It’s time to face the truth: It’s not as easy as it once was to gain more Instagram followers. Long gone are days when uploading a photo to Instagram with a couple of hashtags was enough to gain at least another hundred followers. Yet the developments in social media are changing quickly and rising followers are not what they used to be. There are still strategies that can be applied to growing the brand’s Instagram followers considerably in an age where it seems unlikely.
For so much pressure on Instagram and its ever-changing algorithms, marketers need to know how to catch the attention of a customer well enough to keep them from scrolling past. We’ve compiled a list of the best tips to maximize your Instagram followers and get the exposure it deserves from your brand making you an Instagram pro in no time.
1. Figure Out The Right Time To Post
Believe it or not (but you should), the amount of time you want to post your Instagram content can have a significant effect on how it works. However, with 24 hours in a day and seven days a week, it can seem quite overwhelming to decide when to post your content. A quick online search will help you create the basis for your Instagram content schedule, to prevent the unavoidable hassle of having to sort it out yourself.
Most social media forums and social media management resources have done the work already to determine the best times to post on Instagram, allowing you the freedom to post confidently and saving hours of research. But don’t settle for prescribed standard times. Every audience is different and maybe active on Instagram at hours that deviate slightly from the “most common” times in general. Use the general data as a basis for your scheduling and adjust your posting times as you begin to determine the best times for your specific follow-up.
2. Be Smart About Hashtags
If you are trying to touch new markets on Instagram, the way to go is to have hashtags. Yet simply selecting a few random, common hashtags and calling it a day isn’t enough. As cool as that would be, common hashtags can only carry your post so far; luckily there is another form of a hashtag that will help your followers grow on Instagram.
A niche hashtag focuses on a very specific interest: for example, a New York photographer should consider using # new york photographer in addition to the widely used # photographer (which has already been used on more than 168 million posts and counts). By putting niche hashtags to work on your Instagram posts, you will gain followers already interested in your industry and increase awareness within the Instagram community about your brand.
3. Go Further Than The Usual Posts
Beware of limiting yourself to just photos; Instagram has a variety of features to help your followers create an experience. You will be able to deliver more ways for followers to engage with your brand by using apps such as video or IGTV.
IGTV can be a fantastic way to play with Instagram’s long-form content, which can help you understand how your fans want your brand to interact. But don’t feel obligated to dive straight into and upload a seven-minute video. Upload one video a week and see how your followers engage with it compared to a daily update. Using these results to refine the Instagram plan and keep up-to-date with what kind of content users are most interested in sharing.
4. Use Geotagging
Have you ever heard the “place, place, location” phrase? While it can typically be used concerning real estate, it certainly also applies to Instagram. That is where the functionality of geotagging comes in: it allows users to store their content at a particular location and tags the post to those coordinates. When using a geotag, your Instagram posts are becoming immediately more accessible to users searching in that specific area.
There are more ways than one of using the function for geotagging outside regular posts. Instagram also provides users with the option of geotagging via story stickers or location hashtags. Curious where people speak the most about your brand? Use the Exploring page of Instagram to check your brand name or physical storefront, if you have one, and select the “location” choice. It will help you gain a deeper understanding of where your followers speak about your brand, and geographically how far your brand goes.
5. Update The Pictures
Instagram is a visually-oriented social media app, which ensures that to compete with other brands and attract new followers, the images need to be of outstanding quality. Do you have only one smartphone? No problem … No problem! Smartphones are capable of taking Instagram-worthy pictures when used correctly and you do not need to be a professional photographer to find it out.
Lucky for you, you can use a few fast hacks to start taking better Instagram pictures right now. Try using the camera in the back of your phone; stabilizing the camera will be easier, and the quality of your Instagram photos will be noticeably better. Check the lighting to make sure it’s not too dark or bright — natural lighting is better for pictures so it isn’t overpowering either.
Play with a variety of angles and use the gridlines tool to align images to make your images eye-catching to users when scrolling through their feed. Last word of advice: resist the urge before posting to over-edit images, as many users can tell when a photo isn’t genuine. A good photo from Instagram will speak for itself and will require no editing.
6. Brand Partnerships
Partnering with other brands that are competing can sound counter-intuitive, but partnering on content will gain you new Instagram followers from another audience. Partnership with a brand on Instagram will introduce you to a new audience through the Instagram followers of each other and your social media reach.
If you’re new to Instagram or never partnered with another brand, don’t be afraid. It’s easier to reach out than you would have thought, so it’s a big step towards increasing your Instagram following. Begin your partnership adventure by defining brands that would likely attract your audiences. It’s a good practice to double-check their brand values to make sure they align with yours; this can help to avoid any problems that could harm the partnership ‘s future.
Once you’re certain they’re a great fit, reach out and ask them to partner. Take advantage of the new exposure if you secure a partnership by creating engaging Instagram content that showcases both brands. Try setting up a hashtag specifically for the relationship, or offering a contest to pique the attention of their followers. Ultimately, the partnership ‘s goal should be to promote brands of both sides, leading to new Instagram followers that could become customers.
7. Gather Feedback Using Instagram Stories
Everyone likes to know a brand cares about the feelings of their fans; and users of Instagram are no exception to this law. Lucky for you, Instagram offers the ultimate resource for quickly receiving feedback: Tales. To learn more about your audience, use polls to gauge interest or the question sticker as a suggestion box. When followers receive the content they ordered, and your brand posts about what they’re interested in, the interaction will be positively impacted.
Put it to use in your Instagram content as you begin gathering feedback to help create a more enjoyable experience for users, making them more likely to follow your profile. And regularly ask for the reviews! Instagram (and the world itself) is constantly evolving so it’s always a good idea to ask your fans for suggestions to remain relevant.
Growing up following your Instagram can seem like a daunting challenge, particularly if you’re new to the site. Yet if you take the time to learn more about your followers and what kind of content they want to see, it will start to feel like much more of a realistic goal to increase your Instagram follower count. You got this — just go try some of these tips now.