It's not surprising that Instagram is continuing to expand its business opportunities. Nearly 90% of Instagram’s 1 billion monthly active users are followers of a business account. There are also more than 200,000,000 business accounts.
The problem is that unless you're famous, it can be very difficult to gain a large following on Instagram.
There are several things you can immediately do to increase your number of quality followers on your personal or business Instagram account. It's about knowing where to put your effort and time.
Brentgilchrist.com has a post that discusses strategies to gain followers. This includes creating a profile on Instagram that is worthy of following, using contests and staying true with your brand.
First things first: Make your Instagram profile look great. Let your potential followers know who you really are and give them reasons to follow you.
How? You can start by making your username easily searchable.
If your business name has been taken, you can still keep it as the first part your username to make sure people who search for your business find you.
Type your full business name into the "Name” field of the "Options". To locate "Options", tap in the top-right corner of the iOS App. Then, tap on "Settings" at the bottom of screen. If you are on Android, tap three dots in the corner. In search, your name and business will be displayed under your profile picture.
Make you profile public. Open Instagram and click on "Options" to make your profile public. Make sure that you have turned off "Private Account".
Pick a profile image that matches your company logo and other social media networks.
Fill out your bio with relevant, actionable and informative information about your company. People will be able to see what you stand for and why they should follow you. You should include your personal information and the things you do.
The URL space is valuable real estate. Linking to your Instagram Stories is possible after you reach 10,000 followers.
You can only use your bio to place clickable links on Instagram. To make it more clickable, we recommend using a customized Bitly hyperlink.
Warning: We do not recommend that you link your Instagram account directly to Twitter and Facebook. Every platform has a different audience, so different posts are required.
You should have at most one or two people handling your social media accounts. The same goes for your Instagram account.
If you are able, select someone with previous experience using the platform to "get" it. Also make sure they stay up-to-date on all the new features Instagram has to offer, from Reels and IGTV.
A large organization might have many employees who want to be involved in the decisions made. An organized request or guideline document is a great tool.
This document will tell people how to request a photo on your Instagram account.
On Instagram, post quality matters. This matters a lot. Although your followers on Twitter might forgive you for a few poor tweets, bad photos on Instagram are a big no.
It doesn't take long to learn how to post on Instagram. You should be familiar with basic editing and photography tips.
Photography's Best Practices
Instagram is a mobile app so there's a good chance that some of your Instagram content will be taken to your mobile device. That's expected.
Consider investing in professional photography to enhance your Instagram photos. You can also use a smartphone with a few editing tools.
You should only focus on one subject at the time.
Instagram does have some basic editing capabilities but is not sufficient to make images great.
Before you upload photos to Instagram, most of your photos need to be processed at least once or twice on your smartphone.
Also, you might consider creating an coherent Instagram theme to be shared across your feed. This will allow anyone visiting your account for their first time to get a sense about your brand.
It's time for you to post once your profile has been optimized and created.
It is a good idea if you have a few great posts up before you start engaging people. When people visit your profile, they will see a full-screen display of photos and be able to tell that you are posting great content.
To get started posting to Instagram, you will need to download the social media content planner first. Once it is downloaded, plan your posts. You should have at least a few weeks or days of content prepared before you publish.
This will ensure that you are always content, even during vacations and creative blocks.
Your target persona is important to consider when planning your posting schedule. If you don't already have buyer personas download this free template.
You might need to spend some time optimizing your schedule to meet the needs of your audience.
Try out these times and days to discover what works best for your audience. Your target users may be most active and engaged during different times.
While it is best to only have one or two people on your account, you can't have everyone at once taking photos. Or how about the fun sushi dinner that engineers enjoyed last night? Or at the event that your head of sales spoke earlier this week.
There are many content options for Instagram. One person might not be able to keep it all together.
One solution? You can create a system that allows you to curate content and photos from your team members.
This can be done in a number of ways. You can create a unique email address to allow employees to send photos, short videos or memes to that address.
People should include a descriptive subject to help you sort through the content. This may not be the most efficient way to curate photos. However, it makes it easy for people to send photos to you.
A shared folder could be created if your team has a Box or Dropbox account. People can drop their photos and videos there.
Although photos and videos may be the most important aspect of your Instagram posts (and they are), captions, comments, as well as other text, should be considered. Consider creating a consistent voice for your brand, whether you are managing a channel or having multiple Instagram managers.
