Instagram’s continued growth makes it an appealing marketing platform. It boasts nearly 1 billion active users! As it grows, many interactive features are being added to supplement business accounts, which allow you to both generate new fans and new business opportunities. The hard reality is that most people aren’t famous; therefore, it’s difficult to secure a large following.
If you aren’t sure you want to increase your Instagram followers, consider some of the stats (courtesy of Jumper Media):
- Follower growth increases from 6% to 8% month-over-month
- 70% of Instagram hashtags are branded
- One hashtag will get you 12.6% more engagement
- 80% of Instagram users follow a business account
- 30% of users bought something they discovered on Instagram
Time and attention are your friends, but hard work is still the name of the game.
If you want to start adding to those follower numbers, then you need to create a plan. Let’s talk about the top-14 methods you can use to skyrocket your Instagram followers:
- Work on your profile. Does your Instagram profile make a case for why someone should follow you? If not, then you have work to do. One of the simplest things you can do is make your brand easy to find. For instance, select a username associated with your brand.
- Think about content creation. While this might not work for everyone, consider having someone run your Instagram account that has experience growing an Instagram profile. If you’re a part of a larger organization, then it’s likely that there are content processes already in place.
- Learn about photo editing. Not all of us are professional photographers or photo-editing wizards, but creating quality posts really matter on Instagram. Some important things to consider when taking or uploading pictures taken on your smartphone are: focus on a single subject, learn about negative space, embrace interesting perspectives, and look for interesting small details.
- Buy Followers. With sites like Idigic.net, Skweezer, etc you can boost your brand’s credibility and visibility by buying followers. All you need to do is select a package, and watch your follower count grow.
- A posting schedule is your friend. I get it, spontaneity is fun. However, if you want more Instagram followers, then you need to start thinking about a posting schedule. Learn the best times to post and get in the habit of uploading at regular intervals in order to create an expectation in your followers.
- Content curation. If you are working with a team of folks, then you can’t be everywhere at once. In order to create a steady stream of content, you should consider reaching out to others in your organization for images worth sharing. Doing so not only expands the pool of available images, but also creates a community.
- Establish a brand voice. A brand or editorial voice is something writers are more familiar with, but your profile and photos will develop a brand voice whether you want it to or not. Consider cultivating a consistent, approachable voice that makes people want to read your captions and interact with your content.
- Engage with the intent to share. Nothing is worse than having a caption that reads poorly or is wholly disinteresting. The goal is to have followers share your content. In order to accomplish that, you should consider including: clever comments, CTAs, hashtags, emojis, and engaging text.
- Embrace hashtags. Hashtags are the Dewey decimal system of social media. It allows your posts to connect with users who might not already be connected. This exposure can draw in new followers who might be interested in your brand. Be sure to use relevant hashtags sparingly.
- Interact with your followers. This might be the most underutilized aspect of social media. You want to grow them, but you don’t want to feed them. Be a part of the community and follow, like, and comment on other posts, especially those that are similar to your brand or message. This can be the difference between being a part of a larger community and being on the outside looking in.
- Cross-promotion is your friend. Once you’ve started to build your community, think about cross-promoting with like-minded brands. The goal isn’t to spam your followers, but to pepper in interesting content that you think they might be interested in.
- Instagram Stories. Instagram was built on sharing photos, but the ability to pull back the curtain and interact with followers directly is a great way to increase your reach. It provides insight into your process and gives you more personality than a few snappy comments on some gorgeous photos. You can share videos, still images, or utilize other interactive features to connect with your followers.
- Share across other platforms. It is important to list your Instagram profile on other social media accounts in order to entice your community over to the platform. A CTA in your Twitter or Facebook profile could help bring your larger community together on Instagram.
- Get verified. This can prove difficult for some users, but it’s worth a try. There are a lot of eligibility requirements, but you can apply for the blue wonder. Visit the help center to learn more about it.
Perhaps the most important takeaway is to have a plan. Building a community and generating new followers is about understanding your audience and then providing the kind of content they want. To recap, you can skyrocket your Instagram followers in 14 easy steps: (1) Take some time and work on your profile; (2) Think about the content you want to share; (3) Educate yourself on photo-editing and image best practices; (4) Create a posting schedule; (5) Curate content; (6) Establish a brand voice; (7) Create content that is easily shared; (8) Use relevant hashtags; (9) Interact with the community you’ve created; (10) Cross-promote with like-minded brands; (11) Utilize Instagram Stories; (12) Create live videos; (13) Share your profile on other social media platforms; and (14) Work on getting verified.
The last bit of advice is the most obvious: Get started!