With more than 1 billion users per month, Instagram has quickly changed from a fun platform for young people into a frontrunner of social media, branding, and consumerism in 2020. Instagram is known for its high-quality content—even surpassing Twitter in terms of hashtag use—and for its incredibly engaged user base. In fact, a study by Forrester found that Instagram users engaged with brands 58 times more often than those on Facebook and 120 times more often than Twitter users.
So how can you take advantage of this huge and interactive user base? At Marketing Supply Company, we’ve been studying the art of growing Instagram followers for years, and we have a few thoughts. Below, read up on how to grow your Instagram following in four simple steps:
The best brands online are instantly recognizable, even in a crowded sea of content. For example, Starbuck’s Instagram profile, which has more than 18 million followers, is filled with bright, colorful photos and ads—most of which include their famous Starbucks cups and mermaid logo.
To begin crafting your Instagram aesthetic, start by thinking of the ideas and feelings that you want people to think of and experience when they see your feed. Are they bubbly? Informative? Sleek and tech-heavy? Colorful and fun? Giving your brand a theme not only helps consumers recognize your posts in their feed; it also makes it easier to come up with new photo concepts, since you already have a solid foundation.
Influencers are social media users who have amassed huge followings, and can “influence” the decisions of their followers. For example, The Blonde Abroad is an influencer who travels all around the world and has a following of over 500,000 users. In January, she created a post for Orgain, a protein powder company, and that one post generated 7,000 likes and more than 100 comments.
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Many of those users may not have heard of the brand, and now know all about Orgain. If they like the message, they might also choose to follow the Orgain page, since their favorite influencer loves them, too!
If you want to know how to grow your Instagram following, the answer lies in interacting with your audience. There are two key ways to do this. First, spend some time reaching out to current and potential followers in your niche. Like their photos and leave authentic, creative comments. Become a brand that they feel cares about them and their content, and you’ll often get a follow back!
Second, engage with your followers on your own page! One great way to do this is by asking them to respond, like, or tag friends on a specific topic. A fantastic example of this is the Oreo brand. In one of their most recent posts, they showed a massive stack of delicious pancakes (with Oreo whipped cream, of course). They asked their followers to tag “a friend you’d share this stack of syrupy pancakes with,” and within three days, the post had more than 31,000 likes and 300 comments.
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You can take this one step further by responding to comments on your posts with genuine replies, making each user feel that they’ve made a personal connection with your brand.
You have an Instagram account? That’s fantastic. But if no one knows about it, how can your loyal customers know to follow you? Cross advertising can help grow your Instagram followers by increasing brand awareness outside of the platform. Make sure your Instagram handle is posted on all your promotional materials. Place an Instagram link on your website, or even embed your latest posts for visitors to see! Some successful brands even post their handles or popular hashtags on billboards and in print and digital ads for extra exposure. The more people that see you’re on Instagram, the larger the potential audience you’ll garner.
Growing your Instagram following might seem daunting, but with these proven techniques, you can make your brand a user favorite! Need some expert assistance getting started with Instagram? Marketing Supply Company can help with that.