Growing your brand’s Instagram is a simple chain of events. The more followers you have, the more likely you are to see engagement on your posts; the more engagement you get, the higher your chances of appearing earlier on post feeds, story feeds and the explore section. This snowball effect leads to more engagement and exposure to even more followers. It’s all in Instagram’s algorithm, which works a lot like that of search engines.
Ultimately, all of these followers you accumulate will become great leads for your products or services. But as an emerging brand, where to start?
(Social Media) Content is King
All effective social media strategies have relevant content at the heart. Without videos, images and stories that resonate with your target audience, your account won’t gain much traction. Always start with content that’s educational, thought-provoking or just straight-up entertaining. But beyond crafting incredible content, here are five other things you can do to boost your Instagram followers.
1. Post Consistently
Whether it's twice a week, five times a week or something in between, the more consistently you post, the better your engagement will be. Most people won’t stay engaged with an account that rarely posts. And, as mentioned above, higher engagement is key to being exposed to new followers.
2. Use Relevant Hashtags
You’ve probably seen hashtags used the wrong way: upwards of 20 hashtags that seem popular but have nothing to do with the content that’s in the post. But when hashtags are used correctly, they can bring real value when it comes to reaching new followers. With a little research, you can identify a few that are commonly used by your target demographics and start contributing to their conversations through social media. By joining these conversations, users with related interests will be able to find your content more easily. This strategy is commonly called "hashtag mining" and we think it's #awesome!
3. Harness User-Generated Content (UGC)
Encourage your followers to share their relevant content with you by creating a brand hashtag they can use or inviting them to tag you in their posts. This is known as user-generated content (UGC) – a successful marketing tool that can help you build connections with your current customers and attract new ones. For example, say @Maya shares a photo of herself using your product and tags your Instagram account in the post. Then, you reshare it to show your appreciation. It’s a win-win; @Maya benefits from the exposure you’ve given her, and your brand benefits from the exposure to her followers. Ideally, her followers will notice the post and consider following you as well.
4. Geotag Your Posts
Remember to add a location (or geotag) to your posts on Instagram. Users often search certain locations – like places they may want to travel to – and then follow accounts that have cool content from that spot. Some users may even be looking for local accounts to follow so that they can discover new local brands. Tagging your location makes sure your content can be found by these potential new followers.
5. Tag Your Partners and Friends
Instagram is all about creating community, and embracing yours can help you gain new followers as well. Tag accounts that you feature in your post (locations, restaurants, products, services and organizations). Much like with UGC, those accounts will be likely to reshare, drawing the attention of their followers.
A Side Note on Paying for Followers
Remember, you’re in this for the long run. You want followers who love your content, align with your brand and bring you business. Don’t waste your time building a phony follower base.
Looking for more tips to improve your brand’s social media presence? Check out the rest of the PRIME blog for even more digital marketing insights.
If you enjoyed this edition of PRIME Pulse, take a look at some of our other related articles:
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- The How-To on Facebook Marketing Campaigns
- How to Utilize Social Media's Paid Advertising Capabilities