Published on 28th of February, 2017
How to Get Followers on Instagram
We all want more followers on our Instagram accounts, but unfortunately, there isn't a particular magic formula that will allow you to get thousands of real engaging followers instantly. However, there are several ways that you can improve your visibility so that you're more likely to be found by your target audience.
Create a strategy
Having a clear strategy in place with any social media network is vital. Otherwise, you will be aimlessly wasting resources with no real return. Whether you are an Instagram veteran, or new to the social media platform, there are a few things you must consider.
Firstly, you should analyze your competitors in your niche or industry. This will allow you to see what content is working well for them, or whether some content isn't working for them. You will be able to see how they engage with their audience, which will give you valuable pieces of information. If they don't engage at all, then it will be easier for you to stand out as a voice in your industry. If they do speak to their followers a lot, though, then you be able to see how it is converting for them. Seeing your competitors follow ratio is always a good indicator that it's a worthwhile niche on Instagram too. If the leading social media profiles only have 10,000 followers, then it could be a sign that you need to rethink how you apply your niche to Instagram.
Lastly, you need to set goals. You will only be as effective as the goals that you set, but it's important that you choose realistic goals that align with your marketing and business strategy. Although gaining followers is primarily the first step, you need to think about how you intend to use these followers at a later date; whether that's driving traffic to your website, or just for brand awareness.
Although this may seem like a redundant point, it can’t be reiterated enough. Simply put, the better your content is, the more chance you will have to snag more followers. Posting blurry or boring images will provide no real incentive for people to follow you. Unique content is also important; a classic example of this is to look at the bodybuilding niche on Instagram. While this is a popular niche, 9/10 accounts are pretty much just rotating the same viral images. To stick out, it's important that you bring something else to the table.
Choosing when to post
Choosing what time of day you post your images can completely vary how much visibility they get, which will, of course, determine how many followers you gain because of it. If your niche or industry is primarily targeting 9-to-5 full-time workers, then it is very unlikely that they will be checking their phones between 9 and 11 AM. Although they may have a look during their lunch break. If you are trying to target stay-at-home parents then you may find that 9-11 AM is a prime time.
The best and most effective way of choosing the time to post is by testing different times of day, by yourself. Spend a week only posting at roughly the same time every day and monitor their engagement, as well as any rise in followers. Then do the same the next week, but change the time of day massively. If you are completely unsure of where to start, it's been found that 8 PM PST is one of the best times to post as you will be able to target North American audiences, at the same time as targeting Asian and Australian audiences who may be on their way to work.
The best way to gain a lot of followers is to create a snowball effect with your content. What this means is, by always posting images that are engaging, you will not only gain new followers from your latest content, but you will keep gaining a trickle feed of followers from your previous content. If you only post once a month or less, you will not be able to take advantage of this at all.
People have followed you for a reason, so they will be expecting to see content from you. That doesn't mean that you should be spamming their homepage feeds with tri-daily images, though, but is found that 75% of the top brands publish approximately once a week, at least.
The oldest trick in the book, but many people still don't realize their importance and complexity. By utilizing relevant hashtags, you will be able to help your post be seen by people that are likely not following you, but are in search of images related to your niche. What you want to do is to find hashtags that are not on the mainstream list, and are in fact specific to your industry. Analyzing what hashtags your competitors use is a good start. Later on, it's a good idea to invent your own hashtag, which will help to solidify your authority and community presence.
It's important that you don't fall into the trap of using hashtags like #followme or #likeforlike. While these may give you a short burst of followers, they will not be your target audience, and they will likely unfollow you pretty quickly anyway. Having 1000 engaging followers is better than having 10,000 non-engaging ghosts.
Correct use of captions
Instagram is a highly visual platform, which means that text-based information is fairly limited, as well as not being the focal point. Well written captions can aid you in increasing your follower count by a large margin.
An easy way to do this is to ask questions. This will encourage your initial audience to leave a comment or to tag a friend perhaps. This will make the image more visible to other people, due to Instagram's engagement algorithm. If your business has a physical location, then tagging your photos using the geo-setting is also a good idea. This will then allow people to find your photos when searching their local area, as well as enabling them to view your other photos due to your location.
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