While some are using Instagram to enjoy its socializing functionality with friends, others are using the platform to promote their businesses. Instagram can be an effective visual marketing platform for your business, only if you use it correctly. It has been studied that businesses enjoy more customer engagement on Instagram compared to other social media platforms. Therefore, it is a place you can broadcast your brand and expect to have a flock of followers in the final run.
Nonetheless, you must apply the right strategies for you to reap as many followers as possible. There are some productive and effective approaches you can apply to build an immense following, and they include the following;
1. Develop an appealing portfolio
Before anything, you need to have a profile that is appealing to the target audience. Attracting followers with an empty Instagram profile is impossible. Since Instagram is more about images, you will need to upload about 20 stunning photos that clearly describe what your brand is about. This is only if you are new to the platform, or if you do not have a complete portfolio yet.
As you intend to develop a portfolio, you should keep in mind that the platform is filled with other brands that are after the same followers. For that, you need to select the best photos, which should also be unique enough to capture the followers' attention. Ideally, work with a professional photographer to help you post great images. You can also follow photographers' profiles to have a clue of how great photos should look. The composition of the photos must be eye-catching as well.
The photos that you upload on your profile must not only be appealing, but they should also match your business niche. Regardless of the quality of the images, unless they suit your niche, they might not deliver as you expect. If you already have an established portfolio, you can focus on other strategies.
2. Apply the right hashtags
Hashtags are vital in the social media, which is why they are a must-have if you need to attract many followers. As you look for more followers, you still need to engage your existing audience. New and appealing photos will help to sustain your current followers, but the aim is to get more of them. That is where hashtags come in place.
When you use hashtags with your photos, people can find them easily when they are searching for similar or related terms.
How to determine the hashtags to use
Some specific hashtags tend to deliver perfect results on Instagram, so you should choose wisely. There are some common hashtags that are performing well on the social media platform. The challenging part of using them is that they might not apply to your specific business niche. However, it is all about drawing the attention of new followers. Once they land on your profile, you will now have the duty of applying the right strategies to maintain them. The best way of determining the hashtag to use is by doing a keyword search.
Since it might be irrelevant to use a hashtag that doesn't match your business niche, you will need to conduct a keyword search. Luckily, you can find free online programs, like IconoSquare, https://pro.iconosquare.com/ that helps you find the right hashtag for your brand.
IconoSquare will inform you of additional keyword hashtags, along with the number of times they have been used. This can help simplify your work in the long run. Ensure that you try various keywords that relate to your products or brand.
As you use the right hashtags to appeal more followers, keep in mind that you are only allowed to use up to 30 hashtags for each post. The KW hashtags change from time to time, so ensure that you recheck the keyword search after a few months.
Utilizing the hashtags for your business
To help you boost the reach of your brand on Instagram, you will need to use the hashtags professionally and wisely. For instance, if you have a local store, you can carry out a search of the most popular hashtags that relate to your products. For this to be more effective, you will need to categorize the hashtags in three section;
• Brand keywords. If you are dealing with apparels, you can create a hashtag such as #womensfashion.
• Product keywords. This could have hashtags like, #summerdress or #partydresses
• Location keywords. You could create hashtags based on your local area, like #SanDiegoFashion or simply #SanDiego;
With such a form of categorization, it can be easier for followers to find your products when they are searching for them on the platform. So whenever you post new images on your profile, you can use the specified keyword hashtags and be sure of reaping amazing results.
Ensure that you use each specific photo with a bunch of hashtags. This way, it will be easier for the target audience to find your product. If they search for the hashtag of the location with the specified product, they can still find it.
Even if you are not using photos with the hashtags, you can still use the keyword hashtags with your comments and still win followers.
3. Use appropriate filters
Using the right filters is another cheap and efficient way if you don't want to buy Instagram followers. The users on Instagram are attracted by specific photo filters on the platform. If you use the right filters, you can easily lure users to follow you. Some of the most preferred filters to apply on the social media platform include the following;
• Normal, where there are no filters applied
• X-Pro II
It was studied that some of the photo filters that boosted the engagement of users on the platform include Inkwell, Mayfair, and Normal.
Even if you consider applying the most popular filters to your photos, you still need to consider your audiences' preference. You should use the favorite filters to your audience. You can still use IconoSquare to help you determine the filters that deliver the most engagement. The tool will save you time and effort, and you will simply know the best filters to apply or if you should leave the photos with no filters.