This shows potential customers that you are genuine and trustworthy, not intimidating or formal.
Consider the platform and the audience when you are developing your voice.
A lot of Instagram's top accounts and influencers use a casual voice, yet remain professional and on brand. Once you have your voice down make sure that it is consistent in your captions, comments and bio.
Captions are the finishing touch to your post. A consistent, great caption can make your brand more human, win you over, and increase your shareability, allowing you to get more exposure.
Here are some examples of winning Instagram captions:
Clever and witty comments We need to get involved Relevant emojis Hashtags
Clever, Witty Comments
Brands and influencers often use funny captions, jokes that are appropriate for the audience to humanize their brand on Instagram.
My colleague Kelly Hendrickson from HubSpot's Social Media Team Manager, said that she loves Netflix’s account as well as its sub-accounts. This is mainly because of the post captions.
"They have such an obvious brand voice that you can't help but laugh along with them. She said that they're just like your friends and are always in the joke.
Netflix's voice is modern, funny, and casual while staying true to brand.
The caption above is relatable, funny, and authentic. Have you ever flipped through the Instagram Story of a friend with the hope of being featured?
Call to Action
A caption that asks questions or has a call-to-action is a great way to increase shareability and engage your followers.
For example, you could write: Double-tap if it's funny or tell your story in comments.
In the following example, we asked @HubSpot Instagram users for comments with books that have had a positive influence on their work. We also tagged the author.
A few relevant emojis will add personality to your posts. You could also make them more visible on Instagram. The post below is by Danielle Gray, a beauty blogger with more than 50K followers ( @Stylenbeautydoc). She includes witty text along with relevant Emojis to make it stand out.
In addition to the above three items, hashtags are also important.
A hashtag on Instagram ties together conversations from different users that wouldn't otherwise be connected to one stream. Your posts will be more visible to a larger audience and make you more discoverable to potential buyers if you use relevant hashtags.
It is important to use hashtags sparingly and be selective when using them. Limit the number hashtags per caption at three. Also, avoid using hashtags such as #like4like and #like4likes that are "like for like".
This is a short-cut tactic and will only lead to low-quality followers.
You can find relevant hashtags that your audience may be using by doing some research in your industry or niche. This is easiest to do in Instagram's Explore tab (i.e. magnifying glass icon).
It will show you related hashtags when you search for one hashtag.
For example, when I search for #digitalmarketingstrategy on Instagram, it shows me relevant hashtags like #digitalmarketingexpert, #digitalmarketing, and so on.
To help relate to your followers on a personal level, you might consider hopping on hashtag trends like #tbt ("Throwback Thursday"), #MotivationMonday, #TransformationTuesday, or other trending hashtags. This is @fanmdjanm a collection of headwraps that it has collected and a lifestyle brand. They use the #HappyMothersDay hashtag.
Once you've built up a little bit of followers, you might consider creating your own hashtags. This could be something like your company name, or a slogan that is relevant to your content. This is a great method to increase your brand's presence on the platform.
short-form video has been one of the most successful content formats on social media since the advent of TikTok.
According to HubSpot Blog, 85% believe short-form videos are the most effective content format. Short-form video marketing is a popular content format that 95% of marketers intend to use in 2022.
This is why it's so important to be aware of the latest content formats. Instagram's TikTok-inspired feature, IG Reels was created. This feature makes it easy to post relatable, funny content.
Use IG Reels and other new tools on Instagram to increase your followers.
Knowing who your audience is is key to gaining your first 1,000 Instagram followers. You should keep track of the top performing posts once you've set up your Instagram account.
What type of content do you want? Interactive content, behind-the scenes stories, humorous and relatable posts? You can then create the type of content that you think is most effective once you have an idea.
Instagram offers many tools and features, such as IGTV (IG Reels), Instagram Stories (IG Stories), Instagram Live (Highlights), etc. You can start by trying different types of content and then see which one works best. Then create a strategy, and master the one tool. Doing this will enable you to create content your followers like and attract new followers.
The old saying about a tree falling into a forest is true. If you don't promote your Instagram account, does that make it real? Well, yes. You'll only have fewer followers.
Promoting your Instagram account can be one of the best methods to increase followers. Share social links and embed your posts on your blogs, like the ones shown in this post. It's a great way of gaining followers on one platform by asking your current followers if they'd like to follow you on other platforms.
