With 3.5 billion active social media users, individuals and brands are moving their business decisions to social media. Instagram is one of the biggest social media platforms and this article will teach you how to grow your Instagram following this year.
Let's have a deeper look at some Instagram statistics as the platform continues to grow and develop.
- Instagram is the second most engaged network after Facebook
- On average 53 minutes per day are spent at Instagram, compared to Facebook users' 58 minutes
- 83% of users state they find new products and services on Instagram
- 500 million users use Instagram Stories every day
- More than 100 million photos/videos are shared on Instagram every day
- Video posts on Instagram are more likely to be engaged with.
Instagram is on the verge of becoming the number one social media platform.
If you're a brand or influencer looking to build your personal brand this year, read on for 8 tips to grow your Instagram.
What Are the Best Ways to Grow Your Instagram?
1. Focus on Quality over Quantity.
Some sources say that you need to post on Instagram between one to three times a day, however, in our opinion, this may not work best for you.
First, because your potential followers might see it as spam and will start to unfollow you. Secondly, if you start posting several times per day and at some point slow down, you will see the user engagement rate decline. In other words, you need to post as many times as you can keep up with consistency.
If you're not able to generate quality pictures every day, then post less. It is always better when you have a few quality pictures a week than low-quality content frequently.
2. Use Instagram Stories.
Instagram has started as a network for picture sharing, however, it has grown far beyond this point already. There are 500 million stories created daily worldwide.
The intention of Instagram stories is to share your life moments quickly and easily. The best feature here is that all stories are highlighted at the top of the home feed without any prepayments or post boosting.
Despite the fact that stories last only for 24 hours, their impact is way longer, especially with the most popular stories which you can pin in highlights of your profile and let visitors of your page play them again and again.
Stories can be in the form of a picture of course, but for better engagement, we suggest you give it a more vivid look - go for videos. If you can't film or edit videos, then use the help of tools available.
For example, Renderforest has a large library of Instagram Stories templates suitable for any kind of industry.
3. Create your own hashtags.
Hashtags are helping to build up a community and involve people who have common interests. The right hashtag can expose your image, video or Instagram story to a large and targeted audience.
Many brands are creating their own hashtags and encouraging people to use them - #JustDoIt, #ImLovinIt - we all know what do they stand for.
We know it might be difficult convincing people to use your hashtag and start following you, but what about starting with smaller groups.
Let's say you have a wedding party and you think of a hashtag - #BenMarriesKelly2019, checking that hashtag is not taken and starting to use it during the event - on invitations, as a decoration, leaving notes by the guest table, etc.
You can even repost images from your followers who have used the hashtag, showing how much you appreciate their photos.
4. Socialize and comment on other accounts.
Let's not forget that Instagram is a social media platform where you can meet new people and communicate with those who share common interests.
Start liking tons of pictures that are related to your profile topic, or example, if you are portraying a healthy lifestyle or fractional nutrition look for people talk about it.
Leave your comments under other posts, let them know that they are doing great or share your own opinion on this topic. Don't forget about your own comments and DM inbox.
Give your followers a two-way communication. If you don't want to miss a comment on your profile, make sure you switched on the notifications.
5. Give people a reason to follow you.
The main reason why people follow a particular brand, blogger or influencer is because they have found value in it for themselves. Usually, we tend to subscribe to the content which is attractive visually and is specifically informative or even motivating.
Become one of those experts who can educate or motive with your own example those who are planning to change the diet and lose some weight. Tell them that you went through all the pain and challenges that led you to what you have now.
Look at Kayla Itsines, she became a massive influencer in the Instagram world, sharing her workouts and meal planning with a huge community (Bikini Body Guides) and Sweat with Kayla app users.
6. Have a unique grid.
Don't underestimate the power of visual communication. When it comes to presenting a brand, customers recognize the product by its logo first or the color choice. If we see a soft drink and a red color label on the bottle we all know it stands for famous Coca Cola.
Do the same with your own Instagram profile and make your grid consistent and visually appealing.
This isn't just about color but also the structure and symmetry. You can use a free tool like Planoly or Preview that allows you to preview the picture layout before you post. Make sure to stick to one picture filter for color consistency or become more creative with collage and puzzle pictures.
Another tip is to add some quotes on one color background or post the same object on every third or fourth picture in the row.
With this flow of the organized photo posting, you can start telling your brand story. Your followers will be more likely to stay within your community as they'll be awaiting more posts to come.
7. Geotag your pictures.
When you are visiting places that are super amazing - make sure to geotag them. People who have been there or are planning to visit the awesome restaurant or city you're tagging will notice your photo and potentially follow you since now you have something in common.
You can even create your own geotag and build content around the location so others can have use of it in the future. If you see that people start to use your geotag - socialize. Write a comment, like a picture, start following the person - people will notice you and follow you back.
8. Work with Instagram influencers.
Join forces with other famous, popular and well-known bloggers and Influencers this way exchanging followers with each other. Make sure you collaborate with influencers who have similar interests or topics because the audience will be more likely to follow you.
It is difficult to force men who follow car repair centers to force following some makeup artists who talk about beauty products. Not only other influencers can make a difference but also real brands. If brands are not approaching you, you can have a short introduction email sent to their marketing team.
Don't be afraid to ask for a promoted post. Spend some money on your profile boost to widen your social reach and let others know you exist.
9. Make the most of your Instagram bio.
Your Instagram bio is going to be the first interaction many people have with your brand, so you need to make sure it stands out from the crowd. A great way to do this is by being clear and concise about what your business does, and working in keywords that are relevant to your brand or industry so visitors know exactly what you're about.
Another top tip is to maximize the potential of your Instagram bio link by using a tool like LinkGallery - a new product from the popular URL shortener, Rebrandly - to send your visitors to multiple destinations, all from a single link.
The way this works is that all of your links - whether your website, ecommerce store, or even your other social channels - are hosted on a page that can be customized to fit with your branding, and is accessed from that small but powerful link in your bio.
You can also use the built-in analytics feature to see which of your links your prospective customers are most interested in, and use this data to optimize your CTAs and conversion paths.
Check out this guide to creating an Instagram business page for more tips on how to optimize your account and increase your followers.
There are many ways how to grow your Instagram profile this year. Think about the layout and overall look of your profile, make sure you post regularly, there is a value for your followers in the content you share. If you want to widen your reach, use hashtags and geotagging.
Make sure people can easily find you and view your main interests and topics that coincide with your personal branding. Work with other influencers and brands on social. Whether it's via shoutouts, promos, and giveaways, other profiles can boost your visibility.
Follow a few of these suggestions to grow your Instagram account and you're sure to gain more followers this year.
Did we miss any strategies to grow your Instagram? Let us know in the comments.
Guest Post by Roman Daneghyan - the Chief Marketing Officer of Renderforest․ He's a Content Marketing Specialist and an Expert in SEO, social media marketing, and link building. Roman enjoys sharing his experience gained along working as a marketer and helping other entrepreneurs succeed. He has his works published on some of the most renowned blogs and mediums like Crazy Egg, Forbes, Upwork, and ShareThis.