If you run any kind of business, you know social media is a necessary part of modern marketing. In order to be seen and make sales, you need to have a presence where your audience is. Chances are, your target demographic is on Instagram. After all, it’s the second most popular social media site, right behind Facebook.
Having a profile on the site won’t do you any good if you don’t have an audience. Let’s take a look at some of the fastest ways to build an Instagram following. These ten ideas should give you a good start.
1. Post at the best times.
Remember, a post is no good if no one sees it. That’s why it’s crucial that you post at times when your audience and potential followers are online most. This is a process that will take some trial and error.
You’ll need to try posting at various times and then analyze which seem to get the most engagement. If you have a business account, you can use Instagram Insights to discover such important metrics as reach, impressions and interactions.
Adjust future posting according to the patterns you see and then continue to monitor your progress.
2. Use relevant hashtags.
If you’re not using hashtags, you’re missing out. These short phrases help people to find the topics they’re interested in and care about most. Hashtags are key to growing your audience.
However, you won’t be likely to attract the followers that fit your target demographic unless you’re using hashtags in a strategic way. You can find tags relevant to your industry by doing a search on Instagram for keywords people might use to find you. That’s a good start.
Another way to discover popular hashtags within your niche is to check out accounts similar to yours to see what they’re using and what seems to be getting engagement.
Try to use a variety of hashtags in order to increase your chances of reaching your intended audience. Broad tags will get you more eyes, but using ones that are more specific will attract those who are most interested in what you have to offer.
3. Use consistent filters.
Cohesiveness matters in the look of your Instagram feed. You want people to be able to recognize your brand as you begin to grow your followers. The filters and colors you use in your images can help tie things together and provide brand recognition.
You can try different filters as you’re starting out and use Insights to see if one outperforms the others. However, you’ll want to find a filter and color scheme and stick with it consistently in order to create the aesthetic that fits your brand and is recognizable by your audience.
4. Work with influencers.
When you need to grow your following, Instagram influencers can help. These are users who have grown large and engaged followings within their particular niche.
Take a look at some of your current followers or profiles you find through search of your keyword. See who has decent sized followings and which seem to get a lot of likes and comments.
You can then approach them through direct message or email, if they have one listed, to discuss the possibility of collaboration. You’ll want to ask their rate per post. This type of marketing isn’t free, but it can provide a strong ROI, as you can get exposure to their followers and may gain some new ones of your own.
5. Engage with your competitors’ followers.
A strategic way to find followers who are interested in your product or service is to research the competition. Take a look at the feeds of your closest competitors.
See who is engaging with their posts, and then take time to reach out to those people. You can do this very simply by following them. Folks will often reciprocate and follow you back.
Liking or commenting on their photos is also a good way to get relevant followers to notice you. In addition, by engaging with these users, you’re working to create a relationship. This is crucial to both social media and business success.
6. Add Instagram Highlights.
Instagram Stories are a fun way to feature multiple posts, but they only last for 24 hours. You can extend the life of your Stories by adding them to your profile as Instagram Highlights.
These are tabs featured at the top of your page that allow potential followers a deeper look into what you’re all about. You can organize your Highlights by theme or use them to showcase some of your featured products.
Clicking on your Highlights gives users an idea of your style and content so they know what to expect should they decide to follow you. If they’re like what they see, they’ll be more likely to give you a follow.
7. Use geotags so locals can find you.
If you want people in your area to find you, geotags are the way to go. A geotag is simply a hashtag that includes a location. This can be as broad as a city or it can be very specific, such as a venue or building. You can use these tags in your posts and in your Stories. Geotags are searchable.
When a user searches for a particular location, your post or Story will show up in the results. It’s a great way to be found. You can also search by location as a way of interacting with users who are in the area.
8. Follow the trends.
Following relevant things such as holidays, current events or other trending topics can help you to engage in a timely manner with new followers. Fun hashtag holidays like #CheeseLoversDay, #WorldEmojiDay or #TalkLikeaPirateDay are also a great way to get creative and generate interest among new potential followers.
You’ll expand your reach to people who may not otherwise have come across your profile, and there’s a good chance they’ll become your follower if they like what they see. Stick with trends that are relevant to your niche.
Otherwise, your current audience may be turned off or annoyed. You can research different holidays and events ahead of time. Then add them to your posting calendar so that you’ll always be prepared with fresh, timely content.
9. Ask for followers.
It may sound counterintuitive, but simply asking people to follow you on occasion is an efficient way to gain more followers. You can find creative ways to work the ask into photos or add it to a caption as a call to action.
Sometimes this simple reminder will spur users into action and get you the follow you seek. If someone likes what they see, they’ll likely take you up on your suggestion.
10. Run a giveaway.
One strategic way of gaining followers is to have users tag a friend in the comments of your post. This increases your reach, allowing you to potentially gain new followers. It also gains you engagement on your posts, which is favorable when it comes to Instagram’s algorithm.
More people will see your posts when you have higher engagement. Contests or giveaways are useful when it comes to encouraging people to tag their friends. Just make this a requirement for entry, and you’ll see your follower numbers rise.
These are just ten of the best ways you can build a massive Instagram following for your business. Give them a try and see which are most successful for you.