Instagram is a great platform for selling products and increasing brand awareness. If you’re a new business, putting some time and effort into improving your Instagram page is a good way to start your digital marketing campaign. With a large number of monthly active users, Instagram — when managed right — can help you convert followers to customers. The question is how do you build a relevant and engaged following? With the constantly changing algorithm and tight competition, increasing your follower count is a lot harder now compared to a few years ago. Fortunately, it’s not impossible. We’re listing some tips to help you get Instagram followers without being spammy.
How to Get Instagram Followers — Without Sacrificing Your Brand Quality
1. Provide Incentives to the First Few Followers (For New Instagram Accounts)
If you’re a fresh, new brand, this is an excellent strategy to gain new followers. Before you begin with this step, however, it’s good to upload a few relevant and engaging posts that your target market will be able to appreciate.
Having a large following is good, but that number won’t help if these Instagrammers aren’t engaged. You have to keep them interested. And one of the ways to do that is to create compelling content.
Once you’ve uploaded a few posts (three to five would be good for the meantime), start enticing people to follow your account.
So, how do you do it?
An Instagram contest is a great way to start. You can provide a non-cash incentive in exchange for a little task. For example, you put can two conditions to join the contest — such as following your account, and tagging at least two friends.
You could award the first few people who are able to comply with the contest requirements or randomly choose winners — see which one works best for you.
When choosing prizes for your Instagram contest, try to prevent giving away generic prizes that everyone would want to have. Come up with a reward that people who belong to your target market would enjoy. For instance, if you’re selling an application, you could award your winners with a three-month free trial for your app. If your business is selling fashionable clothing and accessories, then you could give away accessories from your line.
2. Follow Influencers and Authoritative Figures in Your Industry
When you see a notification for a new follower on your personal Instagram account, what do you usually do?
If your answer is check out that user’s feed, then your action is similar to the majority of Instagrammers. And just like most users, if your brand’s content appeals to them, they’re probably going to follow you back.
Following influencers and authoritative figures in your industry can expose your brand to other relevant people. It also helps dedicated fans find you.
3. Use the Check-In Feature to Check Into a Location for Each Post
The “Add Location” option shows up every time you post something on Instagram. This feature helps people see where you took the picture. Other than that, posts with the tagged location also result in higher engagement compared to those without. In addition, they also contribute to making your post more searchable.
4. Check the Traffic and Engagement of Your Hashtags to Use the Ones That’ll Bring You the Most Eyes
Adding hashtags in your captions when uploading content on Instagram is essential for increasing engagement. But, your job doesn’t just end there. In order to ensure that you’re getting the best results, you have to verify the effectiveness of the hashtags you used. eClincher is a powerful tool to help you measure this so you’ll know which hashtags work and which don’t.
5. Post Consistently
Another effective way to get a steady stream of Instagram followers is to post consistently. Determine what time your target audience is active and schedule your posts during that time. This way, your posts have higher chances of exposure and engagement. eClincher can help!
Big companies post between one to three times a day on Instagram. Following this number may help improve your audience engagement (since it generally works well with other brands). Just remember to stay consistent with that number and measure your results.
Furthermore, the quality of your content matters. The creative content you release should be able to catch your audience’s attention. There are a lot of businesses that are also posting on Instagram and in order to stand out, posting good and relevant content can help. Competition is fierce.
Here are a few tips when making content for Instagram.
Use Consistent Templates and Filters
Your branding can help people recognize you better. Try to have your content revolve around your theme. You can choose a particular color scheme for your brand and emphasize those colors when you edit your image. Using the same filter can also help people identify your content better.
Use High-Quality Images
Instagram is a visual-based social media platform. Having high-quality images for your content is an advantage since it’s what users see first when browsing.
Use a Variety of Content Formats
This platform isn’t just limited to images. You can also post GIFs, videos, Boomerangs, and more. Don’t be afraid to experiment on various content types.
Repost User-Generated Content
If any of your followers or customers are posting content related to your brand, share it. Just remember to credit them in the caption or tag them.
6. Promote Your Instagram Content on Other Platforms
Aside from posting consistently, it’s also a good idea to promote your content on other platforms. This allows your existing followers to know how to find you on Instagram. Here are a few ways to do it.
