As much as we’d like to think that social media success isn’t all about the numbers, having a strong page following certainly does help. Instagram is one social network that is ideal for showcasing what is visually appealing about your product, brand or service. And being that social media users respond best to posts with less text and more visuals, Instagram can be a win-win social platform for your brand and its followers. Whether you’re just starting out on Instagram—or you’ve found yourself sitting stagnant without any growth, try these ways to increase your Instagram following for an added boost.
· Share high-quality photos. This is somewhat of a “duh” tip, but it’s an important one. Instagram is all about showcasing visual quality at its finest. When users are scrolling through their feeds, you want your photo to make them stop, pause and take some time to consider. Instagram filters are a quick and easy way to adjust the quality of your photos. Studies show that users gravitate more toward warmer-toned filters and ones that increase the contrast of images.
· Post video. Instagram is not just for photos! Keep things interesting by also including video in the mix of your Insta content. Consider using Boomerang, an app created by Instagram that takes a burst of photos, speeds them up and then plays them forward and backward to create a looping video. Users also like to see faces. Have a representative of your brand talk for 10 to 20 seconds about a new product, offer or event happening at your business.
· Caption your posts. While Instagram thrives on visual media, it is also important to put that media into context via captions. Let your brand’s personality shine through by using humor, asking questions, getting emotional—whatever feels appropriate for that post. Though there is no character limit on Instagram, sometimes less is more when it comes to coining an effective caption.
· Post on a regular basis. Consistency is key across all social media platforms, and Instagram is no different. If you want to increase your Instagram following, make an effort to share content on a regular basis. This will give your brand followers a sense of trust in knowing that they can rely on your page to consistently post fresh content. It will also keep followers engaged and continuously provide opportunities for new followers to find your page.
· Count your hashtags. Yes, literally count them. The guide we follow for our clients suggests that Instagram captions with 11 or more hashtags consistently yield the highest interactions. You can pepper hashtags within your captions, though we would suggest limiting it to two to three in-caption hashtags. Put the bulk of your hashtags at the end of the caption or even in the comments if you don’t want to distract from the message of the caption itself. Also, make sure to put thought into your hashtags. Don’t simply hashtag a word to add it to your hashtag count. Hashtags should be indicative of a movement, a trend or a keyword.
· Tag other pages when possible. If your Instagram post warrants mentioning another Instagram page or user, then by all means, do it! To tag (called a “mention” on Instagram), type “@” and then the name of the Instagram page in your caption. Then the user or brand will receive a notification that he, she or it has been tagged. Make sure your mentions are relevant—i.e., if that person took the photo, or if you are working in collaboration with another brand and want to share that information in a post.
· Identify your location. Instagram allows you to tag your location with every post, and doing so can help give your followers a sense of place and the ability to make a personal connection with your brand. On top of that, Instagram users can click a location and see all of the content associated with that location, so if your location is tagged, it provides just another opportunity for people to find your content.
· Use contests to your advantage. A pretty effective way to increase your Instagram following is to host a contest on the platform. Ask users to “like” and “comment” on a post to be entered to win one of your products, a gift card to your store, etc. If you want to take it a step further (perhaps if it’s a valuable prize), you can ask participants to post a photo (of their Halloween costume, of their favorite food, of them with your product) with a specific hashtag to be entered to win. Requiring a simple “like” for an entry, however, is the most straightforward way to garner more page likes.
· Engage with other accounts. If you want Instagram users to engage with you, you need to be willing to actively engage with other users as well. Like and comment on posts that you find interesting. It’s just another way to have your brand seen throughout the platform.
· Pay to sponsor ads. Instagram offers several types of paid ads that can help increase your brand following. Photo ads, video ads, carousel ads and stories ads are all included in the types of paid advertising you can do on Instagram. Learn more about these types with Instagram’s advertising guide for businesses.
And there you have it! Actively make an effort to increase your Instagram following, and find yourself one step closer to your marketing goals. Need help? The McNutt & Partners team has your back. Call us at 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.