25 Ways To Get More Followers On Instagram
What started out as a fairly simple, easy to use photo sharing app used by a small group of people has exploded into a global community of over 300 million active users. An amazing 70 million photos and videos a day are now shared on Instagram by both consumers and brands.
With that many users and activity, it is not surprising that Instagram is being used daily by savvy marketers to build brand awareness and drive targeted traffic to their websites.
Brand engagements on Instagram are actually higher than any other social platform, including Facebook and Twitter, in fact, in a recent study Socialbakers compared the top 25 brands on Instagram with the top 25 on Twitter and uncovered that engagement rates were almost 50% higher on Instagram over a 3 month period.
So let's talk about ways to market your business effectively on Instagram.
1. Create An Instagram Business Account - Making a business account on Instagram is easy.
2. Use your business name - Ideally you use your business name as your Instagram username. If it's already been used by somebody else, then pick another username that is recognized instantly with your brand.
3. Fill out your profile - Be sure to include a cool, branded photo, a short bio with a description of your business and a link to your website.
4. Connect your account with your Facebook account - Instagram was acquired by Facebook in 2013 so it makes sense to connect these two powerful social media sites to boost your marketing efforts.
5. Add an Instagram tab to your Facebook page - By doing this, your Instagram content will then be instantly shared with your Facebook fans.
6. Have a strategy - The photos and video content you add to Instagram should be a reflection of your brand. Ensure your content expresses a clearly defined personality and voice and that it is engaging to your followers.
Look at any of the top brands on Instagram and you can see they have a good content strategy in place like GoPro for instance:
Make Use Of Hashtags
7. Be sure to include hashtags - Hashtags on Instagram are an important way to increase the reach of the content you post. You can use either existing hashtags that your community is already using to reach more people or even create new hashtags that could benefit your overall social media strategy.
8. Make use of brand specific hashtags - it is a good idea to make a hashtag from your business name. Also, using unique tags for specific marketing campaigns you run. For instance, if you are running a photo contest on Instagram, make a unique tag just for that campaign. This hashtag promotes not only your contest, but allows other Instagram users to connect with other participants in the competition
Here is how Coca Cola recently used a specific hashtag to engage with their Instagram community.
9. Include general hashtags - Using general hashtags will open your brand up to a larger audience who follow specific products or lifestyle content on Instagram. So for example, if your business is a flower shop, and you post an image of a beautiful arrangement be sure to include tags like #flowers #beautiful and even #roses #orchids etc if they are included in the arrangement.
10. Take advantage of trending hashtags - New trends can occur on Instagram very quickly - and they often go just as quickly as they came. So if you see a trend developing that fits with your brand, then use it. That post could potentially be seen by thousands of people in minutes.
11. Use local hashtags - If you are a local business make sure you include local hashtags in your posts. Many users search local tags to see what is going in the area around them. For Edmonton, many businesses use #yeg, for Calgary they use #yyc. You can use the website trendsmap.com to see tags used in different countries.
12. Don’t forget @mentions - Another powerful feature of Instagram is @mentions. You can use this feature for your followers, customers or any other user or brand that exists on Instagram.
Look at this example of Esprit @mentioning a customer who was the winner of a recent photo contest on Instagram.
Put The Attention On Your Customers
13. Shine a spotlight on your customers - Show your customers, you appreciate them by acknowledging the great photos they share on Instagram. You can also share them with your Facebook and Twitter followers as well. Just be sure to ask them before.
Starbucks does a great job of this. Every few weeks they pick one of their followers and share their photos on their own Instagram page, they even include it as a Facebook cover. Their fans love it.
14. Like and comment on your followers photos - Acknowledge how great your customers are by liking their photos - especially if they feature your product or can be tied into your brand.
15. Respond to comments on your posts - Never ignore a comment on your posts, even if it is negative.
16. Engage with your customers - Make sure the imagery you post has your customer in mind. Make sure you are doing more than just trying to sell your products or services, make it about your lifestyle and be authentic and human so your followers can relate.
Create Great Content
Instagram is all about visual content, both photos and videos. The more creative your content than the more followers and engagement you will achieve.
17. Get creative with your photos - Try using cool angles, interesting lighting and other photography tricks. Also learn the basics of photography such as the rule of thirds and other composition rules.
18. Showcase your products authentically - Showing how your products are used in real life is a great way to be authentic about your brand and what you offer
Here is a great example from Dairy Queen who feature their delicious ice creams in real life settings.
19. Be creative about how you showcase your products - Sometimes all you need is a different approach to showcase your product on Instagram.
When you think about General Electric for instance, it is hard to imagine how they bring a rather boring brand to Instagram and make it interesting, but they actually post interesting visual content and have over 187,000 followers right now.
20. Let your followers know your brand story - Show your company’s core values and brand through the photos and videos you post.
21. Show your followers what's going on behind the scenes - When you give your followers a glimpse behind the curtain you appear more authentic and cool.
Look at this example from Burberry that generated over 24,000 likes.
Run An Instagram Contest
22. Host a Instagram hashtag contest - Hashtags contests are a fairly new and fun way to have users create content for you and engage your followers. The contest is easy to put on. Followers simply upload a photo with a hashtag of your choice and the submissions are placed into a gallery where they can be voted on.
Here is an example of a hashtag competition that My Next Jam held. They wanted their followers to post photos of what was next to them and use the hashtag #mynextjam for a chance to win.
Other Instagram Tactics
23. Post consistently - Ideally you will post something new at least once per day to keep brand awareness high among your followers. Monitor if posting more creates more engagement and when the best time to post is that creates more engagement.
24. Monitor your Instagram results - You can use a third party analytics service like simplymeasured.com to track follower counts and engagement so you can see what's working and focus on posting more of that type of content.
25. Keep tabs on new Instagram features and trends - Instagram are always announcing new features and new marketing trends are consistently being developed on the platform if you stay on top of these trends, you can be ahead of the crowd to implement them.
Please try out these 25 tips for yourself to gain more brand followers. If you need help boosting your brand on social media then Mediashaker can assist you. Please contact us using the form below.