With over 500M monthly active users (and over 300M daily) and higher engagement rate than i.e. Facebook or Twitter, Instagram gives great opportunity for businesses of all sizes. It is really great channel for brands, especially that the company is launching and developing more and more business targeted tools.
There are no magic rules how to run your Instagram account, build your community and attract new followers, but there are some ways of improving your Instagram strategy. So check some of the tactics that can help you grow bigger and relevant audience on your Instagram account.
Post high-quality photos and videos
As Instagram is highly visual social network, you should post images and videos that are visually appealing. Moreover, think how to use graphics to highlight the use cases for your product or service.
If you decide to post pictures you can try different filters and choose those most suitable for your photos or the ones that are the most preferred by instragrammers.
We found an interesting article on The New York Times website with the tips that will improve your Instagram food photos. We thought it can be inspiring for you, that’s why we link to it 🙂 and… check some examples of nice photos they presented.
It’s a common rule to all social media channels, but even more important to Instagram, where content lives much shorter than i.e. on Facebook or Google+. And since Instagram timeline is based on the Facebook-like algorithm, consistency seems to be one of the key factors to appearing your posts at the top of instagrammers timeline. You should check it on your own – just try to post at least once a day. You can also visit other Instagram accounts, especially those popular ones, and check what’s their frequency. Probably you will notice that those with the highest number of followers tend to post even a bit more often, at least 2-3 times a day on average. We’ve explored that brands with regular post flow get the best results.
Use the high quality hashtags relevant for your content
We get used to the hashtags in different social media channels but it seems that anywhere on social media are they as important as on Twitter and Instagram. And why is it so? Hashtags are organizing content by the topics. So including relevant hashtags in a captions will help your content appear in searches and expose your content to larger audience. You can use up to 30 tags on a post (if you include more on a single photo/video, your comment won’t be published), but how many should you use?
There are different approaches to this issue. Some people prefer “less is more” strategy and use just the most relevant tags. Others attach as many as possible as they believe it will maximize the number of people who can potentially see their posts. You should decide on your own which option is better for you. The best way to find it out is to experiment.
Another issue it what kind of tags should you use. And here are also different ways. You can use the most popular hashtags that get searched the most often (i.e. #love, #instagood, #photooftheday, #picoftheday etc.). But…as they are used by so many people, it can be difficult for your pictures to stand out.
If you want to attract many followers very quickly, you can also add tags like #likeforlike, #followme or #f4f (follow for follow). Many will follow you back but you should be aware that you can attract instagrammers that are not your target group and using those tags won’t help you in building engaged community. So double think this strategy.
The best way to attract the right followers, those valuable for you and your brand, is to include in your captions hashtags related to your brand, product or service, industry. Thanks to that you will attract people who are really interested in your content. And how to find those relevant hashtags? One way is to search posts similar to yours and check what tags are added into them. You can also go through your competitors posts to find out what tags they use. The other way is to think about the keywords that you would use for your picture or video to promote it. Then search those words (with # before it) and go through the pictures. If you find some similar ones or targeted to the same audience (in your opinion), check what other hashtags are added to this content and use the same or similar one. And also you should think of creating your own hashtag and add it to all pictures and videos you add to your account.
Make use of captions
Although Instagram is a visual app, you caption is really important and you shouldn’t ignore it. It can also help you to get more followers, so don’t forget about the power of words.. You can ask a questions to encourage your audience to in leave a comment. You can also tag other Instagram users (either in a caption or by dedicated functionality).
Interact with others and engage them
Instagram, as other social media channels, requires interaction with other users. As you want to attract more followers, so do the others. So follow people from your target audience, influencers, accounts that are interesting or valuable for you. Get involved by liking their posts, commenting and sharing their content. Some of them will probably return the favor. Leaving a comment, starting a discussion or sharing others’ posts can be really effective as they want to answer you (especially if we are talking about a brand Instagram account) or they can feel committed to react (to answer your comment, question or moderate the discussion you’ve started, or to like or comment their post that you shared). Instagrammers (both individual users and brands) monitor who their new followers are and who interacted with their content. That’s why interaction with others is the most natural way to gain new followers.
Analyze your results
And one more important tip. Do not forget to measure and analyze your Instagram results. Insights can help you identify areas you can improve and adjust your strategy. Just to let you know or maybe remind you, with NapoleonCat you can monitor any public Instagram profile, monitor your market competitors and track up to 5 hashtags at once or use combination of hashtags and locations. So if you want to check how it works and you still don’t have an account, start your free trial whenever you want.
As mentioned before, there is no the only right strategy and tactic to run your Instagram account. That’s why you need to experiment and check what works the best for you, what gives you the best results. We are really interested to hear about your Instagram experiences so if you have any tips you can share, we would love the conversation going.
And just to let you know – this is the first part of the article with tips how to attract Instagram followers, so if you want to know some more hints, visit our blog regularly or you can also sign-up for our newsletter.