4. Post consistently and at the right time
Another trick of landing many followers is to post at the right time, and as consistently as possible. Most of the active Instagram users will visit the platform every single day. This implies that the audiences should view your posts whenever they are online.
Always ensure that you post a photo at least once every day. If you can manage to post two or three photos each day, it can also deliver a massive following. The trick is to post often on the platform. You should keep in mind that the followers need to be entertained frequently. For that, ensure that the photos are appealing as always.
The challenge when posting is to find the appropriate days and time. Even if you were to post three photos at the same time every day, they might be a waste if the followers are offline. That is why you need to be timely with your posts.
If you have been posting your photos in the past, and they don't receive as much engagement as such, then you should think about working on your timing. Again, IconoSquare can serve you right with this evaluation. You'll get a comprehensive analysis of the posting history of your photos against the engagement of the audiences. With the report from IconoSquare, you will also know the best time and day to post.
For instance, if some users log in to their account between 8 AM – 10 AM, 1 PM – 2 PM, and 8 PM to 10 PM, you can weigh your options and know the perfect time frame to post you photos. If you miss even a single hour, you will be losing thousands of followers that are offline. Also, if they are most active on Fridays and during the weekends, utilize those days as much as possible. ScheduGram can help you schedule the ideal time to automatically post the photos.
5. Engage with you competitors' followers
Since it might be costly to buy Instagram followers, you can take advantage of your top competitors and steal their followers. This is legal, but you will need to do it professionally. It is not about talking bad about your competitors' brand. Instead, you will have to engage with them to lure them to use your products. The good thing about this is that they already have used, and they have a taste of your product category.
How can you make this happen?
The simple trick is to engage with the followers. However, the engagement comes in three ways including;
• Following them
• Liking a photo
• Commenting on the photo
The first step you need to do to grab the attention of your competitors' followers is by following them. Before you follow them, ensure that your profile is designed and established to appeal to the target audience. If you are targeting the followers from a specific local area, ensure that you add your town or city to your profile. This way, you will create a mutual connection that can easily draw them to your brand.
After you follow about 100 customers of one competitor, you can move on to another competitor and do the same. As you follow them, you could take your time to like at least one photo on their profile. Ideally, like a photo that is closely related to your business. If you are dealing with apparels and you see a follower with a nice dress, you can like and comment on the photo. This will naturally make them like and follow you back.
The target here is to engage with the followers constantly. Even when you win them, and they follow you back, it is another task to ensure that you maintain them. Winning followers might be easy, but keeping them engaged and overly happy is where the burden lies.
As long as you post frequently enough and at the right time, you can be sure of getting the best outcome. If they comment on your photos, ensure that you respond as soon as you can. This is another way of keeping the followers happy. Ignoring comments or commenting too late might cost you in the long run.
6. Get Featured
You can also solve the massive follower hunt puzzle by getting featured on the platform. In most cases, a lot of accounts that have many followers tend to be featured elsewhere. There are three areas you can be featured to help you be famous on Instagram, including;
• Instagram Blog, http://blog.instagram.com/
• Explore Page
• Suggested User List https://help.instagram.com/533052966709644/
Suppose an account is featured in any of these areas, they will be found easily by the users on the platform. This is another way that people opt to when they do not want to buy Instagram followers. If you can get an official Instagram blogger to write a piece about your brand, you can stand a chance of being found with ease. You can also be added to the Suggested Instagram user list.If is seems difficult to get in touch with Instagram employees, you can come up with unique and appealing topics and posts. With such, you will naturally gain followers, and be featured in all the three areas on Instagram.
7. Show followers behind-the-scene shots
Even if you are running a business account on Instagram, you can add some humor and fun in it and remain professional. For instance, if you have a set of photos that describe how you started the business, you can post them and show them to your followers. This can also create a topic and encourage the engagement with them. With these photos, it is best to leave them without any filter. They will appeal more to the audience if they carry some reality and originality.
Another idea for the behind-the-scene shots is to upload photos when products are being prepared. If it is a bakery, you can post photos of the dough or cakes in the making. This can draw a lot of attention, and it will show the audience just the amount of work you handle. Whichever type of business you handle, you can upload photos that are slightly clumsy, but with some level of professionalism.
