5 Ways to Grow Your Business Instagram Following
It’s not enough for your business to simply be on Instagram. For your account to be worth your time and effort, you need to use it well and engage your followers.
But in order to have effective engagement on Instagram, you first need to have followers. Unfortunately, followers don’t just automatically roll in once you create an account.
Growing your Instagram following takes time, but with consistent strategy and efforts, the popular photo-sharing platform can become a strong addition to your business’s social media tool belt.
Here are five tips to grow your Instagram following.
1. Share Good Content Consistently
The great thing about our current world of smartphone accessibility is that you don’t have to be a professional photographer with a $3K camera to take an amazing photo.
But just because your cell phone takes high-quality photos doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t put a couple minutes of effort into making your photos look professional and eye-catching.
Check out our list of helpful tools out there for basic photo editing, or use an app like Instasize. Don’t get carried away, though — sometimes a slight boost of contrast and exposure is all you need.
When you consistently share great photos and videos over time, you’ll stand out from businesses that share subpar photos that were quickly snapped and uploaded.
2. Monitor Hashtags in Your Market
It’s actually pretty cool how communities form on Instagram around shared interests.
Through Instagram, I myself have “met” several people whom I discovered when exploring content that we’re both interested in, such as videography or dreadlocks. I follow them, they follow me back, we start commenting on each other’s content. . . . (Don’t worry, Mom, meeting strangers on the Internet isn’t always bad.)
By exploring and keeping an eye on relevant hashtags, you can grow your Insta-community over time by making in-app connections.
Follow the accounts of others who are in your industry, including industry thought leaders, similar businesses that aren’t your direct competition, or users who have shown interest in your type of content based on who else they’re following. And of course, follow people who fit into your target audience or buyer personas.
These accounts will often follow you back. And more importantly, if you engage with them, they’ll likely return the effort.
3. Hold a Contest with Another Account
Everyone likes to win something!
By partnering with another Instagram business in your same niche, the two of you can offer a giveaway or contest that requires users to follow both of your accounts to be entered.
The idea here is that if you have similar buyer personas, you’ll both gain quality followers.
4. Don’t Buy Followers
I said it before, and I’ll say it again: growing your Instagram following takes time.
Sure, you could purchase thousands of Instagram followers overnight, but this won’t actually help your business. There’s no purpose to having 10,000 followers if only 50 of them are real people who are actually interested in your product or service.
When you buy followers, you’re just paying for a number. As HubSpot points out, none of those “followers” are going to talk about your brand to their friends and family because, well, they’re not real. And if your followers aren’t real, you’ll never convert them into real customers.
Plus, having thousands of followers with little engagement will look fishy to real users and will compromise the integrity of your brand.
The idea behind inbound marketing stands: it’s about attracting people who are already interested in or in need of your product or service.
So stick to the plan. By posting consistently and frequently and interacting with others, you’ll see some steady growth. It won’t happen overnight, but it’ll be better quality than a quick fix.
5. Promote Your Account
Don’t overlook Instagram when it comes to promoting your social media accounts on your content and brand materials.
You likely include your Facebook account on everything because everyone has been on Facebook forever, but Instagram is now the most popular social network for U.S. teens and has better stats in engagement and content sharing across the board.
So slap that handle on your product packaging, online content, or whatever it is that your awesome business does. After all, if you’re putting work into creating a sweet Insta account, you better show it off!
Grow, Grow, Grow . . . and Go!
After you’ve built a strong Instagram following, the options for promoting your business on the app open up even more.
You’ll have the ability to send users straight from Instagram to your website with a simple swipe. Learn more about it!