There are now 800 million monthly users on Instagram, with 500 million on the platform every day. It won’t be long until it rivals the user base of Facebook, its parent company.
It’s no wonder that brands are flocking to the platform to take advantage of this booming popularity. However, many brands take a while to find their footing on Instagram. It can be fairly difficult to gain followers at a decent rate.
With that in mind, here are 25 ways that can help you grow your following faster and more effectively.
1. Automate your Instagram activity.
Maintaining an Instagram account can be taxing. It takes a lot of time to do everything that’s expected of you. To become popular on the website, you need to put some serious effort into liking posts, leaving comments and following others. You also have to post high-quality content on a consistent basis to incentivize others to do the same for you.
This is where an automation tool can come in handy. You can use tools like SocialDrift to find and interact with potential followers. It targets real users through a multitude of filters that you can customize to fit your strategy. Automation lightens the load for you, so you can focus your energy on other important things.
2. Use hashtags to get maximum exposure.
Hashtags are the connective tissue that brings users together on Instagram. Instagram’s search function is based around hashtags, which is the main way to discover content. If you aren’t using hashtags, it’s harder for people to find your account if they don’t already know your username. Don’t just slap any hashtag in your captions, though. Make sure they are relevant to your content, or your posts may be ignored or even reported as spam.
Some businesses create their own branded hashtags. Often these hashtags are attached to a specific marketing campaign. If you can get enough followers to use it, you could get it trending and pull in new followers.
3. Make a good first impression with your profile.
We all know how important first impressions are in real life, whether we’re meeting a new person or doing a job interview. A bad first impression can be disastrous: it can close doors and narrow your opportunities.
On Instagram, the first impression can make the difference between somebody stopping to check out your content and giving you a follow, or passing on you entirely.
So, how does one make a good impression? The answer is with your profile.
You profile is the very first thing that anybody sees when they visit your page. This includes your name, profile picture, and bio. You want to make sure these areas are as polished they can be.
Your name should be the one your business is most commonly known by, to avoid any confusion. Your profile picture should be aesthetically pleasing, and should scale down well, so it’s striking and coherent at a small size. Keep in mind that that the eventual picture displayed will be circular. And finally, your bio should give the viewer an idea about what your brand does and what its personality is like.
Don’t forget to include a link to your website or store as well. This is the only place you can have a clickable link.
4. Post regularly and often, and at peak hours.
If you want to raise your visibility on Instagram, you need to be more active. Accounts that post too infrequently are rarely seen and often overlooked.
You should post at least twice a day. To maximize their impact, you should also post at the most optimal times. A study by Latergramme suggests that posts made at 2 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST tend to get the most attention. However, they note that there’s some variation between days.
Do some investigation and experimentation of your own. Look at a sampling of your followers to get an idea of when they’re active. Change up your posting times to see if it results in better engagement rates.
5. Develop a unique, identifiable style.
Instagram is a social network based around visual content. It’s the primary reason that users go there. If you can’t deliver in this area, then you don’t have a shot at gaining much of a following.
To establish yourself on the platform, you should adopt a style that reflects your brand. Consider how your aesthetics convey your identity. For instance, certain color schemes give off different moods. Pastels will give you a relaxed, light feel. Vibrant, contrasting tones will make you seem energetic. Dark and muted shades will imbue your images with a serious edge.
Style and form are what ultimately resonate with viewers. People are drawn to those who have an individual flair.
6. Keep your content high quality.
Some brands make the mistake of uploading everything they have on their camera roll, regardless of quality. This isn’t recommended. Even though it fills your feed with plenty of content, it doesn’t exactly bring in followers.
Most users aren’t going to flock to look at blurry, dimly lit snapshots. Not when Instagram is filled with gorgeous, well-composed photography that’s more worthy of their time.
Hold yourself to a high standard of quality. Be selective about what you post. If you need to, spend some extra time polishing your images with editing tools. The additional effort to deliver the best will pay off in the end.
7. Demonstrate consistency.
People want to know what to expect when they invest in something. It’s why we read product reviews, or watch trailers before we go to movies. For some people, it can be an unpleasant shock to anticipate one thing and get something else entirely. That’s why many tend to play it safe with their choices.
Consistency is a virtue on Instagram. If people like what they see on your feed, they’ll follow you to get more of it.
Try to make each post flow into the next. Ensure there are recurring themes across your content. Maintain a similar tone and voice that the viewer can associate with your brand.
8. Incorporate trends and popular subjects.
Always keep an eye on what’s favored and fashionable on Instagram. Capitalizing on current trends could be your ticket to winning over followers.
There are many studies that give insight into what content audiences find compelling. Some sources say that blue is the most predominant color on Instagram. There’s also evidence that people respond more to photographs with faces than those without.
Do you have any direct competitors on Instagram? Follow them and track their activity. You might find something they’re doing right that you could learn from. Just don’t get too obsessed with copying them. You should take inspiration from all sorts of sources.