I love Instagram for business. In fact, I use it to get leads and to get people to sign up for Socialdraft. What I love about Instagram is that it gives you direct access to your potential customers, and…if you do things right…that you can be seen by potential customers. If you’re new to Instagram and only have a few followers, or if you’ve been stagnant…don’t worry. We’ll show you some tips on getting more Instagram followers and how to encourage them to leave Likes and Comments.
Instagram Tips To Land More Followers
1) As with other platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, leaving Comments and “Likes” on photos from other Instagram accounts is one of the simplest ways to get followers of your own.
2) Use hashtags in your image captions. This groups the photo with other photos of similar themes. Use up the maximum amount of hashtags. This is how a budding account will be found, so don’t be shy. Especially if you’re just starting out.
3) Only post gorgeous images. It helps if you take a good picture in the first place. If your picture came out badly, click the LUX button to enhance your images (the one that looks like a sun). This is especially useful with underexposed pictures. The feature is best on landscapes, but it is worth trying on other sorts of images as well. It’s also worth noting that lighter photos get more “Likes” than darker photos, as do images with faces. You can also watch the video above for a more in-depth tutorial on how to edit your images.
4) Yes, people do check profiles, so make sure your bio is up-to-date. Plus, bio sections are the perfect place to leave a link back to your webpage or blog. Make sure to include keywords, your website link, and a clear call to action.
5) Update! Update! Update! Post often. Minimum once a day, maximum 3 times a day (some can have success with more – but it takes a lot of energy) And this applies to all of your social media accounts. The fresher and more frequently you post new material, the higher your engagement rate will be. When you update frequently, it’s like leaving on an inviting night light. You can easily do this with the Socialdraft calendar. It lets you schedule to multiple Instagram accounts AND assign different people to manage them.
6) Engage with your followers on a regular basis by liking photos, and making astute and/or lighthearted comments. People love it when you shine a light on their posts, which they often take great care in creating. You can also spend some valuable time finding hopeful new prospects to follow.
7) Use Socialdraft’s Instagram photo search. Let our Instagram photo search help you find the people who are talking about your brand so you can engage them, amplify their content, and build brand advocates. You can also monitor your competition and their fans to try and convert them.
And although this does not apply directly to Instagram now, Socialdraft’s “Drag & Drop” calendar makes it easy for you to schedule posts to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn with just a few simple clicks, making re-scheduling and editing a breeze.
8) Remember to share your Instagram account with your email subscribers, as well as on your other social media accounts and profiles.
9) By following your Facebook friends on Instagram, you’re sure to earn a few quick and easy return followers.
10) Hold an Instagram contest. Contests require a lot of planning so be sure to do some specific research on Instagram contests. For example, the prize you will be offering may be the deciding element in attracting participants and should dovetail with your strategy for marketing your unique brand.
11) Never miss content from leads. Turn on notifications for any leads you are trying to close a sale on. This way you always remember to engage them.
Simply go to their profile, click the three dots, click on “Turn on Post Notifications”
12) Check on the activity of those you follow. To see what the people you follow are up to, click on the heart on the bottom of the screen, then toggle to “Following”
13) Save Posts for later. Saw something interesting but don’t have the time to check it out. Save it to your PRIVATE collections! Tap the ribbon and then select the collection.
14) Hide Your Story From Particular People. Go to the person’s profile, tap the three dots in the top right-hand corner and click “Hide my Story”.
15) Find People in Your Area. This is fantastic for local businesses. Simply click on the search icon, type in the name of the city or place you are looking to explore and then click “Places” on the top right-hand corner. This will pull your place. Click on the location icon and explore away.
16) See the People Who Viewed Your Story. It’s easy and a great way to see the people who are truly invested in your brand. Click on your story icon. Click on the user icons on the bottom where it says “Seen by +number”. You will go into analytics. Click on the eye icon followed by a number. That’s it!
17) Clear Your Search History. This is where we get a bit naughty. Lost a client and don’t want them to figure out your strategy? Clear the search history. Simply clear the gear icon and then click “Clear Search History” all the way at the bottom of the post.
How to Manage Your Instagram Account
Now that you have all these tips, you will need a great tool to help you manage your Instagram accounts. Socialdraft is that tool and more.
