So you want to expand your reach using social media platforms. Instagram a great visual social media platform that can take your business to a different level with its precise targeting abilities. With 800 million current users Instagram is all set to hit the mark of 1 billion users by 2018.
To succeed in your marketing efforts using this platform, it is imperative to understand the strategies work for it.
In this article, we will discuss strategies that can help you grow your Instagram account. By the end of this article, you will have a quick understanding of what strategies can make your followers grow on Instagram.
7 Strategies to grow your Instagram account
1- Like and comment on photos
Just like guest-blogging works in blogs, likes and comments work for Instagram. There are manifold benefits of engaging with people in the same niche. Find out influencers in your niche and make valuable comments on their posts that their audience appreciate. By leaving useful remarks on their profile:
- you develop relationships with the influencers in your niche.
- you will also get known to the followers of the influencers
But, how do you find people in your niche?
The best way is to use hashtags. Instagram allows 30 hashtags per photo, but researchers have found that the optimum number of hashtags you should use is 11.
Another great way of finding people interested in your niche is to use tools like Gramboard.
2- Create Instagram stories
Instagram borrowed the idea from Snapchat and introduced Instagram stories that are doing exceptionally well. With a total of 800 million people on the platform 300 million users are active on Instagram stories daily. And that is a huge share!
Instagram stories allow you to create a 15-second video on the platform. Just like Snapchat, it stays for 24 hours. In the story section, you can post a small behind the scene, sneak peek to your workplace, office team hangouts etc. to derive engagement. It can be a pic or a short video.
There are four different modes: Normal, Boomerang, Hands-Free and Live.
Not just you can create your stories you can also comment on other’s stories. Another great way to engage with followers and influencers. The good part is, it has a personal touch.
3- Create video ads
What draws more engagement not just depends on the platform but also the type of content that generally performs well. And, we all know it’s videos. Be it YouTube, or Facebook, a video is always more engaging than written text or even a picture.
You can post 60 seconds long videos in the Instagram main feed.
Since videos are doing great on Instagram, the platform is coming up with another new feature that can allow you to post up to an hour long videos. The feature is yet to be rolled out, and early adopters are eagerly waiting for it to see how it works for the marketers.
4- Run a Contest
Contests have always been used by marketers to build engagement and attract more followers.
Take out a small budget for freebies to be distributed to the winners. This small investment will undoubtedly be paid out in full if used strategically.
You can run a photo contest and ask the users to mention your brand in the caption or use your hashtags. You may also run ‘tag-a friend’ contest. The one whose list is longest wins the game. This way not just you made more engagement on your post but also attracted hundreds of new followers.
5-Your Bio and nine latest posts are important
Consistency is the key. Consistency is crucial in not just the schedule but also the message it delivers.
Your visuals, your voice and style are the main components of the brand image. With a good Instagram tool, you can easily plan out and schedule the look and layout of your feed in advance.
For an unbeatable consistency, you can use an automated post scheduling tool like Gramboard. With this tool, you can schedule your posts at a specified time.
People are getting really creative at it!
Your bio and the 9 recent post is what the person sees when he first clicks on your Instagram profile. Within the limit of 150 characters limit, you should give a crisp introduction to your business along with a reason to follow.
Make sure each Instagram post of yours is a part of a bigger picture of your marketing strategy. So that the 9 images that show up on opening your Instagram profile delivers a consistent message.
6- Be Trendy
Be a part of popular trends by using appropriate hashtags. Find out important events, festivals, holidays or anything that your audience could be interested in, create content around it and be a part of the trend.
People love to follow businesses that are up-to-date and supply them with the latest information in the industry. To do so, you must always plan your content using a content calendar and schedule your post at the time your audience is receptive to take the content.
7- Create user-generated content
People don’t want to see advertisements from brands. However, they don’t mind learning about the brand through other users. The benefit of user-generated content is double fold, not just the audience pay attention to the posts, they trust you even more.
For a user-generated content you need to have a good product and in exceptionally well managed social media presence. It should make your customers share their stories of using the product with you.
Airbnb is an excellent example of leveraging user-generated content, with its Instagram page filled with pictures generated by its users.
Although this is not the most comprehensive list of strategies to grow your Instagram account, it is indeed a great starting point. The primary purpose of this article is to give you an idea, and head start. What works for one, may not work for your niche and audience.
The best way to find out what works and what not is by experimenting. Wake up the hidden scientist in you try different methods to analyse results. Practise the strategy that works best for you.
Do share in comments your favourite Instagram strategies and your story of creating a brand using Instagram.