A lot of customers are always interested in what goes behind the scenes. If your final products are appealing, they will need to know what it takes to make them complete. Here is where you can upload photos of your crew and indicate what each member is responsible for in the business. With this, you can be sure of attracting a lot of followers.
8. Consider a call to action
Some of the Instagram users might not like or share your posts, but they are more than willing to do so if you ask them. That is why you need to include a call to action to help you maximize your followers. You want more interaction on the platform, and it won't come to you if you do not ask for it. Ask your existing followers to tag a friend on the posts. If you have over 10,000 followers on Instagram, the best way of reaping more followers is by telling your existing audience to tag a friend on the particular post. If you plan to host an event, they can tag their friends, who will then take part and even tag others. As you follow, like, and comment on the followers’ posts, take another step of taking a call to action.
9. Spend on sponsored posts and product reviews
While the strategies mentioned above are cost-free, you can choose to spend some cash, which can assure you of worthwhile results. The good thing about spending cash on your campaign to earn more followers is that you get an instant outcome. Here, you will have your content posted on popular accounts that are in your niche. This way, your brand will be exposed to a huge audience, who will then follow you instantly.
How to handle the paid campaign
You will be spending some cash at this point, but the results are promising and worth the investment. The first thing to do is to list down the top accounts in your business niche. If you are dealing with apparels, look out for the leading apparel account. Ideally, choose the ones that dominate in your location. You can use Webstagram to help you locate the leading accounts in your niche. As you look out for the top accounts, ensure that you choose those that have at least 20,000 followers. Also, check that they have a valid email address on their business profile.
Mostly, accounts that have their email address displayed on their profile can be contacted when you need the sponsored posts or reviews. Send them an email and ask if they are offering the sponsored posts, and how much they pay for each post. Expect to be charged between $20 and $50 for each post. The cost of the post will depend on the number of followers of that account. So if you find one with over 200,000 followers, expect to pay more for each post.
If you have a new or unique product, ensure that you contact them and asking for a review of the specified product. You will receive more engagement with the particular product if it is natural and less promotional.
Keep in mind that the account offering the sponsored review and posts will not be responsible for the editing of the photos. Nonetheless, ensure that you communicate with them in advance to confirm if they will edit the images or not. This helps you to exploit the followers and have a good performance with your brand on the social media.
10. Buy Followers
The simplest and quickest way of having more followers on Instagram is by buying them. When you buy Instagram followers, you will be sure of having as many followers as you want within 24 hours. Some sources sell followers, and you can start with less than 10, and jump to even 100,000 within two days. This can be very effective, especially if you want to introduce something unique to the Instagram community.
Nonetheless, even if you get 100,000 followers overnight, you still have the duty of maintaining them by posting appealing content and engaging with them as frequently as possible.
Tools to help you build your audience on Instagram
The Instagram community is growing big time and again, and businesses are utilizing this chance to market their brand on the platform. Since it is challenging to manage a marketing campaign on Instagram successfully, you can use some tools that are specially designed to help you with it. Here are some of the tools you can depend on when you want to strategize your marketing campaign on Instagram.
• IconoSpuare, https://pro.iconosquare.com/. This tool will give you the analytics, information, and insights of your followers and account, as well as the best hashtags to use.
• Populagram. This tool helps you find the popular people, filters, and hashtags.
• Webstagram, https://websta.me/. This one helps you find the best account when you need the sponsored reviews and posts.
• Schedugram, http://schedugr.am/. With this tool, you can schedule the posts for the perfect time that will keep the followers engaged.
If you find it challenging to manage the posts, or you have no clue on where to start with your campaign, you can use any of these tools, which deliver ideal results. Most of them come with a 7-day free trial, so there is nothing to lose when you try them out.
You can have more followers on Instagram depending on how you want to get them. If you to choose to buy Instagram followers, ensure that you know the strategies of keeping them engaged to avoid losing them in the end. If you decide to go the long way and apply the effective strategies, you can still reap the results, though you should be patient to watch the followers grow. It might take long to reach even the 1,000 mark, but your determination and proper strategies will get you there.
The best thing to do is to take your time and go through the profile of the leading Instagram accounts in your niche. Follow the trend and the type of posts they upload. Also, monitor the activeness time frame, and what exactly they post on their profile. How have they developed their portfolio, and how do they respond to their follower's comments? These are some of the things you will need to keep in mind before you start your followers’ hunt.