Socialdraft is an all-in-one Social Media Dashboard. It is the most robust and simple tool for agencies and teams to effectively handle social media. With Socialdraft you can:
Schedule posts to Facebook pages, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn Business Pages and Pinterest Boards
Schedule posts individually, as recurring posts, or bulk upload them as CSV
Easily re-schedule with a drag & drop action
Schedule GIFs to Facebook and Twitter
Download content calendars as PDF
Keep an eye on your online reputation and easily share the good news to social
Find content on Instagram and easily schedule reposts not just to Instagram but to all other social networks
Engage on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin
Download Facebook and Twitter reports & tons more.
If you are curious about Socialdraft and any of its features, just click this link. If you’re ready to take us for your risk-free trial, simply click here to find the perfect plan for you.
Instagram is unlike all other social networks. I’ve been recently getting more and more active and LOVE the interaction and connections to be made here. However, it is not as easy to get engagement and to grow your account as it used to be. First, Instagram was purchased by Facebook. Then, the Instagram algorithm was put into place. Lastly, Instagram announced not just that it has 800 million users, 500 million of which log on daily and 200 million who advertise. This means that there is more competition and that you need to be smarter than ever in how you use Instagram.
How to Grow Your Instagram Following
As a brand or local business, you may be a little concerned on how to get started with your Instagram account and how to grow your audience. But if you take it step by step, you will be just fine.
Understand Your Audience
If you are going to grow your Instagram, you need to know your audience. Instagram’s demographic has changed tons, especially with its rapid growth. Let’s look at who uses Instagram today:
- 80% of Instagram users are outside the US
- 31% of American women and 24% of men use Instagram
- 32% of all people who use the Internet use Instagram
- 59% of people between the ages of 18 & 29 who use the web use Instagram
- 33% of people 30-49 years old who use the web use Instagram
- 38% of women who use the internet use Instagram
- 26% of men who use the internet use Instagram
- 17% of teenagers say Instagram is the most important social network
Start by making a user profile. Then begin to think about what other accounts like yours they will like. Check out the followers of those accounts and engage them. This is your audience. One Socialdraft user, Cognac Maniacs, represents the Cognac region. Since this beverage is very popular within the male urban market., Instagram was the perfect platform for them. They were able to grow their account organically on the platform by 5,000 followers in just 3 months by engaging followers of similar accounts.
2. Make Things Personal
Instagram is all about passion…and pictures, of course. Make sure your content expresses that passion, be creative. This is the last place you want to be boring, repetitive, or overly salesy. Keep the 80/20 rule in mind and don’t bore your audience with constant product shots. Instead, highlight your team at work, take pics of your neighborhood, or of silly things that happen. A repost campaign is perfect for this. With a repost campaign, you are publishing other people’s content. They are the ones creating the message, not you. It’s all about rewarding your audience for being loyal. If you use Socialdraft, scheduling these reposts is super easy.
3. Take a Photography Class
Yes, I said that. Instagram is all about visuals, and high-quality photos and videos can make or break your marketing efforts. Luckily, you have the internet at your fingers and there are tons of great tutorials out there. Start off with learning about the rule of thirds.
4. Get Appy
There are tons of apps out there to help you create amazing photos, check out Afterlight, VSCOcam, PicFrame, and PhotoStudio. These are a few of our staff’s favorites photo editing apps to get you started.
5. Post Daily
We polled Socialdraft users, and the overwhelming opinion was that not posting daily can result in lower engagement. This is dangerous, as your fans can lose interest, or your competition could swoop in and steal them from you. Make sure to post on a daily basis, twice a day if possible. Don’t overpost either. Once a day is good for most brands but look at analytics. Your brand is not average, so make use of the info given to you by Instagram’s analytics dashboard to figure out what is best for you.
6. Engage (Lots)
With all the extra competition out there, you can’t rely on hashtags and the algorithm to get people to come to you. The best way to get followers is to get out there and engage them. Find other accounts that are similar to yours (same industry or brand type). Find the people who engage them by checking out their latest images. Click through to their profile and engage them. Comment on their images, but make the comments good. “Great picture” is not going to get you anywhere. Engage them, like their image and comment. You will begin to see them reciprocate.
