Instagram has over ONE BILLION users!
Brands have achieved more success with Instagram than any traditional marketing method.
That’s why it is no surprise that 96% of all brands are on Instagram.
Instagram has helped amplify both startups and big brands with its universal appeal and function. No matter how small your brand or budget, Instagram can help you grow your business if you use it well.
Follower count is perhaps the most basic indicator of how much influence a brand or a person has (unless they purchased bot followers which are just as useless as stuffing in a bra).
*See my previous article on how to spot fake influencers.
Following are 5 effective strategies to help grow your Instagram following organically (with real people)
You must post consistently – at least once per day. Ensure you post during times when followers are likely to be checking their feeds. But be sure you don’t flood their Instagram feeds with too much, all at once, because that will lead to unfollows.
According to Hubspot:
“On average, the best time to post on Instagram is between 2 PM and 3 PM CDT. However, the level of engagement you get can change dramatically depending on what day of the week you post. The best day to post on Instagram is Thursday, not just at 3 PM, but at 5 AM, 11 AM, and 4 PM as well.”
Make it shareworthy
Some brands will make the mistake of posting poor quality content to keep up with their posting schedule. Try to post content people will want to share. Some of the best content is user-generated content (UGC). Photos of happy customers with your product are definitely “shareworthy.” So remember to take plenty of photos at events and tastings and let people know their picture will be on your Instagram soon.
Hashtagging is vital. Hashtags are used constantly to search for content on Instagram. If you decide to use a specific hashtag for your brand, be sure it isn’t currently being used by another brand. I’ve known brands that were so oblivious to the market that they insisted on using a hashtag that was a well-known tagline for a brand that had been on the market for decades.
Whose brand are you here to promote, yours or theirs?
The optimal number of hashtags per post in 2019 is 4 – 5, not the maximum 20-30 of Instagram’s early years.
Videos are the future of content. People barely ever read anymore so the microblogging approach won’t deliver the results you’d get from video. Video generates about 12x more shares and account for 33% of online activity. Leverage this by working video content into your feed regularly.
Get an influencer boost
Influencers are people who are popular on social networks and have a significant impact on their particular niche. Getting influencers on Instagram to share your content can give your Instagram account a generous boost. The best way to do this is to reach out to them privately for a collaboration and, given the right terms, they’ll be happy to help you. Having an influencer share your content means that you will gain exposure to a large piece of their fanbase and, if that fanbase is your consumer avatar, it could be great for business.
A few words of warning though –
- Be sure to check out their following for bot stuffing.
- Only work with influencers who you feel will represent your brand’s values and message.
- Don’t just tag influencers you don’t follow and expect them to help you out. They’d be more inclined to help if you followed them.
Growing your following on Instagram without resorting to bot stuffing is easy if you know what to do, but it takes time. The five tips above can work in your favor if you use them consistently and make them an integral part of your overall strategy.