22 May 4 Key Pointers for Growing Your Instagram Account
Instagram is undeniably influential these days. In my experience, it is the most internationally used social media website. Sites like Facebook don’t hold as much power outside of the USA and sites like Google+ are more influential elsewhere, but at the end of the day, Instagram tends to be the most widely used social media app worldwide.
Instagram is a great place to tell the story of your brand and gain an emotional connection with consumers.Instagram in and of itself is a visually-oriented experience. A post on Instagram has the potential of being 650% more engaging than social posts that rely solely on text. The image-rich posts give you a chance to showcase your products, inspire the imagination of your followers, and capture about 18% more clicks than words alone!
But growing your Instagram following takes effort.
It’s easy to get numbers — but numbers mean nothing at all. What matters is engagement! You can spend hours taking the perfect pictures and crafting captions but none of that matters if your followers aren’t active.
So, how do you get more active, interested followers on your Instagram account? Hang around here for a second — we’re happy to give you a strategy that works!
Get Out There And Be Social
It’s time to get on Instagram go on a photo-liking and commenting spree. When you engage with other people, that encourages them to come back and engage with you. Of course, you don’t want to just target anybody.
- Use those same hashtags that you’ve identified as relevant to your brand and look for people that share your interests.
- Leave positive comments and ask questions on those people’s posts.
- When you identify a relevant hashtag that’s trending, get in the conversation to raise your visibility.
- Take the time to like the photos of the consumers you’re interacting with — that helps boost their visibility and invites them to do the same for yours.
- If you find a particularly relevant post, comment on it and reshare it — that helps increase your visibility and spreads that feel-good vibe that’s essential for developing brands.
- When you identify the top influencers in your niche, try to become particularly responsive to their posts. Make yourself one of their favorite brands to hear from!
The important thing to remember about social media is that it is just that — social! You have to get in the sandbox and play if you want to make friends!
Once you’ve done that, you can leverage those friendly feelings to partner up with micro-influencers. Micro-influencers typically have audiences that are hyper-engaged. That’s where you’ll find the people who are the most interested in what you have to offer. They’re also the people who can help you make a campaign go organic.
Use Hashtags Strategically
Hashtags are at the heart of Instagram. Hashtags have their own niches and communities. Instagram offers suggestions for hashtags as soon as you type in a #. It even tells you how many posts are already out there under the hashtags it offers — which means its easy to see what’s popular and what’s not.
Of course, you can’t use hashtags effectively if you only rely on Instagram’s suggestions. You can post up to 30 hashtags at a time. Dig deep when you’re getting ready to post. Here are some strategies that can help you find the perfect ones:
- Mix your hashtags between ones that are at the top of the chart and those that appeal to a niche market.
- To keep from being spammy, add hashtags as a comment proceeded by five dots (…..), one per line. This will collapse the comment in on itself and leave you with a cleaner post.
- Roll down the list of auto-suggests. The further down you go, the more interesting choices you’ll find. Sometimes hashtags that are less popular have higher engagement from more active communities.
- When making an influential post, use two variations — one at posting time and a second at the 24-hour point. Delete the hashtags afterwards so that they don’t get stolen, which can decrease engagement. Best practice is to enter up to 30 hashtags as a new comment and then go in after a few hours, delete it, and add a second set of up to 30 hashtags because of the way the search algorithm works. Instagram allows you to do that in the first 24 hours to keep your post at the top of the hashtag search results and gain more engagement on an Instagram photo. But then, you’ll want to delete the second set of hashtags as well because a) hashtags can be annoying to followers which is also why we add it as an additional comment and not as part of the post content and b) it keeps your competitors from stealing your hashtag knowledge.
- Look for hashtags that have developed a cult following. That’s a great way to hang with the cool kids and make friends.
- Get creative. Be funny, be flashy, be fascinating. Think of those hashtags as your brand’s voice.
The hyper-specific hashtags you find help guide the most interested consumers your way, but the trending and plan hashtags make you more visible. You need both to hack your way to the top of Instagram.
Don’t forget to create your own hashtags! Put your brand name and product names out there. Contests and giveaways can increase interest around them and encourage sharing.
Showcase Your Brand On Stories
You need diversified content to really gain people’s attention, stay visible, and keep people interested. Instagram Stories gives you a creative way to build your brand, raise visibility, and drive up engagement. They offer you a chance to produce regular posts that can pull followers back week after week to learn more.
Stories gives you the “bread” underneath the butter of your more spectacular posts. It’s the running narrative behind the posts that have a limited lifecycle. Keep your stories real and and let people peek behind the curtain of your operation. You’ll humanize your brand and get consumers to root along for your success.
Just don’t forget to add your location into your story and use those hashtags! This will help your story get picked up and added to the larger story page for a location. With a little effort, you may even get your story featured on Instagram’s Explore page. You can keep tabs on who has seen your narrative, which will give you a good idea of how effective it is.
Post At The Right Times
You need to think about your target audiences when you’re posting on Instagram.
There are a lot of studies out there that tell you what the best time to post on Instagram is — according to one study, it’s exactly at 7PM on Wednesdays. However, that doesn’t mean that’s the best time for your audience.
- Keep your market’s time zone in mind. If you have more than one important market, like people in Ohio and people in California, make sure you post with both Eastern and Pacific time zones in mind.
- Post when people are online. Are you targeting early birds, like exercise enthusiasts? You probably want to catch them early in the morning or after 5 at night. If you’re targeting the dining crowd, you’ll post in the evenings. If you’re targeting night owls, post around midnight or after.
It may take you a little while to figure out exactly when your audience is online, but once you’ve found it, set a clock and remind yourself to get those posts out!
All this networking will eventually pay off and you’ll find your numbers ticking upward. Just keep those fascinating posts coming!