Fun fact, over 40% of the people on the internet are active Instagram users. As of October 2019, India had the second-highest number of Instagram users numbering to 73 million active accounts. Every major brand or business is on Instagram today, promoting their products and services to millions of users every day, as each one of them is a potential paying customer. Instagram generates over 50 times more engagement with users compared to Facebook and Twitter. And the more you engage with people, the more your chances are of converting them into paying customers of your service/product.
But building a good base of genuine followers on Instagram can look like a daunting task. It does take a lot of work initially, but if you’re consistent and driven, it’ll be a piece of cake.
Here, we’re gonna tell you how to garner a decent followers’ base in a short period with these 10 steps.
1) Curated Content!
Instagram is like a digital glossy magazine that people love to browse through. The first impression that you leave on a viewer is extremely important. If you post beautiful looking pictures, catchy and relatable content regularly, not only will your existing followers engage more with it, it will start showing up on the search feeds of other users with similar interests too. It is advised that content has to be planned instead of posting them on the fly. Pick an eye-pleasing colour shade for your creatives, use only high definition pictures, and preferably with faces, as studies have shown that people engage more with your post when it has pictures of people and minimal text.
2) Hashtag Game Strong.
Hashtags play an important role in improving your visibility and reach on Instagram. Hashtags are topics tagged with a # which creates a searchable link and help you start a conversation or enter an existing one and engage with the people involved in it. The more people see your posts on their search feeds, the higher your chance of getting them to follow you. Instagram allows 30 hashtags per post, and you must pick the right ones for your posts. The first couple of them always has to be related to your brand/business names, so that identity of yours is eventually cemented with each post. You can use various free tools online like Ingramer to generate hashtags for your posts based on the picture, keywords and URLs.
3) Connect and follow.
One of the best ways to get people’s attention to your business is to get into their notifications. Yes, over 55% of people check their notifications immediately when their phone/laptop chimes. And the way you can draw their attention to your brand is by following them and engaging with their posts. It’s simple, say you are a restaurant serving Mexican food, a simple search with #MexicanFoodLovers will throw up hundreds of posts of people who talk about it. Now all you’ve got to do is check out posts and profiles that have a decent engagement and following and follow them, like a few of their posts, drop a genuine comment. There’s a fair chance they’ll take note of you and follow you back.
4) Engage with followers
It is important that your followers feel like they matter to you. Not just by posting things that they like or can relate to, but by also engaging with them on a personal level on the public platform. Replying to comments, messages and shares is the best way to engage with your followers in the public view, as it not only gives you a loyal follower to the brand but inspires others who’re seeing this conversation to follow you too. Give witty replies to comments while plugging your brand with its hashtag, respond to queries in a short period, and share a couple of good reviews or appreciation posts on your feed by tagging the user. It improves your standing as a brand that’s loyal to its people.
5) Posting regularly.
Consistency is the key when it comes to being an active business/brand on social media. As we mentioned earlier, plan out your activity on social media in advance. It will not only help you post good content but also maintain a healthy engagement with your followers. If an account goes inactive for, say 10 days, it is very difficult to get back on the feeds of your followers. But when you post regularly, with the right hashtags, your posts keep showing up frequently on the search feeds of people with similar interests, thus pushing them to follow you.
6) Videos work the best.
Various studies on social media usage and engagement have shown that more than static posts, and pictures, videos get better engagement and people always prefer watching something play out on their screens rather than they read something on the posts. But we’d suggest keep it as real as possible. Because as we mentioned earlier if your content has too much graphics or text, there are more chances of it getting ignored. It’d be great if your clips are shot by professionals, but even amateur, mobile phone camera shots also garner a good response. Once you get a good followers base, going Live can also be a good option.
7) Posting at the right time.
Your posts could get maximum engagement when it gets posted at a time when maximum followers are online. And as your engagement improves, your posts get relayed to more on followers on a local and global scale, with higher chances of your brand getting more new followers. On your profile, you can study the analytics of your account, where they show during which hours were your Instagram followers mostly active. This will help you schedule your posts accordingly. This step might not guarantee you a barrage of followers immediately, but it helps you immensely in the long run.
8) Paid Promotions.
Instagram has an option to promote your post or page to a lot of people online, for a price. For brands that are new in the market and have a budget for marketing, they must earmark a share for promoting themselves on social media too. When you boost or promote any of your posts on Instagram, it lets you select your audience based on various demographic parameters like age, gender, income, interests, etc. and your goals for the promotions, as in reach, likes, followers and engagement. Once your promotion request is approved, the said post gets boosted and displayed on the timelines of non-followers who fall under the demography parameters you have chosen.
9) Tagging brands/influencers.
Yes, you read that right. Several accounts, brands and people on the ‘Gram command a massive following that sometimes runs into millions. They can make or break a business and basis of their influence. And getting positive engagement from them means you stand a sure shot chance of getting a small, but a considerable chunk of their followers too. If you’re a brand that sells readymade garments for young women. Post pictures of a person wearing clothes from your store and tag those brands. If you’re a cafe that serves excellent tea cakes, tag food bloggers and bakers. A like, a comment or a share from them means you’re reaching out to masses that follow them too.
10) Get active on Stories.
More than posts, stories grab maximum views on Instagram with both followers and non-followers. Stories have a lot of interesting add-ons like boomerangs, music, funky fonts, polls, AMAs, etc. that inspire people to engage with you. Stories can be the best engagement tools of all on Instagram and it can help you not only retain your followers but add many more too. Brands should share more stories than posts. Not all of them have to be pictures, mix and match. One day it can only boomerang, the next day can be only polls, one of the days can me Ask Me Anything or a chain of short clips about your business. Good stories get shared widely.
If you follow these 10 steps regularly, we can assure you that you will stack up a good number of followers within a month. But make sure that you do not break the cycle. Because then it becomes an uphill climb all over again.