Instagram is in the top tier of sites for businesses, nonprofits, and personal brands to use for social media marketing. But, unlike the more generalized Facebook and Twitter, Instagram is more specialized and better suited to certain types of brands.
Most significantly, Instagram is a highly visual platform. It’s primarily for sharing quality photos, videos, and other image content. If you can share amazing pictures and videos that are relevant to your brand and that your target market actually wants to see (e.g., food, clothing and accessories, floral arrangements, landscaping or hardscaping designs, etc.), Instagram is definitely a place for you to have a presence.
Also, Instagram tends to work best for brands that have honed their brand story and are focused on telling it.
Of course, to benefit from social media marketing on the site, you need to build a sizable following. But not one made up of just of anybody; your followers should be people genuinely interested in your brand and its page. Otherwise, they’re just useless numbers.
So, use the following tips for getting more Instagram followers. They won’t just boost your numbers—they also help you attract meaningful connections.
Getting More Instagram Followers
- Fill out your Instagram profile completely and customize it to reflect your brand’s value proposition and why people should follow you.
- Make sure your profile is set to “public.”
- Show your brand personality in your bio, and have some fun with it.
- Enable notifications so you know when other users comment on and share your posts, and engage with them promptly.
- Apply for a verification badge, which is a little blue dot on your profile that reassures other users that your page is in fact who it claims to be. This is an important trust signal for brands.
- Have a dedicated person with experience on the social media site working your Instagram page; getting more Instagram followers is a lot easier for someone who knows what they’re doing, and can do it consistently.
- Put up at least 15 to 20 great posts before you start pursuing followers and engaging with other users when your account is new; you want people who check out your page to see some appealing content—not a void!
- Remember to ask your friends, family, employees, customers or clients, volunteers, connections on your other social media accounts, and other people you know to follow you on Instagram!
- Put prominent Instagram icon links on your website and other social media pages to direct traffic to your page.
- Link to your Instagram page in your email signature (and have other employees do the same).
- Put up a “Follow us on Instagram” sign with your user name in your store, office, or other brick-and-mortar location.
- Post only high-quality photos, images, and videos; never use low-quality ones, as this is a much less forgivable sin on Instagram than on other popular social sites like Facebook and Twitter.
- Read up on how to take great photos with a smartphone.
- Make use of photo-editing apps to improve the quality and originality of your posts.
- Post funny images (appropriate to your target market) whenever you can.
- Write clever, interesting, or otherwise engaging captions for every post.
- Use hashtags in your captions, but in general, limit it to three or four per post.
- Use trending hashtags, but only in relevant ways.
- Create some of your own unique hashtags for your brand, products, services, special events, etc. and encourage your followers to use them.
- And don’t be afraid of emojis!
- Don’t use “like for like” hashtags to attract reciprocal followers; while these inflate your numbers, these are useless followers who will never benefit your social media marketing efforts (and they eventually make your account and brand look spammy and untrustworthy).
- The vast majority of your posts should provide your followers with something of value—and not be self-promotional.
- Post regularly and at varying times throughout the day.
- Pay attention to which type of posts get the most engagement from your target audience—and what days/times your posts perform the best—and use this to guide your efforts.
- Remember to use your brand voice and post like a relatable human—not a robot or in corporate-speak.
- Follow the accounts of others in your industry and related businesses, influencers in your industry, people in your target market, and other relevant Instagram pages.
- Comment on and share other users’ content regularly.
- Develop relationships with other accounts and propose some authentic, non-spammy cross-promotion for each other’s pages.
- Run contests for small prizes that ask for user-generated content like original photos, and require people to follow your page to participate.
- Use the Live Video and Instagram Stories features to show people your company culture, offer behind-the-scenes video of your brand or events, demonstrate products or services in action, and otherwise engage other users.