and engaging your audience. But it’s easy to become a hashtag abuser—something that will have the opposite effect on your audience and community.
- Do be specific when using hashtags
- Do cater hashtags to the social network you are using
- Do come up with relevant, unbranded hashtags
- Don’t go too long or too clever
- Don’t have more hashtags than words
- Don’t hashtag everything
Along with unbranded hashtags relevant to your business, using a branded hashtag is something that can help create community among you and your customers. Hashtags are also a great way of organizing your content and growing your community.
2. Host a takeover
For most businesses, your brand fits into a certain space and market within the community. A way to connect with other members of your community is through hosting an Instagram takeover, where you invite an influencer, employee, ambassador, or active member of your community to take over your Instagram feed for the day. Hosting an Instagram takeover can help you achieve many of your social media goals, whether that is boosting audience engagement, getting more Instagram followers, or building an authentic brand voice.
3. Hold contests
It’s a universal truth that everybody loves free things. Although you might hate the thought of giving something away, the truth is that the upfront cost of the prize will be more than worth it if you consider the advertising or marketing costs associated with generating the same amount of buzz a contest can create.
Running a contest on Instagram is a great way to reward your current followers, as well as attract new followers to your brand’s page—especially if your contest requires participants to tag a friend in the comments of your images. Some other ideas for Instagram contests include:
- “Like” to win contests—participants enter by liking your photos
- Commenting contests—participants have to comment to enter
- “Choose your own adventure” contests—participants follow through a series of your photos (or both yours and a partner’s) to find the winning post.
User-generated content contests are also a fantastic way of engaging your community and growing your following. Ask your audience to post a relevant photo to Instagram and have them use your custom contest hashtag. With this method, you’re not only holding a contest but building a community through those engaged with the hashtag. Added bonus? You have the option of resharing contest entries, thus creating new content for your account.
4. Find a community
With over 400 million users, there’s a good chance that no matter how niche your product or service is, you’ll be able to find your people. Whether it’s food, fashion, health, technology, there is sure to be a community for you to join and connect with.
Identify some communities that are relevant to your brand or industry, and pay attention to:
- Top influencers within the community
- Hashtags being used within the community
- The style of photos and subject matter shared by top accounts
- Popular engagement tactics used within the community (i.e. does the audience respond well to question posts? Special offers and contests? Listen and pay attention to what works.)
- Who the top influencers mention and tag in their own posts, and in what context
After you truly immerse yourself and participate authentically in your Instagram community, use the information you gather to guide the direction of your Instagram strategy.
5. Share video
Video is in the spotlight for social media marketing in 2017, so if you want to bring more attention to your brand and grow your Instagram following, using video is a safe bet. As so much of Instagram’s beauty lies within the ability to tell stories through your posts, video allows you to do this even more dynamically.
Instagram videos see twice the engagement rate of photos, which is a pretty clear indication that it’s time to either start or pay more attention to, the video capabilities of the platform. Create clear, fun, and engaging videos that people are going to want to tag their friends in. Some tips for creating social video include:
- Design it to be shareable from the get-go
- Use the power of storytelling
- Make the customer the hero, and engage them
- Tap into your audience’s emotions (which leads to sharing)
A few ideas for what type of videos you should create are:
- Shoot a product demo and answer FAQs
- Create a visual portfolio of your work
- Highlight special offers and events
- Invite fan and follower submissions via hashtags
- Humanize your brand
- Increase engagement on Facebook
Videos are another way to exercise your creativity, engage your audience, and build a community to help you gain more followers.
6. Like and comment on photos
It may seem obvious, but a surefire way of growing your Instagram following is through interacting with other users’ content.
It takes a fraction of a second to Like an Instagram photo, but it will bring your brand’s account to the forefront of a user’s mind. Social media powerhouse Neil Patel found “For every one hundred likes I did on random photos of other users (whom I didn’t follow), I generated 21.7 likes on my photos and 6.1 more followers. I did not have to follow people back for this to work.” While this is great if your main goal is to increase your follower count, I recommend engaging with content that is relevant to your brand or industry rather than simply liking random photos.
7. Ask questions
Whether as part of a contest or simply as a means of getting your audience to actively engage with your content, asking questions is a great way of gaining more Instagram followers. For example, if you run a store you can post pictures of your new products and ask audience members which ones they’re most excited for. If you are a fashion label, ask your audience how they would wear a specific piece of your clothing. With a little bit of creativity, the possibilities are endless.
By asking the right questions, your account can become a hub for industry conversations, bringing more potential followers and community members to your page.
Nicklaus Marketing & PR specializes in customizing our services to meet your business’s needs. Offering a wide array of services from media buying, graphics, website design, social media, and much more. We work with you to strengthen your branding and increase your clientele.
Call or email us today and learn how we can help you take your business to the next level.
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