3 min read
Recently a friend showed me a picture of hers on Instagram. She was relishing a large number of likes and comments within just 48 hours of posting.
Instagram, the photo-sharing app has taken over the social media scene within a mere 8 years. Today, Instagram has more than 1 billion monthly users. Here are some more mind-boggling stats that speak for themselves:
- Instagram’s user base has grown by more than 300 percent over the past couple of years.
- 72 percent of Instagram users say they have purchased a product they saw on the app.
- Instagram is growing 5 times faster than overall social network usage in the United States.
Now that it’s clear that more followers on Instagram mean more business, let’s answer a common question: How can I get more followers on Instagram and grow my Instagram reach?
Here’s the answer in 7 distinct steps:
#1 Strike at the right time
The Instagram algorithm is designed in a way to boost a post which gets a high amount of initial audience engagement (likes and comments). Thus make sure you post at the hours when your followers’ group is most active. You can get your hands on this analytics at Instagram Insights if you have a business account.
Create a consistent posting schedule after mapping your audience’s demographics. Also, make your posts interactive if possible.
For example, you can call for opinions in your comments or ask your followers to share with their friends.
#2 Engage the audience
Posing questions or asking for suggestions can be a great way to establish a direct connection with your followers. You get to know about their expectations and reactions and can design future marketing strategies accordingly.
Here’s a simple example on @HennekeDuistermaat Instagram page.
Organize a giveaway or a contest as they bring in more comments, thus increasing your reach. But make sure not to do this too frequently.
Secondly, post user-generated content on your pages as they generate trust. They enhance your brand value. Recognizing your users and audiences can help improve the algorithms too. User-generated content increases conversions by 4.5%. This number is even higher – 9.6% – when the user interacts with the post. (Source)
#3 Optimize your hashtags
Hashtags are the norm on Instagram. Though you’re allowed to add around 30 hashtags to your posts, we recommend using 11. Keep a lookout on what tags your followers use the most and include them. Also, strike a balance between your industry-specific hashtags and your own, unique ones. Sometimes, cashing on the trending happenings (Eg, #SuperBowl) can be profitable. So, know the trends.
Instastories too, allow hashtags and hence do not forget to utilize them.
You can also keep a list of hashtags ready for future posts and stories.
#4 Use various mediums
With each new update, Instagram marketing service opens up new avenues. Use the varied mediums like InstaStories, Instagram TV, or the option to go live.
These options can create a memorable brand face without sounding monotonous. They also give a pathway to show the fun and more human side of your brand.
Here’s how @entrepreneur is utilizing the feature of Live Video with the help of their own employees:
Also, experiment with videos.
These options have their own benefits and drawbacks and you should thus decide which type of content should best suit the medium.
#5 Create content specifically for Instagram
Since Instagram heavily relies on pictures and videos as the attraction for most of the traffic, posts created for Twitter, Facebook or other mediums might not work here. Instead, focus more on the visual aspects of your content and keep an eye on which type of content gets the most audience engagement. The likings and preferences of audiences changes according to the business domain and you should thus see what works best in your domain. Create your posts accordingly.
#6 Connect with others
Watch out for what type of content, bigger brands in your domain are uploading. Try to get ideas and tips and then customize your content. You can change your future hashtags, timings, posts etc to garner more reach.
Instagram influencers can help you raise brand awareness and get more followers. You do not have to go to the top influencers every time. Smaller influencers, with a reach of 100,000 followers too, can help expand your audience base.
#7 Try InstaAds
If you use a Business Account, Ads can be a great way to land in the feeds of prospective followers and buyers. Select the target audience you wish to cater to and boost your posts. Afterall, more engagement means ranking higher on your followers’ feeds. This is a great way to expand your audiences.
What is a reach on Instagram is a question which makes rounds frequently. But once you crack the secret to the best Instagram marketing practices by following these tips and customizing your content, Instagram can prove to be the biggest booster of your business on social media.
Share with us your favorite Instagram trick in the comments section below. Also, which is your favorite Instagram feature?