You should also get started with Instagram promo and ads in order to promote your Instagram. This will enable you to reach a larger audience. It might seem that ads only work for certain products. However, I have been able to follow several business accounts through sponsored posts.
Instagram is a community. You can find other users who post images that interest you and follow them. Then interact with their content. This is the easiest way to attract attention to your Instagram account.
This serves two purposes: first, it lets them know that you are following them. Second, they have a greater chance of visiting your profile. This is why you need to make sure your account has great content before you begin reaching out to other people.
Second, you'll see their latest posts in your feed. This allows you to Like and Interact with them, if you wish.
You can celebrate your followers' success by responding to and pining their comments, as well as reposting their posts in order to generate user-generated content.
You might consider collaborating once you have established rapport with those who manage accounts that are similar to yours.
The partnership with influencers or brands can help with reach, discoverability and social proof.
You can also run a giveaway or contest to expand your reach and increase engagement with your images. You can ask people to follow your account and like or comment on the post in order to be eligible for a chance to win.
Let's face it. It's hard to not love the chance of winning something free.
You can also add user generated content to the contest. Here, people upload a photo and use a hashtag.
Here's an example from @PlayaBowlsNortheastern, where followers were asked to follow Playa Bowls as well as their brand partner, Scoop and Sushi, and tag a friend in the comments. In return, followers could win a free bowl.
Instagram has been a great platform for brands to share gorgeous, curated photos that represent their company.
However, brands can now share on-the fly, behind-the scene looks for 24 hours with ephemeral Instagram Stories. Although they might not be as polished or published as a published image, this will allow them to give their brand more personality on Instagram.
Look at how Snapchat has grown in popularity over the past few years. Similar features were introduced by platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. This made these apps more attractive and appealing to users. Snapchat was the first to use this feature. Instagram Stories now has more 500,000,000 users daily.
Instagram Stories users can share static images and video clips through Instagram Stories. Users can also use polls and event reminders as well as the "Ask a Question" tool to get more engagement and learn about their audiences.
After verification or having over 10,000 followers, users can include a hyperlink to a webpage in a story.
How brands can use Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories vanish after 24 hours unless marked as a "Story Highlight."
Highlighted stories will be displayed at the top, in the photo feed or your bio.
These are some other brands that we recommend to follow to see what they have to share:
You can have a photo gallery that is perfect and polished, regardless of whether it's funny or sad. Instagram Stories are meant for raw, unscripted photos that have not been edited. You can share the side of your brand through Stories that might not be available anywhere else. Is your workplace dog-friendly? Is your team attempting the new challenge? To show the human side to your brand, start filming. See the inside. These are our favorite types for ephemeral videos sharing. Let your followers see the process behind launching a product or organizing an event. Make it enjoyable. Your followers want the opportunity to feel connected and included. Stories can also be used to build brand loyalty programs that reward people who visit your content. Use the Live Video feature.
Instagram lets users record and then share live videos. This is another format that has proven popular on other social media networks. What is special about Instagram's live videos? They disappear when users stop recording.
This authentic, bidirectional experience allows brands and their audiences to share unscripted, real moments with each other. It also allows them to integrate human elements into traditional social media platforms that are highly edited and polished.
Instagram's Live feature has been updated with additional features that could allow viewers to engage or interact more.
You have a website. Newsletter? YouTube channel? Include a link to your Instagram account on each platform.
Your website is the first place to add an Instagram badge, including your footer page and "About Us” page.
You can also print a call-to-action in print if your brand has brick-and mortar locations. Let people know that you have an Instagram account, and encourage them to follow it. They can also be printed on business cards. A discount code might be offered for this purpose.
You should also promote your Instagram account via other digital platforms. Most likely, people who already follow your Instagram account on Facebook and Twitter will be able to follow you there without any prompting.
Tell your Instagram followers that you are on Instagram, and encourage them to join you there.
In this instance, wine company Wine Sisters encouraged email subscribers to follow them via Instagram using a simple CTA: "Join The Community."
Cross-promotion is similar in that brands can post user-generated content to show appreciation and generate social Proof simultaneously.
If I see someone endorse a product via Instagram, it's more likely that I will believe that they are genuinely interested in the product.
