Perhaps the most regularly used social media platform, Instagram is an absolute must for most businesses to get right. And with the massive amount of competition out there vying for the same audience, this can be a tough one to get off the ground. However, that’s why we’re going to give you a few helpful tips on how to start garnering more followers. Check them out below:
It Starts With Your Brand
If you’re going to be garnering more followers, one of the first steps is to reassess your brand and ask if it’s one worth following. While that might sound harsh, being objective about the quality of your brand is something a lot of business owners have a tough time with, which can hurt them quite a bit in developing lifelong relationships with their customers. Your brand is going to be an allegiance others put more than just their likes and comments into, but eventually their dollars, which is why it’s essential to take a glance if yours is hitting the mark.
Before even looking at your logo or type kits, one of the first components to analyze is your brand’s values. According to LucidPress, 64 percent of consumers cite shared values as a reason they do business with a brand, which will define the rest of your brand. From there, start diving through on if your logo, typefaces, or other elements represent those aspects of your company. A significant component of your Instagram presence will be how you keep this aesthetic going within your posts as well, which is why it’s important to establish these branding elements now as your foundation.
Once you’ve gained a grasp on who exactly you are as a brand, it’s time to start getting out there and engaging with your audience. This can be a tough task, as it requires a specific type of targetting that’s often overlooked. After all, too many posts, comments or likes amongst a certain circle will only lead to your brand coming off as spam, while posting too little can lead to never gaining enough steam at all. Yes, engagement is all about finding that happy medium, because as noted by Hootsuite, with over 800 million monthly active users on Instagram, capturing an audience from that can be much harder than you’d assume.
Your engagement plan should begin with finding active Instagram profiles that are already commenting and liking posts regularly within your industry. The more genuine of interactions you can create with these individuals, the better, as that’s what will set you apart from the competition. Another good strategy to break the ice is by asking questions that you sincerely would want to answer as a fan. Although you won’t be perfect at this at first, people love seeing brands interact as members of a community, so the more human you can make your conversations, the better.
Don’t Forget About Hashtags
Although some brands can go overboard with them, hashtags are a great way to start a conversation with your base, especially on Instagram. In fact, according to Sprout Social, 7 out of 10 hashtags on Instagram are branded, which goes to show how prevalent a strategy this can be on the photosharing platform. However, what makes a hashtag successful isn’t necessarily that it’s tied to your brand but that your brand is leading a conversation.
With hashtags, the name of the game is finding a focal point of conversation that also can be a reminder of your brand. This can include anything from an event you throw to a campaign your running. With an event, the goal of the hashtag is for people to have a central hub they can use to document their experiences. A campaign is more difficult; it takes being concise but still forming a central message. For example, #imafan might be a useful hashtag for a record store or movie theatre to showcase what their audience is following. The goal here is to come up with hashtags that are both in-line with your brand and industry, while also bringing people into a central idea/message.
Keep Your Outreach Consistent
Finally, if there’s one thing a lot of brands lack, it’s keeping a consistent presence on social media. Although it’s not always the most fun thing to constantly be posting, it’s good to remind yourself that this isn’t your personal page, which means your audience’s expectations are slightly different. According to Zimmer Communications, consistent presentation of a brand increases revenue by 23 percent, and if you’re trying to hit numbers like that, then consistency is key.
Create a calendar for your Instagram campaigns, including what you’re going to post as your primary pieces on your page versus the supplemental items for your story. Posts should generally be focal points (especially if you’re in an industry that requires photo shoots, like fashion or food), while stories can play as reminders of sales, events happening, or even call-to-action requests (if you have a business account already established). Although planning at first is wise to get into the habit of continuously posting, it’ll start to feel more natural over time. Remember, Instagram is all about being a smart storyteller, so make sure that you’re still following the rule of quality over quantity to ensure you’re properly engaging with your audience.
What are you most excited about in garnering more of an audience for Instagram? Comment with your answers below!