It seems that every year the Instagram standards get more intense. The captions get longer, photos have more filters, and standing out gets harder. Instagram has over 1 billion users but businesses often struggle to gain any traction with new followers.
Whether they admit it or not, Instagram users take notice of how many followers an account has. This number, either consciously or unconsciously, affects their immediate opinion of your business — and can change the likelihood of them pressing the follow button. It is just instinctual fact, people like to follow the crowd. The more followers you have, the easier it will be to gain additional followers.
In the age of social media where this number is important, you see businesses and individuals using shortcuts to inflating their follower count. One popular method of doing this is buying bot accounts. However, this route is viewed negatively by the public and lacks the true value of a new follower. Social media users have strong opinions about bots and vehemently oppose the use of farmed accounts to artificially boost the perception of your community. Additionally, bot accounts lack the ability to positively engage with your content and fellow followers.
The value of one real human follower can’t be overstated. So we have outlined some realistic, actionable tactics you can use to start gaining real Instagram followers this year.
Steps To Take…
Growing organically isn’t easy, nor is it an overnight panacea. It requires patience — but it produces results that can snowball into greater business success. Here are five tips you can start implementing today that will help you grow your account.
Develop and Execute a Consistent Theme
Instagram is a visual social media platform first and foremost. There is no escaping the blunt fact that your account needs to feature images that are in the highest quality, while also posting images that are not so “cookie cutter.” Present an everyday product or service in a new way.
But in regards to your Instagram feed, your account needs to decide on a theme — meaning: colors, presets, photo design, etc. One of the biggest factors in seeing follower growth is the consistency in your content. People enjoy content that matches and is aesthetically pleasing. It’s best to gather some ideas from other accounts and then blend your own style — and then stick to it.
Hashtags are still important, especially for businesses looking to really get their social media brand off the ground (once you’ve developed a solid follower base, growing without the need for hashtags becomes easier). A great way to find relevant hashtags is to look at your competitors and see what keywords they are using. Additionally, you can use the search feature in Instagram to find high and low volume hashtags that may fit in line with your target audience. Side note: have a group rotation for hashtags, three groups are a good starting point. Group together 8 to 15 keywords per hashtag group and rotate these groups with each new post.
Start an IGTV Series
When IGTV came out, everyone roasted it. No mercy was shown for Instagram’s in-house version of YouTube videos. However, now almost two years later the content tool has become a fan favorite, and a great way to reach and engage with possible Instagram followers. Video content sees more engagement in today’s current digital environment more than any other form. Crafting unique video content will help attract new followers as they want to stay in the loop for your various video series.
Longer Caption Posts
As hinted at in the opening paragraphs of this blog, image captions are getting longer — almost like a microblog… and people are liking it. Longer captions increase user engagement, which boosts potential reach through the “Discover Page.” So nows the time to start adding in-depth analysis and insight into your posts.
Optimize Your Bio
Don’t overlook the importance of including relevant keywords that relate to your business. Your Instagram bio is the equivalent to a website’s meta description and title tag. The optimization of the bio helps Instagram suggest your content and profile to possible users who would want to follow your account.