For most consumers, the same holds true. This is why websites like Google+ are so beloved.
Users-generated content can be a powerful strategy for increasing brand awareness and trusting your products or services.
@bevel, for example, reposted a video of blogger Rickey Scotusing and recommended their products/services to their 600+ followers.
Bevel is a smart way to send Scott.
The product is specifically designed for black men. Scott, who is part in the brand's target audience, has recommended that the product serve as the social proof that the brand needs.
Bevel's target audience will also be a part of Scott’s audience. Simply put, Scott and Bevel have similar audiences. They also align well. That's why Scott's content is a great opportunity to be promoted by Bevel.
It can be hard to determine what content will resonate with your followers as they increase in number. Keep this in mind when you divide your audience into groups and target different demographics with your content.
For example, 200k followers might be from different countries, with different interests, hobbies, and possibly different professions. You don't have to post content that is comprehensive and will please everyone. Instead, you can conduct analytics so you can break them into smaller groups.
Starbucks is an example. @Starbucks is a social media platform with close to 18,000,000 followers. The global coffee brand cannot post content that will satisfy 18 millions people at once.
Instead, Starbucks regularly posts more exclusive content geared towards particular groups, such as this post they published celebrating #TeacherAppreciationWeek:
Although the majority of Starbucks customers are not teachers, this post may be interesting to them.
Not everyone will be happy with the content you post. Instead, you can show your company's ability and willingness to engage with sub-groups. Post what aligns with your brand values.
Starbucks values education, so they post about teachers to make their brand more relatable to all. Isn't that kind of the point?
A blue dot (or badge) is displayed next to an Instagram username when an account has been verified. If another user finds this profile, or the verified username in search results, the blue dots confirm to them that the account belongs to the individual, business, or brand it claims to be.
Instagram lists the eligibility requirements for the badge. However, users can apply for it on the platform. You can read more about the process in Instagram’s Help Center.
You can promote new products or features by creating your own stickers, filters or badges. Learn how to create your own sticker or filter to spice up your Instagram Stories.
These can be used on highly shared posts that your followers will want to include in their own Stories. By doing this, you can reach their audiences and users will promote you page.
You can also tag other users in your posts to get more followers on Instagram. Your posts will appear in the tagged posts of that person, so anyone who views them will see your page and hopefully follow you.
You should only tag those who are actually in the photo. Influencers often tag the brands of makeup or clothing they wear in photos.
Each Instagram post should have an objective. It could be to increase likes and comments, engagement, shares, or other purposes. You can't expect your followers to re-share content simply for the fun of it. There must be a reason.
Reverse engineer Instagram posts to get this effect. Ask yourself, "What kind of content would my followers re-share?" Create that content. It could be a quotation, a meme and statistics.
It's important to post content that can be re-shared. This will ensure that your followers find you when they re-share it on Instagram Stories with you tagged.
Instagram Live was a great way to stay connected during the COVID-19 epidemic. Many businesses and influencers used the platform to host talkshows with interesting people.
To host a Live, you can collaborate with influencers or other brands. This Live event can be promoted to people in your target audience, and hosted on your profile.
Promoting this event will help to tap into an audience. You can also interact with your followers and engage them by answering their questions during the Live.
It's not difficult to get on the Instagram Explore page. We understand that. But, creating posts that aim to get on the Explore page will allow you to create trendy and easily shared content.
Make a video that is viral and your audience will enjoy it. You can also tag other brands or users with hashtags in these posts.
Instagram's Explore Page algorithm appears to be able to find content with higher engagement, particularly if this engagement occurs within the first hour of posting. Instagram is all about quality over quantity. This includes interaction with influential users (e.g. A higher number of followers is one way to get it.
Like creating content that can be re-shared and similar, you can also create educational content with Instagram slides. The popularity of Instagram slides has made them a very popular method to educate people about an idea or topic.
Make a list of the things you want to educate your audience. Then create an Instagram slide show with a captivating title that encourages users to click on it.
You can share this content on your Stories and other users may be inspired by it to share their Stories.
If you're working with influencers, or other brands, consider hosting an Instagram account Takeover. It's possible to have an influencer take control of your Stories for the day and promote it on your own Stories.
Then, encourage their followers to follow the Stories and possibly follow your account.
A brand or influencer can ask you to take their Stories over and interact with their audience in order to promote your account.