Use Your Instagram Content as Images for Your Blog Articles
Instead of uploading images to use for your blog, embed your Instagram content instead. Doing this can increase your Instagram content’s exposure.
Include a Link to Your Instagram Page in Your Email Newsletters
One way to get Instagram followers is to let your existing email subscribers know that you’re on the platform. A link to your Instagram page on your newsletters can help spread the word around.
Add a Link of Your Instagram Page on Other Social Media Networks
Adding a link to your Instagram account on your other social media networks as well as cross-promoting your content can also help increase your audience engagement. As a result, it can help you gain more Instagram followers.
Add an Instagram Follow Button to Your Website
It’s also a good idea to add a follow button to your website to encourage website visitors to check you out and follow you on Instagram.
7. Utilize Instagram Stories
More than 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day, and 45% of the most viewed stories are from businesses. Instagram Stories are discoverable, which means that if done properly, this feature can boost your engagement and increase your following. On top of that, Instagram Stories also help you maintain visibility in your followers’ feed.
Here are a few tips to improve your Instagram Stories.
Just like with your Instagram content captions, adding hashtags on your Instagram Stories can make your content more searchable. One good thing about hashtags on Instagram Stories is that you can hide them behind a sticker to prevent them from reducing the aesthetic value of your image.
Add Location Tags
Instagram allows searches based on location. If a user makes a location search, Instagram will automatically show all of the content available for that particular condition. This means that whenever you add a location tag to your Story, you’ll have a higher chance of getting seen.
Use Its Interactive Features
Instagram is continuously improving their features, and it’s always good to keep yourself updated. Question stickers, Shoppable tags, and music stickers are only some of the additional options you can use to enhance your content and engage with your audience.
8. Create a Consistent Theme for Your Instagram Profile
One of the first things you have to work on when you’re creating an Instagram account (and any social media account, for that matter) is to update your profile. A well-made profile can help your audience get to know and trust you.
For Instagram, aside from filling out your profile information, you should also create a consistent theme that reflects what your brand stands for. This makes your Instagram profile page look more enticing.
9. When Partnering With Influencers, Opt For Long Term Projects Over Sponsored Posts
Influencer marketing offers a lot of benefits for your brand. It improves your brand’s credibility, opens a window for new people (particularly that influencer’s many followers) to know you, increases engagement, and helps you gain more relevant followers.
One way to make this strategy more effective is to go for long-term projects rather than sponsored posts. A sponsored post can sometimes just feel like a normal ad. Long-term projects, on the other hand, turn your influencer into a brand ambassador, and this increases the credibility of your campaign.
10. Get Featured
If you’re just starting up on Instagram and wants to raise the number for your follower count, another way to do it is to get featured on popular Instagram accounts whose content is related to your brand. These Instagram accounts often have a lot of followers, and them featuring your post on their page and tagging you can help other people (specifically those following their accounts) to know your brand and possibly follow you.
You can do this by simply sending them a DM to let them know that you want to get featured on one of their posts.
11. Use Your Instagram Nametag
An Instagram Nametag is a printable image that allows Instagram users to find you quickly. You can display this image on your store, give them away at company events, or share it on your other social media accounts to encourage people to find you and follow you on Instagram.
12. Ask Your Followers to Tag Their Friends
Sometimes, to increase your follower count, all you need to do is to ask.
Encouraging your followers to tag their friends on your caption can help. For example, you can post an image and then add a line like, “Tag someone who’d love to try one of these!” in your caption.
A call-to-action can boost audience engagement and also potentially help you gain more followers.
13. Share and Comment on Other People’s Content
If you want people to check out your profile or Instagram content and hopefully follow you, initiating the contact is a great way to do it.
Start by sharing other people’s content and remember to credit the creator. It’s also good to share user-generated content that features your brand.
Also, make an effort to communicate with other users. Commenting on their post can help others know you better and also encourage them to follow you.
14. Engage With Your Followers
Finally, build a relationship with your followers by engaging with them.
Respond to Their Comments
If they post a comment about your content, send a reply. You should be replying to every single comment — Instagram sees this! Be active in communicating with people. If they offer positive feedback or share posts about your brand, then don’t forget to thank them.
Manage Negative Feedback Properly
In cases where an unhappy customer shares a negative comment or feedback, don’t just ignore it. Properly manage it by responding politely and accordingly.