7. Get Organized
You create a calendar and strategy for Facebook and Twitter, you should do the same for Instagram. Yes, I know you can’t “publish” posts, but with Socialdraft you can schedule your posts. They will go to your phone and you can schedule from there. It is the best way to make sure you publish daily.
8. Repost Community Content
This is especially powerful if you are a brand (as in the cognac example above) or even a local business. Search for content created about you on Instagram (super easy to do on Socialdraft). Then, share this content not just to Instagram, but the rest of your social networks. We recommend that you ask permission before you do. When you do this you are both complimenting the content creator, and starting a conversation. This is a fabulous way to build brand advocates.
A game is no fun if you don’t keep score. This also applies to Instagram. The one issue with Instagram is that it only gives you 7 days worth of analytics, so make sure to keep track of them on Google docs.
10. Shorten URLS
Since you can’t add links to pictures on Instagram, you can use a URL shortener (like Bit.ly) to create easy to remember URLs that will help point people to where you want them to go. This will also allow you to measure if people are actually going outside of Instagram to your website. If you can get them to do this, then you’re an Instagram success.
Got questions about Instagram? Need help with Social Media? Ask for an invite to our Facebook group. We’re there to help!
Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms, with 15 times more user engagement than Facebook, and 40 times more engagement than Twitter. Instagram allows users to take pictures and videos, apply digital filters, and share them on social networking services. Instagram is a great addition to your social media lineup and a powerful tool in brand building. It’s a wonderful way to reach influencers and customers and an invaluable opportunity to turn them into fans of your brand.
If you haven’t yet obtained an Instagram account you should get one as soon as possible. If you already have an Instagram account, we’re going to provide you with some nifty tips to help you substantially grow your account in a very short period of time.
1) Boost Your Level of Engagement
Use whatever tactic you can think of to increase the engagement level within your community. There are various ways to do this:
- Ask questions: Asking questions increases interaction by a significant percent.
- Like photos: Search for photos that are in your niche. Start by clicking on hashtags that have to do with your industry. Then like photos that are similar to yours. This will pique the content creator’s interest and lead them to your images & profile.
- Comment on photos: Yup, it’s that simple. Use the same tactic as the like tactic above on likes, but go above just a like. Comment on those images. Engage with the community in your niche by liking photos AND making relevant comments. Skip those “nice” or “great picture” and add comments that are well thought out. We have found that this is the best way to gain a targeted following. People appreciate praise from others on posts they have taken great care in creating.
- Follow others: You can also spend time finding new prospects to follow. Again, make sure they are targeted to your industry. When you find someone who you think could convert, take the time to like their images, comment on them AND then follow them. This will result in a much higher conversion rate.
2) Stay In Your Niche
Make sure to maintain whatever theme you’ve chosen for your brand’s niche. In addition to posting product photos, you could also post photos in the niche related to your product or service. Do not post images that are unrelated to your niche. For example, if you’re a Social Media “Guru” you may not want to post pictures of your kid at the dentist. This offers no value to your community. If you’re a financial company, do not post pictures of your dinner. Think your photos out carefully and make sure to always keep your audience and goal in mind.
3) Use Carefully Chosen Hashtags
The selective and intelligent use of hashtags can seriously add to the success of your Instagram account. Hashtags on Instagram serve as the means by which your content is found, and are the equivalent of Instagram SEO. You should spend time choosing hashtags uniquely associated with your product, and ones that compliment your selected images. There are those who say to not use hashtags at all, or to keep hashtags down to a minimum. From our experience they are wrong. Hashtags are Instagram SEO…it takes a LONG…LONG time to get to the point where you don’t need to include hashtags. Hashtags should always be used…and they should always be used if you’re just getting started. You want your hashtags to be targeted, but not so targeted that nobody searches for them. Here are some example of bad hashtags:
Too Generic: These hashtags will get you followers who are not targeted and will not convert. These hashtags are also incredibly popular, so your image will soon drop off the search: #followforfollow #likeforlike #me #instamood #photooftheday
If you want a more indepth view on how to use hashtags click here and on how to generate the best hashtags here.
