Instagram is powering into its 7th year as a social media powerhouse and it has never been a better time for businesses and brands to get involved with the platform.
A profile on Instagram can expose a brand to over a million people and can attract loyal followers, advocates and customers for the brand.
What’s also been interesting with Instagram is the level of engagement on the platform, which has created business opportunities for brands both big and small.
It isn’t necessary to have an audience of a million followers or more. But businesses do need to build a large audience in their niche with a level of engagement that will make it viable for them to conduct business and that essentially means that you need to get more Instagram followers.
How to Get More Instagram Followers
One of the most common questions that get asked is “how to get more Instagram followers”. And there are different kinds of answers you would see from people, one of which is to “buy followers”.
Something that you would want to keep in mind is that “dummy followers with ZERO engagement is as good as no followers”. This is not a game of numbers, hence it just doesn’t make sense to add up your follower count with little to no engagement. What is more important is building a loyal tribe on Instagram.
And Instagram software specialists share the following ways, businesses can build a loyal tribe on Instagram.
Focus on delivering content to a specific niche
The first and the simplest answer to the question on “how to get more Instagram Followers”, lies in the core principle of a Content marketing strategy; generate content targeting your niche.
It’s important that the business publishes image content that caters for a specific niche audience on Instagram. If the business publishes content that appeals to everybody, then it is likely that they will attract nobody.
There are some businesses that have conquered their niche in uncanny ways. For example, entrepreneurs in Kuwait created an Instagram account for selling their livestock of sheep. The account @sheeps_sell branded their profile as a retailer for selling sheep and acquired over 2000 followers.
As a business model, Instagram worked for them since the cost to promote their livestock only cost them the time to take the pictures, make the edits and to publish the image on Instagram. Furthermore, their livestock was exposed to a nationwide and international audience, which allowed them to get more enquiries and sales.
Publish images that will captivate the interest of your target audience
It’s important that a business identifies the type of content that their target audience desires and delivers it to them. Instagram isn’t about publishing the perfect image. It is a platform where people want to consume content that will add value to their lives. The content could make them desire to do something, feel inspired or, inject a bit of happiness into their lives.
Australian-born artist CJ Hendry has gained over 265,000 followers by sharing her inspirational artwork on Instagram. This created business opportunities for her to work with brands and sell her work to A-list celebrities in New York and Hollywood.
9gag conquered the Instagram humour niche by raking in over 33 million followers by publishing funny images and videos on their platform. This has allowed them to gain more website visitors to their website and increase their business’s ad revenue.
Fashion and travel bloggers are also succeeding by sharing content that taps into the desires and buying motives of their niche Instagram audience. The important thing is that the image content that is published should deliver the value that their audience expects to receive from the content.
Some of the content angles that you can consider using on your Instagram profile include:
- Interesting photos
- Inspirational quotes
Make sure that the content can be discovered easily
Publishing amazing content that connects with your audience is great, but it won’t be useful if people cannot find your content. So it is important that you optimize the business’s profile and each individual image so that it can be discovered by Instagram’s algorithm and by the users of the platform. Ways you can improve the discoverability of Instagram images include using hashtags.
Instagram will categorize images based on the keywords that are used in the hashtags. By optimising each image with the appropriate hashtag, it is more likely to appear in Instagram’s search results and also be served in relevant timeline feeds.
Engage with the Instagram community
Instagram isn’t a set and forget type of platform. Its users are very engaged and it is important that the business implements a social media plan that prioritizes engagement in order to stimulate follower growth on the platform. The biggest problem with most businesses is that instead of asking “how to engage with their followers”, they keep asking “how to get more Instagram followers”. Only if they had changed their approach, it would have been much easier for businesses to build a huge and engaged tribe on Instagram.
Some of the activities that should be done, in order to engage with your Instagram Community would include:
1. Liking other people’s Instagram pictures
Spend 20 minutes a day liking other people’s Instagram images. When you like their image, they may visit your profile and look through your feed. They may then like your images or even start following your account.
When people on Instagram follow a new account, a notification will appear in the feed of their followers, which can spur more people to follow your account.
You could get 5 to 10 follows a day just by doing this tactic.
2. Commenting on other people’s photos
It is important to engage with people on different accounts. Leave compliments or ask questions to stimulate a discussion on other profile’s pictures. Your username will be linked and people can easily discover and follow you from your comments.
Over to You
What’s your strategy to build your Instagram followers? Go ahead and share it with us by commenting below.
If you would like to have a more extensive guide on Instagram marketing, then I’d recommend reading this guide to Instagram Business Pages, which will help you harness the power of Instagram’s engaged user base. Once you start implementing these tribe-building tactics, you should start to see an improvement in your business’s follower growth and in time, the profile will become a prominent influencer in its niche market.
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About the Author
David James is the founder of digital marketing agency “Business Growth Digital Marketing”, specialising in content marketing, SEO and digital lead generation. He writes for digital marketing publications, shares YouTube tutorial videos and has consulted for major global brands including Mazda, SAP and Lynx. A keen travel explorer and gym junkie, you can connect with him on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.