Instagram is one of the top social media platforms your brand should be using. It attracts 3.76 billion visits every day. The average Instagram visitor spends 30 minute per day on the platform. Those are impressive stats, but here’s something that should really get your attention: The median engagement rate on Instagram is 1,700% more than Facebook and 3,300% higher than a tweet.
For brands marketing themselves on Instagram, that kind of engagement is good news. However, to take full advantage of Instagram’s high engagement rates, you first need to increase your number of followers and build traction on the platform.
Here are four ways to increase your brand’s Instagram followers:
1. Optimize Your Instagram Bio and Profile
Although it may seem obvious, making sure that your Instagram business page is branded and optimized is crucial. At least two-thirds of visits to Instagram business profiles are from non-followers. A good company bio and profile may be all the nudge you need to convince them to click the Follow button.
Start by optimizing your Instagram user name. Assuming you are already present on other social media such as Facebook or Twitter, choose the same user name that you use on those platforms for Instagram. Doing so will make it easier for loyal social media followers to find you. Typically, your social media user name should be your brand name or a common variation of it that customers are likely to use when searching for you.
Optimize your name. Your Instagram name doesn’t have to be your actual name. It can be anything up to 30 characters. Try including a relevant keyword into your name. For example, if you are a financial technology company, choose an Instagram name that incorporates your actual brand name and a descriptive keyword like “fintech”.
Optimize your company bio. It can be up to 150 characters but keep it on-point with what your brand offers so potential followers know what to expect. Include a link to your website and consider adding some hashtags to build deeper connections.
2. Post Content People Want to See and Share
Another key to increasing your Instagram followers is posting high-quality, engaging content that people want to see. Although 80% of people on Instagram follow a business, they are less likely to follow your page if all it offers are low-quality images or shameless self-promotion.
Your Instagram growth strategy should be focused on creating content that makes visitors want to come back for more. Since it is a visual platform, your Instagram page should feature great images that tell a compelling brand story and build a relationship with your audience. Compliment your images with captivating captions. A great caption can significantly increase engagement. Remember, only the first 125 characters of a caption appear before a “More” tap is required, so make the most of the first few words.
Start your caption with a hook that will get the user to tap that “More” button. Then provide more detail about your image. Longer Instagram captions usually drive more engagement, but if your image is self-explanatory, sometimes short works too. Other ways to boost engagement via captions include adding a question to encourage responses in the form of comments and using emoji to liven things up.
Now that you have a handle creating content that people want to see, consider what they will share. We’re not talking about cute cat photos. Rather, consider valuable content like infographics that illustrate a business concept or bring data to life. A good infographic can take on a life of its own through sharing, showing up in other user’s blogs or Instagram Stories. Content that is designed to be shared is a great way to extend your reach and attract lots of new followers.
Increase Followers on Your Instagram Business Page
Our social media team can help you optimize your Instagram business page, boost engagement, and attract followers. We can also jump-start your visitor traffic with a targeted, cost-effective Instagram advertising campaign.
3. Be Consistent and Be On-time
This is something we discussed in a recent blog about boosting engagement on Facebook. While it sounds like the sort of advice you might get when taking a new job, being consistent and timely can make a big difference for your Instagram business page. If you’ve followed the previous suggestions, your optimized page is attracting new visitors and your quality content has them eager to come back for more. Therefore, it is important that you give them more of what they want by posting regularly.
Getting your existing followers back to view and interact with your page on a regular basis demonstrates the value of your content to Instagram’s algorithm. That in turn will extend your reach and attract new followers. So how often should you post?
A good rule of thumb is to post 2-3 times each week to your Instagram feed but more frequently to Stories. For example, during Instagram’s 2021 Creator Week, Instagram’s Adam Mosseri recommended posting 2 feed posts per week and 2 Stories per day to build a following.
Just as important as posting consistently is posting at the right time. You want fresh content to appear when followers will find it and be keen to share it. Refer to Instagram’s analytics identify when your audience is most active. Keep in mind that the times you see are based on your local time. If activity appears to be in the middle of the night, those users are probably in a different time zone.
4. If You Want Something to Be Found, Put a Tag On It
Although the text of your Instagram captions is not searchable, your hashtags are. When it comes to hashtags, #targeted is the way to go. At first thought, it might seem logical to target bigger hashtags. However, this means that when people search on Instagram, your content will probably be lost in a sea of competition.
However, if you use more targeted hashtags, there is a higher likelihood of being found in a search. Let’s use an online clothing shop that focuses on bohemian fashion for women as an example. Instead of trying to be found just with terms like #fashion or #style, a better approach would be to leverage more target hashtags, such as #bohofashion, #bohemianfashion, #bohostyle, etc.
Another top hashtag tip is to create branded hashtags. These are hashtags that feature your brand’s name, slogan, or something else that’s specific to it. Once you come up with branded hashtags, cross-promote them to increase their exposure.
Following the four basic steps described here is a good start for increasing your Instagram followers. Just keep in mind that it will take time. But the sooner you get started, the faster you’ll start growing your audience.
Jump-start Your Program
In the meantime, you might consider jump-starting visitor traffic to your Instagram business page with targeted, cost-effective Instagram advertising campaign. Our social media team can help you build, deploy, and measure the results of Instagram ad campaigns.
We can also show you more ways to optimize your Instagram business page, boost engagement, and attract followers. We can even help you integrate your Instagram campaign with an omnichannel marketing program that includes social, email, and SMS. Schedule a call today to learn more!