4) Contests and Giveaways
Contests and giveaways can be powerful ways to bolster engagement and grow your Intagram account. You can run a contest to get new fans, keep fans engaged, expand awareness of your brand, or to generate fresh user content. A well designed contest with a reasonably valuable prize can land you contact information on hundreds of potential customers.
5) Comment and Like Other Photos
By exploring and liking other people’s photos and even commenting on some, you may stumble upon some great accounts to follow, and you will also gain followers. We touched on this before, but wanted to emphasize the power of a good comment.
6) Include Your Logo on Photos
As long as you’re posting images that may be shared by others, why not include your business logo on your photos to promote your brand, as well as links to promotional articles and downloads. You can do this with apps such as WordSwag (one of our faves), or add it on Photoshop and then use a scheduler like Socialdraft to schedule these posts.
7) Use a Photo Editor
The more impressive the quality of your images, the more Likes you will receive. In order to enhance the caliber of your photos, you should use a photo editor such as Afterlight, Aviary or LunaPic. With a photo editor you can add extra flair with graphics, fonts and text layouts that will really make your images stand out.
8) Track Your Followers
Use a tool such as Unfollowgram to track your Instagram followers. You can use it to easily unfollow any people that are not relevant to you, or people that are inactive or who do not follow you back. Remember – the key is to have a targeted audience. Keep in mind that you can only follow 7,500 people on Instagram and that engagement is key – so you need to keep your follows in check.
9) Find and Follow Influential Accounts
By following big, influential accounts you can learn some professional tricks on Instagram, and you may even end up being followed by them which would influence others who consider following you.
10) Only Post Top Quality Images
If you want people to return to your Instagram account on a regular basis, only post the best photos you can manage to supply. Photography and the production of high quality images is an art, so you should at least learn the basics.
11) Use Images That Elicit Strong Feelings
Photos that are inclined to bring forth an emotional response will spark more engagement with your audience. Now obviously there’s no emotion associated with some products, like say furniture, but a photo of an attractive couple sitting on furniture with a plush rug in front of a warm fire with hot chocolate may trigger feeling of comfort and security.
12) Post on a Regular Basis
The majority of the world’s top 100 social brands post at least once per week, and 28 percent post at least 5 times per week. If your images are always of high quality, your followers will be looking forward to your next post so don”t disappoint them. We recommend that the minimum be 1 time per day, although others say that 3 times per day is best. We suggest you stick with 1 high quality image per day with some high engagement for optimal results. You can use Socialdraft to schedule posts to Instagram. It’s super easy!
13) Unique URLs and Phone Numbers
Including custom landing page URLs or phone numbers in images or post text lets you track call-to-action conversation rates for particular images or campaigns.
14) Promote Your Instagram Account
Mention your Instagram account on other social media, your website, on printed materials and your email signature. Drive traffic.
15) Keep Your Profile Current
People do check profiles, so make sure your bio is up-to-date. Plus, bio sections are the perfect place to leave a link back to your webpage or blog. A few things to check off:
- SEO – use key words for your industry on the first line of your bio
- Call to action – include a call to action
16) Socialdraft’s Instagram Photo Search
Use Socialdraft’s Instagram photo search. Let our Instagram photo search help you find the people who are talking about your brand so you can engage them, amplify their content, and build brand advocates. You can also monitor your competition and their fans to try and convert them.
The use of emoticons in your descriptions can be an effective way to trigger curiosity in your audience. You can also use emoticons to draw users to your profile link or to draw attention to a call to action in the comments section.
18) Use Multiple Images
Some experts claim that by combining multiple images into one image you can get around 25% more likes and comments than single images. Be sure to maintain a high quality of images in your combination.
19) Be Selective With Filters
Instagram audiences reportedly respond to certain photo filters more favorably than others. Using these preferred filters can help to increase engagement on your account.
According to Populagram, the 10 most popular filters on Instagram are:
You can use IconoSquare to measure the performance of the filters you have been using. Then you can determine more accurately what the best filters are for your particular audience.
20. Run a repost campaign
Craft a custom hashtag and ask your community to tag their pictures with it for a repost. When you do repost, give them full credit and push out all over your social media channels. Others will want to participate and follow you as well. This can easily be done in the photos area of Socialdraft.
Have questions on these? Let us know in the comments.