Instagram is not just to share your vacation views and #throwbackthursdays anymore. It’s the leading app for building your brand and your business, and content marketing. 2014’s Forrester study found that the engagement rate on Instagram was a whopping 58 times of that on Facebook. So naturally, it’s understandable if you want to put yourself out there on Instagram. You want to attract as many people as you can to your account so that you can have as many clients for your business as possible. Here are 10 tips to get you started to boost your following:
- Identify Your Brand
The first and foremost step is to carve out a niche for yourself. It’s tempting to share pictures of that delicious cake you had or your adorable puppy (also, guaranteed likes!) but it’s important to separate your personal life from your business account. Every time you post a picture, a Story, or use a hashtag, double check that the content aligns with your brand.
- Have a Theme
Now that you have branded yourself, your Instagram profile needs to match the brand identity. And you achieve this by having a consistent filter to your pictures, or a recurring theme in your physical content. This gives people a sense of familiarity every time you post something, and thereby continued following. For example, if your business involves tea, you can post pictures that evoke feelings of comfort and warmth. Or if you are a food blogger, your filter can be something that shows off the colors and vibrancy of your dish!
Instagram lets you use up to thirty hashtags for one post. Some are more popular than others so use as many as you want, with a good blend of popular and not so popular hashtags. Use them in your stories as well! Just make sure your hashtag is relevant because nothing is more disappointing than seeing a shoe in a food hashtag. Also, make sure the hashtag is not under review by Instagram. Sometimes, even seemingly innocent hashtags like petite are under review so be sure to watch out for that!
- Leave a Comment
It’s a simple way to pique people’s curiosity to come and see your profile. Don’t just leave a “great post!” or “Hi! Check out my profile!” Take the time to truly see what the post is about and leave a genuine comment, for that personalized touch. This adds more reason for people to come and see your account. Also, be sure to reply to the comments people leave on your posts. The goal here is to form connections.
- Where Are You?
Just like hashtags, adding location to your Instagram posts and using location stickers in your Stories is another great way to attract people to your Instagram profile. Especially if you are a local business and want to break into the local market.
- Connect, Connect, Connect!
It’s called social media, so get social! Find people with similar interests on Instagram so you can stay inspired, tag a moderately popular Instagrammer on your post or Story if you are sharing something of their work so they can come to see your account. Remember those hashtags you choose to use on your posts? See what people are posting to those hashtags and reach out to them as well by leaving comments.
- Build Rapport with Your Followers
While you are trying to grow your account, don’t negate the people who are following you right now. Keep a good rapport with them. This way, they are less likely to unfollow you. If they like what they see, they will talk about you to their friends on their own accord, tag them in your posts and send your Stories to them. This will then attract them to your profile. New-age word of the mouth! It’s not just about having a large following, it’s about having a large following who’s invested in your content.
- Behind the Scenes
In today’s world, when you’re marketing a business, you are also marketing yourself. People will hire you partly for your product, and also partly because they like you. Use Stories to show what goes on behind the process of making your product or upload a post of yourself and share a story about how you started pursuing your passion. Occasionally showing what goes on behind the scenes of your work lends an air of authenticity to you. It gets your current and potential followers invested in you and your business.
- Invest Time and Effort
As simple and fun as Instagram is, if you are using it as a marketing tool, you have to invest the time and effort in the content you are putting out. Just like you would for other “traditional” forms of marketing. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get enough engagement and likes in your first few posts, or for a post later in time. Keep working on your content, and always review your content to see which had a lot of engagement, which hashtags work, and which don’t.
- Have A Good Bio!
Don’t just leave that part blank or leave it at one word such as “Entrepreneur”! Maximize the 150 characters. Bio is one of the first things people will see when they come to your account. Give them a reason to scroll on down to look at the content you are sharing. Use keywords that will catch their attention and know what your account is about. Maybe even let a little bit of your personality shine through!
And that’s it! 10 very simple, but guaranteed tips that will get you from 1000 to 10K followers with consistent effort and time. While Instagram can be a serious marketing tool, and you have to take building your followers and business seriously, it’s still a social media app! So, remember to have a little fun with it along the way!